Friday, Jun 11 at 11:37 AM
Friday, June 11, 2010.
I went to the Crosby Stills & Nash concert last night in Eagle. I had never seen them in concert. But, as a 17-year-old rookie disc jockey, I played their first album on the radio when it was new in the summer of 1969. I got to thinking about the Boise of then and the Boise of now, not knowing what would happen about 15 hours later. At that time—and it really doesn’t seem that ancient to me—Boise State dreamed of the Big Sky Conference. It wasn’t even a member of the NCAA yet. The biggest games on the 1969 football schedule were Idaho State and Weber State. Then came the Big Sky in 1970, Division II in 1973, Division I-AA in 1978, the Big West and Division I-A in 1996, and the WAC in 2001.
And today, here’s the Mountain West bringing this school in, with commissioner Craig Thompson explaining why his conference didn’t want to wait any longer: “It was to make sure we got Boise State University in the fold, and to make sure we added the value that Boise State brings—and then continue from there.” Thompson touted Boise State as giving his league four perennial Top 25 teams. Suite Judy Blue Turf.
Now, the original column:
Colorado to the Pac-10? We’re probably going to be asking this every day: is this good news for Boise State? Well, at first glance it’s better news than Nebraska moving to the Big Ten. For one thing, one of the Mountain West’s target schools is gone—there will be no unification of Colorado and Colorado State. For another, it’s a pre-emptive strike against Baylor and may put Texas in a pickle, forcing the Longhorns to go the Big Ten or SEC route. Texas A&M would probably go with them. Probably. And if those two head for the SEC, Oklahoma might, too. In that case, the idea of Utah moving to the Pac-10 would be revived. And the chances of Boise State going to the Mountain West would be improved. But, no so fast my friend.
George Schroeder of the Eugene Register-Guard has “one very good source” who says, “you can take (the Pac-16) to the bank. Meaning that Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are poised to join Colorado. That scenario, of course, leaves the Mountain West to be among those pitching Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Iowa State…and now, maybe Missouri? Again, at least three of those five would fight a move to the Mountain West ‘til the cows come home. Just wondering—wouldn’t the ACC be interested in at least Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri? Especially if Maryland bolts for the Big Ten? Can’t wait to see what happens between now and the next Scott Slant column Monday morning.
Having grown up in a small Northern California logging community, Dan Hawkins has always been a Pac-10 guy. Now he hopes he can last long enough to be a Pac-10 coach. The former Boise State coach and current Colorado head man, 16-33 in four seasons in Boulder, is clearly on the hot seat with two seasons left in the Big 12 for CU. We are left to wonder why, after a 53-11 record at Boise State, it hasn’t worked for him down there. Meanwhile, helping this Buffalo migration happen may be the pinnacle of former Idaho athletic director Mike Bohn’s career. When the current Colorado AD leaked to one of his constituent groups last week that he expected CU to be invited to the Pac-10, it ends up he was talking about Colorado—not half of the Big 12 as a package.
The new profile for a defensive end at Boise State appears to be lean, mean and quick. According to Scout.com, the Broncos have a verbal commitment from D-end Samuel Ukuachu from Pearland, TX. Ukuachu is 6-5, but currently he’s only 200 pounds. After some show-stopping moments in spring football from Kharyee Marshall, though, Ukuachu appears to fit the mold. Marshall is the 6-1, 207-pound redshirt freshman defensive end whose disruption of the Bronco backfield turned heads during the spring. Ukuachu also plays wide receiver at Pearland, though, and could be a tight end in college. Scout.com says he also had offers from Illinois, Colorado, Baylor, Northwestern, Louisville and SMU, among others.
There should be a poignant moment during the 2010 World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame induction ceremony tomorrow night at the Stueckle Sky Center. Coming as it does just eight days after John Wooden’s death, the eighth Nell & John Wooden Award to be presented to Lute Olson and his late wife Bobbi will pack plenty of emotion. Olson, now 75, retired two years ago after coaching the Arizona men’s basketball team for a quarter-century. No doubt he’ll recall his first encounters with Wooden when he was coaching at Long Beach City College. Wooden asked Olson to speak at his annual coaches clinic after Olson had won the California Junior College championship. Being treated as a peer by Wooden—and Bobbi being treated as a peer by Nell—has stuck with Olson throughout his life.
There’s an eye to the sky as the third annual Ironman 70.3 Boise approaches tomorrow. You may recall that last year’s finish in BoDo was very wet. Boy does that sound familiar. I don’t trust the weather. At any rate, the Boise event has a unique 2PM start, for two reasons: to lessen the effect of the frigid early June waters of Lucky Peak, and to time the finish for a festive Saturday evening downtown. And these athletes will deserve a celebration after their 1.2-mile swim, punishing 56-mile bike ride, and 13.1-mile half marathon.
Boise State’s Pontus Thomee went into the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships seeded second in the javelin, and he was spot-on last night. Thomee was runnerup in the competition at Eugene’s Hayward Field, uncorking a career-best throw of 241-5 to earn All-America honors. Bronco teammate Kurt Felix goes into the final day of the decathlon in fourth place, spurred by a first-place finish in the high jump and a third in the long jump.
One of the joys of watching Boise Hawks games, of course, is knowing you’re seeing some future stars in the bigs. Some are predictable, and some surprise you. A vote among radio broadcasters, media relations directors, and front office staff from the eight Northwest League clubs has resulted in a Top 10 Northwest League Alumni from the past decade who have excelled in the major leagues.
Check out these names. No. 1 is Tim Lincecum of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, followed by Felix Hernandez of the Everett AquaSox, Andre Ethier of the Vancouver Canadians, Shane Victorino of the Yakima Bears, Dan Uggla of Yakima, Ian Kinsler of the Spokane Indians, Zach Greinke of Spokane, Pablo Sandoval of Salem-Keizer, Dontrelle Willis of the Hawks, and Rich Harden of Vancouver. Bring on the new decade’s big names, whoever they might be, coming to Memorial Stadium as the Hawks open their home schedule a week from Monday.
This Day In Sports…June 11, 1997:
Without question, the most courageous performance in the legendary career of Michael Jordan. Severely weakened by the flu, a glassy-eyed and dehydrated M.J. poured in 38 points to lead the Chicago Bulls past the Utah Jazz, 90-88, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at the Delta Center. The lasting image of that night was Scottie Pippen propping up Jordan as he left the court at the end of the game. The win positioned the Bulls to close out the series in six games back home at the United Center.
(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.)