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Boise State football: The Florida State shoe drops

It took a while for the ACC to hit the “send” button, but the league is indeed condensing its schedule. It’ll be 11 games—and only one non-conference game.
Credit: Mark Wallheiser/AP Photo
Boise State Buster Bronco exhorts the crowd during an NCAA college football game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. Boise State won 36-31.

BOISE, Idaho — Thursday, July 30, 2020.

The Florida State game on September 19 was to be the biggest home matchup in Boise State history. But a cloud has been hanging over it for months. And Wednesday it burst, thanks to the ACC. Teams in that league will be playing only one nonconference game this season. And although FSU hasn’t announced which one it has chosen, it won’t be one on the road—especially on the other side of the country against a team the Seminoles lost to last year. The ACC took care of that for them, declaring that non-league games must be played in each team’s home state. We can only hope the Broncos can get the Florida State game back on a future schedule. KTVB’s Jay Tust notes that both schools currently have an open date in 2024.

It’s a bummer to be sure. The wins on the blue turf against Oregon in 2009 and Washington in 2016 were milestones, to be sure. But landing a home date with a perennial power that has won three national championships—the most recent coming in 2013—was on another plateau. Fortunately for Boise State and its fans, the one memory of Florida State will remain a positive one: the 36-31 win in Tallahassee in last year’s season opener. It was literally a journey, as the game was supposed to be played in Jacksonville but was moved to Doak Campbell Stadium due to concern over the approaching Hurricane Dorian. Quarterback Hank Bachmeier made his Boise State debut in grand fashion, helping rally from a 31-13 deficit and throwing for 407 yards, the most against a Power 5 opponent in school history.

RELATED: Boise State football: NFL opt-outs create ops

THINGS TO FIGURE OUT

If the rest of the 2020 season is postponed until spring, will early enrollees from the 2021 recruiting class be allowed to play? Case in point is Boise State quarterback commit Taylen Green, who told KTVB’s Jay Tust he plans to enroll in January. No conclusion has been drawn on that scenario, because there’s so much yet to happen. But it would be surprising on many counts. 

If safety comes first, it would be odd to allow players who just finished a high school season to turn around and play real games in he spring. Furthermore, if the early enrollee’s high school season was wiped out, he will have gone almost a year and a half without playing. That could be worse. At any rate, Green would be wise to preserve that year of eligibility, as Bachmeier, Chase Cord and Jack Sears are logjammed ahead of him.

RELATED: Boise State football: Plans for Labor Day weekend?

By the same token, if the season is moved to the spring—but the NFL season remains intact this year, along with the draft next spring—would draft prospects skip the season and prep for the NFL? A few already have. At Boise State, that would be a tough one. Seniors John Bates and Jalen Walker are draftable athletes. By playing a spring schedule, they’d have to skip the NFL Combine. You could see pro day working out, but private workouts would be kaput. And the draft would materialize at the end of a physical, grueling season. Junior Khalil Shakir, a candidate to declare early for the NFL, would likely be around, though. He needs to add another season to his body of work for scouts.

MATTISON BACK TO BACKING UP?

Alexander Mattison may have lost his starting job with the Minnesota Vikings, not that he ever had it. Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook, who had been threatening a holdout, has reported to training camp. Minnesota appeared to be comfortable going with Mattison if it came to that, as the former Boise State star was productive as a rookie. A fan site called ZoneCoverage.com points out: “Mattison actually topped Cook last year in yards per attempt, avoided tackles per attempt, yards after contact per attempt and breakaway percentage. Overall, Mattison was third in the entire NFL in breakaway percentage at 41.3 percent.” He rushed for 462 yards and averaged 4.6 yards per carry.

RELATED: Roger Goodell sends letter to NFL fans explaining plans for season

AN IDAHO MLB MARITAL TIE

Blake Treinen was part of the Dodgers-Astros donnybrook Monday night, if only in the box score. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning in L.A.’s 6-2 victory that featured a bench-clearing skirmish. What’s local about Treinen? He’s married to former Boise State women’s basketball player Kati Isham. She was a two-time Idaho Player of Year at Butte County High School, then she was a Bronco from 2010-12 and led the team in scoring as a senior. Isham was a three-point specialist and is top 10 in the Boise State record book in multiple categories. So there you go.

YOUR PERSONAL FIESTA BOWL REUNION

All major fundraising events the past six months have had to reinvent themselves. The 6th annual Idaho Youth Sports Commission Dinner & Auction is no different. It goes virtual for the first time this evening, becoming a “Jeans & Jerseys Happy Hour.” The auction is live now, and you’ve gotta love the “2007 Fiesta Bowl Zoom Call.” 

RELATED: Boise State football: 8 All-Mountain Westers

You get your own Zoom session with eight of the stars from that memorable night in Glendale, Arizona. How about Ian Johnson, Jared Zabransky, Jerard Rabb, Nick Schlekeway, Korey Hall, Tad Miller, Vinny Perretta and Marty Tadman? I think it’ll be as much fun for those guys as it will be for the winning bidder. Full disclosure: I’ll be emceeing tonight’s event.

THIS DAY IN SPORTS…July 30, 1990, 30 years ago today:

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is banned from baseball for life by Commissioner Fay Vincent. Steinbrenner had paid $40,000 to a small-time gambler in an attempt to gather damaging information on Yankees outfielder Dave Winfield. Steinbrenner had failed to pay Winfield’s foundation $300,000 as promised in his contract, and Winfield sued the owner. Steinbrenner was eventually reinstated to baseball in 1993.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.) 

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