Tag:WAC
Posted on: November 27, 2010 3:12 am
 

On Boise State's controversial missed field goal

Posted by Adam Jacobi

So, Boise State lost at Nevada tonight, after leading 24-7 in the third quarter and 31-24 with under 5:00 to play. Did you watch? Please tell us you watched. While Nevada's comeback against the vaunted Boise defense was certainly startling, and the Kellen Moore bomb to Titus Young with 0:01 left to set up a game-winning field goal was one of the greatest plays of the year, all anybody will be talking about tomorrow will be the 26-yard field goal that Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman missed(?) in regulation that sent the game into overtime.

Here's the video of the kick, which from the end zone angle looked so good that ESPN momentarily gave the points to Boise State on the bottom ticker:

Now, immediately after the kick, many viewers thought the kick was good, and wondered why there weren't any referees under the goalposts -- it's hard to see any signals coming from the usual spot, right? Blame the camera angle and fans, though; as the picture to the right shows, the referees were there, just completely obscured from the televised angle until well after the kick (which, annoying as it may be to viewers, doesn't prove that the referees weren't in correct position at all).

As to whether the kick was good or not, that's plainly impossible to tell from the end zone angle there -- the ball "crosses" (relative to the camera's angle) the upright when its path is above it, so anybody who declares an answer one way or the other based on that footage is just a self-sure speculator, and lord knows the world doesn't need more of those. For what it's worth, I thought it was good when I first saw the kick. I also know there's a reason referees don't use that camera angle.

More to the point, though, it's a wonder in this day and age that it takes the judgment of two referees to determine whether a field goal travels through the uprights or not. I've been (pardon the term) kicking this idea around for a while now, but what's to stop college and pro football from developing a more foolproof solution to this? After all, Arena Football doesn't need two referees under its uprights, because the equipment itself is sufficient: outside the two uprights are two tight nets designed to bounce the ball back into play, while inside the uprights is a looser net designed to catch a successful kick. There is never, ever any controversy as to whether a kick is good or not with this setup.

Obviously, Arena Football's outside nets are completely useless in college football, but designing a new goalpost with its loose netting attached to the uprights all the way down to the crossbar seems like an obvious choice -- as would be raising the posts to a regulation standard of 37 feet, to minimize judgment calls like what Boise State and Nevada just went through. Considering the vast sums spent on college football programs this season (and, ahem, the ludicrous amount the NCAA and its conferences receive from television contracts), it seems unfathomable that all I-A teams could not easily afford a new set of goalposts designed to take judgment out of the "is the kick good" equation once and for all.

Posted on: November 24, 2010 5:37 pm
 

Boise president, TCU AD blast Gee in response

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Quite honestly, after Gordon Gee 's comments this morning , you knew it was coming. TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte , speaking on radio about his remarks:



Mmmm, that's some tasty sarcasm. (Conte also added a "they must be jealous " comment for good measure.) But compared to what Boise State president Bob Kustra had to say, Conte was positively genial. Kustra (emphasis added):
"The BCS has finally found someone to stand up and defend the indefensible … Everyone in intercollegiate football knows that athletic directors of those large power conferences are scheduling more and more teams who are I-AA, who are teams at the weaker end of the non-AQ conferences, and for Gee to stand up and talk about murderer’s row every week is just the height of folly. It’s ridiculous ...

"I just hope that when he speaks about his research profile or the quality of his university he’s a little more believable than he is about athletics, because he’s just so wrong on this one … Presidents who stand up and talk about values and trust and fairness and access and equity speak with forked tongue when it comes to athletics — and it makes no sense to me how they can be so absolutely wrong and know it and yet stand up as the pillars of moral rectitude.”
Come on, Dr. Kustra: tell us how you really feel. Unfortunately for Gee, with the majority of college football fans (though not a sizeable one) favoring some sort of playoff and the bow-tied Ohio State president's remarks bearing the unmistakable stench of gridiron elitism, even if few fans outside of Boise and Fort Worth share Kustra's intensity regarding the matter, those feelings seem likely to carry this day in college football's court of public opinion.

Posted on: November 23, 2010 11:26 am
 

North Texas turns down desperate WAC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

These are dark times indeed for the WAC and commissioner Karl Benson , who have seen every step forward they've tried to take in the conference expansion wars followed by a giant step back. They thought they had forged a deal with BYU ; the Mountain West responded by poaching Nevada and Fresno State to push BYU into independence. They invited UT-San Antonio and Texas State to maintain their basic viability as a football league; then Hawaii responds to the two extra trips into the Central Time Zone by taking their ball and -- probably -- joining the MWC , too. 

