Tag:Boise State
Posted on: November 30, 2010 1:02 pm
 

WAC: Brotzman kick missed

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Before last weekend, only Boise State fans and a few college football diehards would have known the name Kyle Brotzman . But after the dependable senior shockingly missed a pair of short field goals that helped doom his Broncos to a 34-31 loss and knocked them out of the national title debate, Brotzman found himself the subject of highlight reels and water-cooler discussion coast-to-coast.

Unfortunately, this being the 21st-century and all, Brotzman also quickly found himself dealing with online threats and taunts from disgruntled "fans." Would it have made Brotzman (or his antagonists) feel any better to know that he had actually made his critical kick at regulation's end, which sailed tantalizingly close to the unusually-short uprights at Nevada 's Mackay Stadium and had many Bronco supporters claiming the refs had botched the call? Maybe. But according to the WAC offices, Brotzman won't have that solace, either :
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Brotzman’s miss at the end of regulation was reviewed Sunday by Jim Blackwood, the WAC’s supervisor of officials.

Brotzman’s kick sailed wide right, although it was above the upright, which made for a tricky call.

“The conclusion we’ve reached and the statement I’m making right now is the correct call was made and the kick was not good,” Benson said.

Benson said the play was not reviewable during the game because the ball went above the uprights. Kicks that go below the uprights are reviewable.
Whether you love or hate the Broncos, there's little question that it's a shame (and more than a little unfair) that a sterling and uplifting career, one that began as a walk-on, has to end with Brotzman becoming the Buckner-esque face of Boise's failure to get over the national-title hump.

But here's something that really might make him feel a little better: this Facebook page , titled "The Bronco Nation Loves Kyle Brotzman," which now has some 26-27,000 messages of support for the embattled kicker. It's a nice reminder that while some fans are always going to take their football a little too seriously, they're also always going to be in the vast, vast minority.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 6:06 pm
 

Mountain West issues statement after losing TCU

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Following today's announcement by the Big East that the TCU Horned Frogs would be joining the Big East in 2012-13 in all sports, the nation turned its eyes back to the Mountain West Conference for some sort of reaction. After all, in TCU's six-year stay in the MWC, the Horned Frogs were one of the most successful members of the league, and could have been the catalyst for an automatic bid to be awarded out west (which still might happen, so that's worth mentioning).

Ah, but TCU went east, and now the MWC has to react. Here's the statement released earlier today by conference commissioner Craig Thompson:

"Today's intercollegiate athletics environment is very fluid," Thompson said. "Our Board of Directors and Directors of Athletics, as they have throughout the history of the MWC and with even more focus recently, will continue to analyze the landscape and chart our course in the context of ongoing changes. That includes conversations already underway with potential future members, as well as related discussions with our television and bowl partners.

"We appreciate the many contributions TCU has made to the growth and development of the Mountain West over the past six years. We look forward to shaping the future of the Conference in the coming months."

That's certainly a better response than Thompson's first draft, which was fifteen paragraphs of panicked expletives over and over. Probably. Maybe.

At any rate, losing TCU as a conference member is still a gutshot for the conference, as it sees its top football programs flee just as the WAC's top schools transition in. After all, even though TCU's scintillating 2010 campaign will still be "officially" considered in the MWC's bid to receive an automatic qualifier bid, is there any doubt that the BCS will find the conference lacking? There's no incentive for the BCS to actually bring the Mountain West into the fold -- just to maintain the appearance of due diligence. Shame, too, because it'd be nice to see that conference in a situation where it's not depending on one team to be perfect just to get the same shot at money as every other power conference gets. That arrangement didn't work for BYU , Utah , or TCU (all of whom have fled for more lucrative and forgiving situations), and Boise State shouldn't have to accept it either.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 4:53 pm
 

Thanks TCU: Mountain West BCS bid may not be dead

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The idea of an athletics program from deep in the football-obsessed heart of Texas playing in a basketball-driven conference centered in the Northeast megalopolis seems weird enough. But what might be even weirder about TCU 's move to the Big East is that their current undefeated season will help both their new league hold onto their BCS automatic bid ... and their former conference home in the Mountain West in their effort to do the same. The New York Times ' Pete Thamel explains :
The Big East is locked into the B.C.S. through the 2013 season, as it is included in the television and bowl contracts. The automatic qualification criteria for the B.C.S. after 2014 have not been determined. If the Big East were subject to a review of its part performance, T.C.U.’s 2010 season would count for the Big East in that review.

