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Timing is everything—now, is it off a little bit?

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on June 7, 2010 at 7:28 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 7 at 10:49 AM


Monday, June 7, 2010.
You never put it in the bag until it’s in the bag. And that it is not in Jackson Hole. Change is happening at warp speed in the college conference realignment picture, so who knows what happens over there today? With the Pac-10 giving its commissioner, Larry Scott, the permission to expand, the trickle-down effect may put any invitation extended to Boise State by the Mountain West on hold. The Big 12 looks like it could be gutted, and the Mountain West may have some attractive leftovers to consider. These would be BCS schools that could result a 12-team Mountain West that may leave the Broncos behind.
The other development over the weekend was this notion that Texas legislators will throw up roadblock at Texas should the Longhorns—and Texas A&M and Texas Tech—try to move to the Pac-10 without Baylor. If the Pac-10 was then forced to take Baylor, Colorado would be left hangin’. What a bummer for the Buffaloes, but what a perfect scenario for the Mountain West—an opportunity to envelope a Colorado-Colorado State rivalry. Buff fans don’t see that as holding a candle to their rivalry with Nebraska, but they may have no choice. In addition to CU, the MWC could add two other former Big 12 institutions, such as Kansas and Kansas State, and call it good, leaving Boise State out altogether. Or it could even consider a 16-team setup that would include the Broncos.
It would make sense for the Mountain West presidents to slow this train down and wait a little while. They don’t absolutely have to pull the trigger today. They could stall ‘til, say, Friday, and see what happens with that deadline the Big 12 has reportedly laid down to Nebraska and Missouri to declare their Big Ten intentions. But you can also look at this from the standpoint that the Mountain West can’t afford to wait to get Boise State on board. Scott, the Pac-10 commish, said invitations could come as early as July 27, when the conference’s media days convene. But that’s past the June 30 deadline for the MWC to get the Broncos on board in time to count their football performance toward the next BCS evaluation period. Meanwhile, the number of cooks that could spoil the Pac-10’s broth is sizeable. What kind of gamblers are these Mountain West presidents?
Who are the most nervous schools in this entire process? There are those on scarier ground than Boise State. If the Broncos don’t get the invitation to the Mountain West today, there’s still time. And if it never comes, Boise State still has a long-time and long-term conference home, as disappointing as it would be to miss this boat. But what are they thinking at Colorado? A one-time national champion facing a demotion to the level of its in-state little brother? Certainly there would be some competition for Kansas basketball, but if it doesn’t come from the Pac-10 or Big Ten, what a letdown. Kansas State may have to split with Kansas. And Iowa State would be flattened—wondering if anyone got the license plate number of that truck that hit it.
After missing the cut at the Memorial, Graham DeLaet and Troy Merritt will play 36 holes today in the U.S. Open Sectional in Columbus, Ohio. They’ll be joined there by Boise’s Nick Travers, while Meridian’s Jesse Hibler and Joe Panzeri will be playing the Sectional in Portland. Hibler won Local Qualifying at BanBury last month, with Travers and Panzeri tying for second. In Columbus there will be 120 golfers today vying for 15 spots in the Open, while the Portland Sectional features 48 players fighting for three berths.
Former Boise State All-American Wesley Moodie has another solid result on his resume after he and playing partner Dick Norman made the semifinals of the French Open in Paris. Moodie and Norman were finally ushered out by eventual champions Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenon Zimonjic of Serbia in straight sets in the semis. Moodie and Norman were runners-up at Roland Garros last year.
It was a breath of fresh air on many levels. Former Boise Hawk Dontrelle Willis, unceremoniously released last week by the Detroit Tigers, made the most of his first shot at a second chance Saturday night in Phoenix. In his first start for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Willis threw six scoreless innings and got the win in a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. The D-Train did walk four batters and hit another, but the Rockies were 0-for-10 against him with runners in scoring position. Back in the National League with a bat in his hands, Willis also singled and scored a run on a head-first slide. 
The World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame is mourning, with the rest of the sports world, the passing of legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden. In 2003, the WSHHF established the “Nell and John Wooden Coaching Achievement Award,” presented to a coach and his or her spouse for exceptional contributions to their players and their futures. Wooden came to Boise to accept the inaugural honor. One of the more memorable events in the Hall’s history was Wooden holding court in a big easy chair in the Morrison Center, talking about his “pyramid of success” and the role of character in winning—in competition and in life.
This Day In Sports…June 7, 1982:
Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth man to play in 1,000 consecutive major league games in a contest against Atlanta in L.A. Garvey joined Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell in the exclusive club, which later would welcome Cal Ripken, Jr. Garvey’s streak would end the next season at a National League record 1,207 after he suffered a broken thumb in a collision at home plate.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 1350 KTIK/The Ticket. He’s also handled color commentary on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football the last five seasons.)