That maneuver has left the WAC with just seven football schools again, one short of the mandated FBS minimum. The league's profile has sunk to the point where not only is the league looking to poach schools from the Sun Belt , the FBS's weakest, most tradition-deficient conference ... those schools are barely giving the WAC the time of day :
North Texas athletic director Rick Villarreal told WAC commissioner Karl Benson that the school has no interest in joining the league late Monday night, just hours after Benson called to gauge the school’s interest in leaving the Sun Belt Conference.

“I told [Benson] that while we appreciate the interest, the University of North Texas is going to be a member of the Sun Belt Conference and will work to continue building the league,” Villarreal said. “We appreciate the opportunity and wish them luck as they move forward.”
Keep in mind that that it's hardly like UNT is a pillar in the current Sun Belt; the coach-less Mean Green have been one of Division I's sickliest programs since a run of SBC titles in the early aughts. As the Sun Belt's only Texas team, they should theoretically also leap at the chance to forge natural rivalries with UTSA and Texas State, and there's little question that with strong programs like Utah State and New Mexico State around, the WAC would represent a substantial step up in quality for UNT's improving men's hoops team.

And still North Texas barely even considered the WAC's offer before publicly shooting them down. When the Sun Belt isn't just seen as the better option but the definitively better option, for a team that makes some geographical sense for the WAC, Benson has some major, major troubles. If they can't convince slow-moving Montana to make the leap to the FBS sooner than anticipated, the WAC may truly, finally be finished as a conference.

HT: GTP .

Posted on: November 18, 2010 4:16 pm
 

Idaho safety suspended in concussion crackdown

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College football's efforts to crack down on illegal head shots continued Wednesday, as the WAC suspended Idaho safety Shiloh Keo for the first half of the Vandals' next game for this blow to the helmet of Boise State backup quarterback Mike Coughlin :




Frankly, Keo is lucky he's only missing a half; he was initially suspended for the entire game but had it reduced on appeal. (Not that anyone at Boise can complain; Bronco cornerback Winston Venable also had a WAC-induced suspension reduced earlier this year.)

That Keo is suspended at all, though, further emphasizes the new, uh, emphasis in the sport this year on preventing head injuries. But is it coming at the expense of other kinds of equally nasty hits? The SEC raised eyebrows this week when it declined to punish Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley for a late blow to the back of Georgia 's Aaron Murray , and passed as well on issuing punishment to the two Bulldog linemen whose attempted retaliation on Fairley sparked a near-brawl. Notre Dame 's Kerry Neal went unpunished for this stomp on the torso of a Navy player.

The crackdown on blows to the head and concussions is, without question, an admirable one. But those are not the only dangerous -- and avoidable -- hits on the football field.

Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:22 pm
 

Game day weather updates, Week 11

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. It's definitely fall these days, and the wind will be whipping across the heartland. All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

No. 13 Iowa at Northwestern , 12:00, Evanston, IL: Mid 50s, scattered showers

Indiana at No. 6 Wisconsin , 12:00, Madison, WI: Low 50s, scattered showers

Kansas State at No. 20 Missouri , 12:30, Columbia, MO: Mid 40s, cloudy, windy

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 15 Utah at Notre Dame, 2:30 , South Bend, IN: Low 60s, scattered thunderstorms

No. 16 Virginia Tech at North Carolina , 3:30, Chapel Hill, NC: Mid 60s, clear

Penn State at No. 8 Ohio State , 3:30, Columbus, OH: Upper 60s, partly cloudy

Georgia at No. 2 Auburn , 3:30, Auburn, AL: Low 70s, clear

Texas Tech at No. 19 Oklahoma , 3:30, Norman, OK: Mid 50s, partly cloudy, windy

San Diego State at No. 3 TCU , 4:00, Ft. Worth, TX: Mid 50s, partly cloudy, windy

Evening kickoffs

No. 23 Texas A&M at Baylor , 7:00, Waco, TX: Upper 40s, clear, breezy

No. 22 South Carolina at No. 24 Florida , 7:15, Gainesville, FL: Upper 50s, clear

No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Alabama , 7:15, Tuscaloosa, AL: Upper 50s, scattered showers

USC at No. 18 Arizona , 8:00, Tucson, AZ: Upper 60s, clear

Late night kickoffs

No. 21 Nevada at Fresno State , 10:15, Fresno, CA: Mid 50s, clear, breezy

Posted on: November 10, 2010 3:49 pm
 

Boise eyeing stadium expansion as way forward

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Boise State writers and fans want to know : why exactly is the TCU team that's virtually identical to the TCU team that lost to a Boise team that virtually identical to this year's Boise team in last year's Fiesta Bowl so widely considered to be better of the two teams? If the Broncos were better then, why are the Frogs better now?