Here is where things get bizarre. T.C.U.’s 2010 regular season will also go toward the Mountain West’s bid toward gaining automatic qualification status for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, which will be evaluated in December 2011 ...

The cycles overlap because the conferences created a new evaluation period to coincide with the television contract. To do that, they overlap for two years, according to the B.C.S. executive director, Bill Hancock.
With the Horned Frogs safely in the fold, barring a total collapse on their part and a total failure on the part of the rest of the league to improve on their dreadful 2010 (remember that Cincinnati went undefeated as recently as last season) it seems unlikely the Big East will be in any real danger of losing their automatic bid.

The bigger question is what happens with the Mountain West, who has been derided in many corners today as a glorified WAC 2.0 after gaining Boise State , Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii but losing bellwethers Utah , TCU, and BYU . Thanks to the overlap in evaluation periods, however, the league appears to have a fighting chance at getting their long-awaited auto-bid after all. The combination of TCU's (as well as Utah's) excellent 2010 seasons combined with Boise's three-year 36-2 run back to 2008 (which Thamel explains will also count in the MWC's calculations) should give them a solid foundation. The new-look MWC middle class of rapidly-improving San Diego State , Air Force , and the three other WAC refugees will, at the least, be a substantial upgrade on the middle class of the old WAC and maybe even the current MWC if the Aztecs, Wolf Pack, and Warriors can build on their current success.

Will that be enough? It's probably still too early to say. But it's also too early to say, as many have in the wake of TCU's decision, that the MWC's dream of ascending to the ranks of the automatic qualifying conferences is dead just yet.

Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:52 am
 

Take Houston Nutt rumors with a beach of salt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Wherever there are head coaching openings in college football and wild unsubstantiated rumors about who will fill them, there will always be one name whose presence in those rumors and frequency of being "connected" to those jobs rises above all others: Houston Nutt .

Ever since his move from Boise State to Arkansas in 1998, Nutt has been linked with every conceviable opening, from a laundry list of SEC gigs to the Dallas Cowboys head coach to President Obama's "health care czar." (Only made up that last one, by the way; rumor had it before the Wade Phillips hire that since Jerry Jones is an Arkansas alum and enjoyed Nutt's time in charge of the Razorbacks, he would turn his franchise over to a guy with no NFL experience whatsoever that most of the pro football media have never even heard of.)

The reason for this is simple, and bears the name Jimmy Sexton . The most influential agent in the SEC, bar-none, one of Sexton's favorite longtime ploys for leverage has been to float rumors in the press that his clients could leave for other destinations, then using the apparent "interest" to help wrangle his client a new contract extension. This is exactly what Sexton ought to be doing, since it's a strategy that works and works well; when Auburn was in the market for a new coach after Tommy Tuberville 's departure in 2008 (a Sexton client who himself had reportedly been interetsed in jobs at Texas A&M, Arkansas, Miami, etc. over they ears), reports flew fast and furious that Nutt was the Tigers' top choice, and within a handful of days the Rebels had given Nutt an extension and a raise despite the fact that there's little evidence Auburn ever considered Nutt at all.

So when you read the now widespread "report" that Nutt has already accepted the Colorado job , remember that no one is better at conjuring "Nutt to new position X" stories out of thin air than Sexton.  (Especially when no one with a shred of credibility is lending the rumor any legs , Nutt himself included.) Admittedly, quotes like this one ...
Nutt added the intrigue when he was asked after the game what sort of items he wants to address after the season. “There’s a few things,” he said. “I’m going to get into that Sunday. I just — I want to talk to my team first before they read it. I want them to hear it first.”
... don't exactly help the "nothing to see here" argument, but it seems substantially more likely that Nutt's referring to staffing changes (maybe the dismissal of under-fire defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix ?) than any kind of change in his own job status.

Besides, a quote like that ensures Nutt can stay in the headlines for another couple of news cycles. No doubt Sexton is smiling somewhere over that.

HT: TSK .

