Vegas, Poinsettia would be worthy

Wednesday, May 28, 2014.

Jerry Palm s early bowl predictions for the 2014 season came out last week. Now s Brett McMurphy and Mark Schlabach have added their Way-too-early bowl projections. First, where does Boise State fit? Palm says it s in the Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona State. Again, you say? Well, it would be an interesting matchup against Eagle s Taylor Kelly in his final game as ASU quarterback. Schlabach also pencils the Broncos into Las Vegas, to face Arizona for the first time. And McMurphy goes for the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego, where Boise State would face Navy. The Midshipmen are guaranteed a spot there if they re bowl-eligible. Considering the ending to the Broncos 2013 season and the coaching change, these would be suitable options if they pan out name opponents and more visible bowls among the saturated postseason madness of 2014.

Elsewhere in the Mountain West, all three prognosticators have the conference filling seven bowl berths this year. The consensus postseason participants in addition to the Broncos are Utah State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Colorado State, and surprisingly Wyoming. The experts are buying into the impact new coach Craig Bohl is going to have with the Cowboys. In the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Palm has it as Air Force-Toledo, Schlabach goes with Wyoming-Bowling Green, and McMurphy likes a Nevada-Toledo matchup. McMurphy is the only one projecting the Wolf Pack to make a bowl game.

Who s going to be the College Football Playoff Access Bowl Buster (or whatever you want to call it) among the non-power conferences? Palm and Schlabach say it s Cincinnati out of the AAC, not an outlandish notion. But McMurphy is way out there, suggesting Marshall is going to play in the Peach Bowl, which is now one of what were formerly called the BCS bowls. As far as Chris Petersen and Washington go, Palm says the Huskies will face Miami in the Sun Bowl, McMurphy suggests Minnesota as an opponent in the San Francisco Bowl (debuting this year in the 49ers new stadium), and Schlabach matches UW against Iowa in the Holiday Bowl.

Considered a longshot from the outset of training camp, Boise State s Anthony Drmic did not make the Australian Boomers national team that will take on China in the Sino-Australian Challenge starting tomorrow night. Two players from American college teams did make it, New Mexico s Hugh Greenwood and Oregon State s Angus Brandt. A year from now, Drmic will be charting a different course. If he doesn t get an NBA look, he s prepared to play in Europe, where he s in the process of getting a Croatian passport according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Until then, it s all about his senior year with the Broncos. I m really putting everything I can into preparing for that and seeing what I can do, Drmic told the Herald. Everything is on the table for me. It really depends on how I play next season.

It s hard to keep all of hockey s cups straight, but we do know that former Idaho Steelheads coach Derek Laxdal has earned two major ones this spring. On the heels of the Chynoweth Cup the Edmonton Oil Kings grabbed two weeks ago in winning the Western Hockey League championship comes the Memorial Cup that goes to the champion of Canadian junior hockey. The Oil Kings beat the Guelph Storm 6-3 Sunday to win the tournament that features Canada s three major junior leagues those that typically supply an inordinate amount of talent to the NHL. It s the first Memorial Cup in Edmonton franchise history. Laxdal has NHL written all over him. The year before he left the Steelheads for Canada, the Oil Kings won just 16 games. They had 30 victories in Laxdal s first season and have put together three straight 50-win seasons since.

Graham DeLaet has withdrawn from the Memorial Tournament this week at Muirfield Village in Ohio. No reason was immediately available, but DeLaet has said he wants to pace himself this season, and he s played the last three PGA Tour events. What s more, the US Open is just two weeks away. Interestingly enough, it was at Muirfield that the former Boise State star played for the International team in the Presidents Cup last fall.

You d have to think Nickayla Skinner ran out of gas yesterday in the oppressive heat and humidity of Columbus, GA. The College of Idaho was leading William Carey 5-2 after six innings of their NAIA Softball World Series matchup before the opponents from Mississippi rallied. WCU won 6-5 in nine innings, ending the Lady Yotes remarkable run in their first appearance in the main draw at nationals. Skinner, the Mountain Home High graduate, finished her career with a Cascade Conference record 83 wins and 913 strikeouts.

Before we let this week s Sports Illustrated go, it s interesting to see the props former Boise Hawk Josh Donaldson gets. In his Quarter Masters article checking up on the majors one-quarter of the way through the season, Joe Sheehan calls Oakland s Donaldson the most interesting hitter, above the Angels Mike Trout and everybody else. Writes Sheehan: Donaldson s baseball card numbers don t scream at you, but he has a .362 on-base percentage and a .520 slugging percentage while playing in a home park, Coliseum, that just eats batters statistics. Adjusting for that, he has produced the second most runs in the league. Sheehan also calls Donaldson one of the best defensive players in baseball and says he has saved the A s 12 runs with his work at third base this season.

This Day In Sports...May 28, 1995:

The Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox set a major league record by combining for 12 home runs in a game, in a 14-12 ChiSox win at Tiger Stadium. Three players hit two apiece in the barrage, Chicago s Ron Karkovice and Detroit s Chad Curtis and Cecil Fielder. Ironically, the same two teams tied the record in 2002.

(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 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)


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