It's a valid question. One answer, the simplest one, is that TCU owns both the better strength-of-schedule to date and the bigger win; as dominant as Boise has been and as valuable as a win over likely ACC champions Virginia Tech should prove to be, no win in the country is as impressive as TCU's dismantling of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Then again, part of the answer might also be that like it or not, in the minds of many poll voters Boise comes across as the mor e "mid-major" of the two mid-major programs. The Broncos are tucked away in one of the most remote parts of the continental U.S., while TCU is located in the middle of Texas in one of the nation's largest metro areas; the Broncos wear loud bright blue and orange uniforms and play on the notorious (and notoriously unique) blue turf while TCU stays with a muted purple-and-black color scheme; the Broncos play in a league where the biggest challengers are outsiders like Nevada , Hawaii , and Fresno State , whereas the Frogs get a former national champion in BYU and a team in Utah that has two BCS bowl wins this decade; Boise occasionally plays Tuesday night games against the likes of Louisiana Tech ; etc.

It's not fair --- it's not even close to fair -- but to say for certain those kinds of stereotypes don't have any effect on the perception of the two programs is to give poll voters the benefit of an awful lot of doubt. So it's no wonder that Boise is aggressively working to change that, first with their jump to the Mountain West and now with expansion and renovation plans for 33,500-seat Bronco Stadium :

 

Longtime Boise State donors Larry and Marianne Williams and Jerry and Muriel Caven have pledged a total of $5 million toward Bronco Stadium expansion — money that is earmarked to build the new football complex on the north end.

The football complex, 5,000 seats and the completion of Dona Larsen Park — where the track will be relocated — represent Phase I of the stadium master plan.

"We are at a significant disadvantage in supporting a nationally ranked team with half the number of seats to raise the revenue to pay for the program and thereby forcing us to raise ticket prices too often," Boise State president Bob Kustra said in a press release.

It's no secret that money is what makes the world of big-time college football go round as often as not; when Kustra cites the need to "pay for the program," he's not just talking about shoulder pads and cleats, he's discussing the need to pay for coach Chris Petersen , a larger recruiting budget, staff raises -- all the things that go into making a football program every bit as successful away from the field as the Broncos already are on it.

It will take more than a "stadium master plan" to erase all the skepticism regarding Boise (or even to hold on to Petersen if one of the sport's true heavyweights comes calling). But Broncos have to happy to have the school and its donors making the effort all the same.

 


Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:50 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 12:57 pm
 

Idaho RB not a fan of Boise's president

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While it's not exactly the type of rivalry that is constantly mentioned amongst the great rivalries of college football, in the state of Idaho, people take the annual meeting between Boise State and Idaho rather seriously.  Though, to be fair, it's not as much of a rivalry these days as it is Boise State pounding Idaho into submission every year while maintaining its role as BCS-busting darling of the masses.  More than anything, it seems that Idaho has a bit of the little brother syndrome.

When Boise State gets its own airplane, Idaho wants its own airplane.   Things like that.  Still, Idaho doesn't take too kindly to Boise State talking down to it, like Boise president Bob Kustra said earlier this year that Idaho's fan base was "nasty, inebriated."  Idaho running back Deonte Jackson remembers those words, though he also likes to consider the source.

“Personally, I tried not to read too much into it,” Jackson told the Idaho Statesman. “But I wouldn’t expect anything different coming from the blue and orange snot. I just took it and use it as fuel in the fire and feed my hunger to want to get after these guys to finish my career off with a win against them and bring pride back to this community, the University of Idaho and Moscow.”

Wait, they dye their boogers at Boise State too?  Come on, let's show some dignity and self-restraint here, Broncos.

Jackson didn't just rip on Boise's president, though, after he got his shot in he went on to lavish the actual football team with praise.  After all, knocking off the Broncos will be hard enough, giving Boise's players any extra motivation probably wouldn't serve Jackson or the Vandals all that well.

Though, if you're waiting for Boise players to respond to Jackson's comments about their president, don't hold your breath.  Chris Petersen has his players off-limits to the media this week hence they say something inflammatory about Idaho.

Posted on: November 8, 2010 6:34 pm
Edited on: November 8, 2010 7:57 pm
 

Don't panic, Broncos: 5 anti-doomsday scenarios

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Over the past several days, more than one college football analyst has discussed a scenario which should make everyone involved with the BCS hang their head: the possibility of an undefeated Boise State not only not making the BCS national title game, but being shut out of the BCS entirely and heading off to play (or "obliterate," delete as applicable) Cal in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. As CBSSports.com's own Dennis Dodd has explained, with TCU poised to take the single automatic bid allotted to non-AQ teams, the Sugar Bowl suffering from "SEC power vs. small-conference upstart" fatigue, and the Orange Bowl potentially unwilling to put together a rematch between likely ACC champion Virginia Tech and the Broncos, every BCS at-large bid could easily wind up doled to teams other than Boise. It's true.