Posted on: November 28, 2010 12:46 am
 

What I learned from the Big 12 (Nov.27)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. They call it Bedlam for a reason.  Seriously, Saturday night's game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State lived up to the hype, particularly in the fourth quarter and the closing minutes.  Over the final 15 minutes the two teams combined for 40 points, 31 of which came in the final five minutes.  When the dust cleared Oklahoma emerged victorious, and there was a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South.  Though odds are that when the BCS rankings come out on Sunday, Oklahoma will be ranked the highest and therefore be on its way to Dallas for the Big 12 title game.

2. Which is where they'll find Nebraska.  Nebraska took any possible drama out of the race for the Big 12 North and disposed of it on Friday afternoon, smacking Colorado around to the tune of a 45-17 victory.  Of course, the Big 12 wasn't on hand to reward the Cornhuskers for their division championship because the conference was afraid. Seriously, I don't know if you heard, but Nebraska and the Big 12 aren't exactly BFF.

3. Missouri still has BCS hopes.  It's a long shot, sure, but the Tigers still have a chance to sneak in to a BCS game now that Boise State has lost, and depending on what happens next week.  It wouldn't be a bad consolation prize for Gary Pinkel's team.  By the way, did you know that Missouri has four 10-win seasons in school history and three of them have come with Pinkel in charge?  He's a keeper.

4. Somebody is getting fired in Texas. You know, something told me that if Texas could manage to get a win against Texas A&M on Thursday night and become bowl eligible, even though the season would be seen as a failure overall, the good will of beating the Aggies might save some jobs.  I doubt that's going to be the case anymore.  Sorry, Greg Davis.  I'm not sure you deserve it, but somebody has to be the scapegoat, and I don't think Mack Brown is falling on his sword.
Posted on: November 27, 2010 5:41 pm
Edited on: November 27, 2010 5:46 pm
 

Big plays leading Arkansas against LSU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Things have gone a little crazy in Little Rock between LSU and Arkansas this afternoon.  First there was this touchdown pass from Ryan Mallett to Cobi Hamilton.





















That wasn't the last of it, however.  With the score tied at 14-14 with six seconds left in the half, Arkansas had the ball at its own 20-yard line.  Well, Mallett and Hamilton decided that they liked throwing for 80-yard touchdowns so much, they might as well do it again.  Which they did on the final play of the half, as Mallett hit Hamilton over the middle of the field, and some nice downfield blocks led to a 21-14 Arkansas lead 80 yards later.

It's been pretty crazy, thus far, which you would expect in any game involving Les Miles and two rivals.

Stevan Ridley is responsible for LSU's two touchdowns, and has 79 yards rushing to lead the Tigers.

This is a pretty important game for both teams, even if neither has any conference title aspirations.  Should LSU win, with Boise State's loss, there's a possibility that the Tigers would move into the top 4 of the BCS rankings, which would guarantee them an at-large berth in a BCS game.  Should Arkansas win, they still have a chance to get to the Sugar Bowl if Auburn can beat South Carolina and move on to the national championship.
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 26, 2010 8:55 pm
 

Oregon trails Arizona at halftime

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Earlier on Friday we saw Auburn have to overcome a 24-point deficit on the road against Alabama.  Now it seems there's another undefeated team with a comeback to mount in the second half tonight.

Though Oregon doesn't face quite the uphill battle Auburn did.  The Ducks trail Arizona 19-14 at haltime in Autzen Stadium in a game that has seen its share of big plays, turnovers, questionable calls and even a safety.  One of those questionable calls also led to an injury for Oregon's Heisman candidate LaMichael James.

James took a blow to the head and coughed up the football on a draw play in the second quarter.  Arizona's Adam Hall lowered his shoulder into James' head and delivered a jarring blow, in which the helmets of both players collided.  Well, the refs just saw two helmets hit each other and called a personal foul on Hall, even though it was his shoulder that made the initial contact.

Oregon would get a first down, but fumble the ball a few plays later, negating the bad call.  Still, more importantly, James had to leave the game and though the Ducks never got the ball back in the half, he was last seen standing on the sideline without his helmet.  His status for the rest of the game is unknown at this point.

Still, a five-point deficit isn't exactly anything that is going to intimidate the Ducks.  Second half explosions have become a habit for Chip Kelly's team this season, and I wouldn't be shocked to see another one tonight.  For now, though, you know there are more than a few people at Boise State and TCU hoping that Arizona can pull this off.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com