Thursday, August 17, 2017.
Many of the early college football magazines and websites had Boise State on their preseason Top 25 lists. Now push has come to shove, and the Broncos are bubbling under in the first Coaches Poll of the season. They’re not in ESPN’s rankings, and this week’s Sports Illustrated 2017 College Football Preview is Bronco-less as well. The only Group of 5 team included was South Florida at No. 17. So here’s some more hype for Week 2. Washington State is No. 22. It starts under center for the Cougars, says SI: “If they have a good quarterback, which they do this year (6-4, 225-pound senior Luke Falk), and they have receivers, which they do (led by junior Tavares Martin Jr., who had 64 catches in 2016), they’re tough to stop.” That we know.
On Sports Illustrated’s map of “2017 College Road Trip Stops” is Boise State and New Mexico in Week 3 on the blue turf. “What would any exploration of college football be without a stop at the blue field of Boise?” asks SI. “The teams of the Mountain West are catching up to Boise State, but the Broncos remain strong, and New Mexico should pose little problem.” (Um, did they see the game against the Lobos here two years ago?) Idaho’s game at Troy on November 2 also has a spot on the map. SI touts the feature players in that game: the Trojans’ 6-1, 235-pound senior running back, Jordan Chunn, who’ll be at Albertsons Stadium in 16 days, and Vandals senior quarterback Matt Linehan. “It’s also Idaho’s last season in the FBS, so there’s that,” notes SI.
One of Boise State’s unsettled TV stops for 2017 has been decided. The 6 p.m. game against Virginia September 22 will be shown on ESPN2. That means the Broncos have three consecutive games on the Worldwide Leader’s two main platforms in September and October—and it’ll be four if the September 9 matchup at Washington State ends up on ESPN or ESPN2 and not ESPNU. I’m betting it does.
One more watch list for Boise State’s Brett Rypien—this time for the Manning Award. Rypien, of course, is the returning two-time first-team All-Mountain West quarterback. Two guys trying to unseat Rypien are also on the list, Wyoming’s Josh Allen and Colorado State’s Nick Stevens. Another of the 30 players getting mention for the Manning Award is Linehan, who was second-team All-Sun Belt and was the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Most Valuable Player for the Vandals last year. The winner will be selected after the completion of the bowl season.
As you know, Allen’s the one getting the hype. A Mark Schlabach feature at ESPN.com tracks Allen’s journey from the farming town of Firebaugh, CA, through the rejection by childhood favorite Fresno State and to his landing in Laramie. In November, 2014, he sent e-mails to every FBS head coach, offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and position coach—more than 1,000 e-mails in all. The message read: “Hello coach, my name is Josh Allen, and I am a quarterback at Reedley JC out of California. I stand at 6’5” 210 lbs and am a full qualifier and feel like I would be a great fit in your offensive scheme! Please have a look at my Hudl (highlights). Please get back to me at any convenience! Thank you.”
Notes Schlabach, “His unsolicited emails went over like a loan request from a Nigerian prince.” Only Eastern Michigan and Wyoming offered him scholarships. Now Allen is projected as a first-round NFL Draft pick. Maybe No. 1 overall. It’s Fresno State that’s gnashing its collective teeth, especially since the firing of coach Tim DeRuyter. It was DeRuyter who, after being told by Allen’s dad at a charity golf tournament how much Josh wanted to be a Bulldog, said he wasn’t the right fit. After his one season at Reedley, Allen tried to convince Fresno State one more time before committing to Wyoming. The Bulldogs signed 6-1, 170-pound Chason Virgil. Allen was incredulous.
Graham DeLaet is taking some time off following his top 10 finish in last week’s PGA Championship, but the Treasure Valley’s other two PGA Tour players are in the field today at the Wyndham Championship. Troy Merritt has missed has last two cuts since tying for 35th last month at the Barbasol Championship. Tyler Aldridge has part-time tour privileges this season—this will be his 12th event. Aldridge finished 70th at the Barbasol, but that was his only made cut in his last six tournaments.
The Boise Hawks’ traditional Western Idaho fair road trip got underway last night. They hope the other 14 games in the marathon swing aren’t like this one. At the end of the third inning, the Hawks already trailed Salem-Keizer 11-0—the final would be 12-3. Boise couldn’t muster much out of its 12 hits, leaving 12 men on base. The Hawks are 10-10 in the Northwest League’s second half and lead the South Division by one game over Eugene and Hillsboro.
Boise State’s Sierra Nobley has become the first Bronco ever to be named preseason Mountain West Volleyball Player of the Year twice by a vote of conference coaches. Nobley led Boise State to the Mountain West championship and a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament last year. The Broncos have been picked to place a close second behind longtime power Colorado State in the preseason coaches poll.
This Day In Sports…August 17, 1995:
Bobby Dye, the most successful basketball coach in Boise State history, suddenly resigns three months before his 13th season was to begin. Dye and the BSU administration had been wrangling over the length of his contract, and the veteran coach elected to step down after three Big Sky championships and subsequent NCAA Tournament appearances. Dye had an overall record of 213-133 at Boise State, with four 20-win seasons. He was replaced that day by top assistant Rod Jensen.
(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.)