But that doesn't mean it's destined to happen, or even likely. For instance, CBS's Jerry Palm says it's not even a given that the Horned Frogs will wind up ahead of Boise in the BCS standings when all is said and done. But even assuming TCU gets the nod at No. 3, here's five somewhat reasonable scenarios (i.e. not "New Mexico beats the Frogs in the upset of the millennium"), ranked from most to least likely, which would result in the Broncos getting their second BCS berth in as many years:

1. The Sugar or the Orange extend an invite. There's reason to think the Sugar and the Orange won't want to take a flyer on the Broncos, but there's plenty of reasons to think they will, too. Boise has become such a polarizing fixture on the college football scene that they're capable of bringing a great deal of attention and excellent TV ratings with them. The Broncos haven't faced an SEC team since Georgia in 2005, and it's fair to assume plenty of fans would tune in to see the nation's most respected conference and most recognizable Cinderella go toe-to-toe. (If the Sugar gets to invite local favorite LSU as the Broncos' opponent, attendance won't be an issue.) The Orange might be nonplussed at the Hokie-Bronco rematch, but selecting last, they also might not have many palatable options; assuming Nebraska wins in the Big 12 and the Sugar takes a leftover Big Ten team (preventing the Orange from taking a third Big Ten team), the only serious candidates will be either a team like Oklahoma State or Missouri or that won't bring much more than Boise in terms of profile, TV attention, fan attendance, etc., or an Oklahoma team that won't come close to matching Boise's record of achievement this year.

2. The old switcheroo? After consultation with the rest of the CBS College Football Blog team, we're still not entirely sure what this provision in the BCS selection process bylaws means exactly (emphasis added):

5. After completion of the selection process as described in Paragraph Nos. 1-4, the conferences and Notre Dame may, but are not required to, adjust the pairings taking into consideration the following:

  A. whether the same team will be playing in the same bowl game for two consecutive years;
  B. whether two teams that played against one another in the regular season will be paired against one another in a bowl game;
  C. whether the same two teams will play against each other in a bowl game for two consecutive years; and
  D. whether alternative pairings may have greater or lesser appeal to college football fans as measured by expected ticket sales for the bowls and by expected television interest, and the consequent financial impact on ESPN and the bowls.

The pairings may not be altered by removing the Big Ten Champion or Pac-10 champion from the Rose Bowl.

But especially regarding that final caveat as it pertains to the Rose, it sounds like the BCS could play musical chairs with some of its bowl assignments if it means squeezing out from underneath a Virginia Tech-Boise State rematch. If the Sugar decides it doesn't want Boise but could deal with the Hokies, and the Orange wants Boise but doesn't want the rematch, could the bowls swap into, say, an LSU vs. Virginia Tech matchup in the Sugar and a Boise-Ohio State blockbuster in the Orange? Don't hold us to this, but reading the above, it might be a possibility.

3. A Virginia Tech loss in the ACC championship game. It's hard to see the Hokies not making it to Charlotte, but if someone other than Tech wins the conference title (the Orange would no doubt like Florida State, please-and-thank-you), inviting Boise would seem to be a no-brainer.

4. Wisconsin doesn't go to Pasadena. One of the Broncos' biggest rivals for at-large attention is Ohio State, who brings with them a huge fanbase, potentially an 11-1 record, a ton of media attention, etc. If Wisconsin falls out of the scrum at the top of the Big Ten (either by, say, a loss at Michigan or a tiebreak loss to Michigan State), that would open the door for either the Buckeyes or Spartans to go back to Pasadena ... and possibly for the Sugar to take Boise over a Badger team that doesn't pull nearly as much weight as the Buckeyes (though our resident bowl projections expert disagrees, I should note).

5. SEC chaos. It's not likely at all, but it's possible enough carnage goes on in the SEC (Auburn losing to Georgia and Alabama, LSU losing to Arkansas, the SEC East winner springing an upset in the championship game, even Cam Newton becoming suspended would help) that the conference doesn't produce a worthy BCS at-large team. That could open up a hole for Boise somewhere.

Put all of these possibilities together, and you can't guarantee that Boise will make one of the BCS games ... but it seems likely enough that something will happen in their favor that they don't have to lose sleep worrying about Cal. Not yet, anyway.
 
 
 
 
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