Around the Blue Turf 9/28/2011


Part 1 Coach Pete’s Pressor 9/26/2011

Lots of good stuff in there Coach talks about last years game with Nevada and how this years game will be different.

I think between the 2 parts you can get a good feeling to how he see’s this team at this point and some incite on the future QB race.

Coach Pete is just a class act all the way around makes it an enjoyable 26 mintues total viewing.


Boise State to appeal sanctions

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State announced Tuesday it will appeal the additional sanctions the NCAA committee on infraction imposed on its football program.

The school said it has informed the NCAA of its intentions to appeal specifically the football portion of the sanctions. The school is accepting the remaining punishment placed on the school’s tennis and track programs.

When the sanctions were announced earlier this month, Boise State president Bob Kustra said Boise State’s rapid growth over the past decade, from an upstart Division II program into a perennial Top 25 team, likely outstripped the school’s capacity to keep tabs on compliance with NCAA rules.

Kustra, who fired former athletic director Gene Bleymaier in August, said he’d hoped the self-imposed sanctions would have been enough to avoid probation.

Boise State’s self-imposed sanctions in its official response to the NCAA included reduced scholarships for one year and fewer preseason practices.

The NCAA added scholarship reductions from 85 to 82 through the 2014 school year and limited contact during spring practice citing the long period the violations occurred.

In football, Boise State was cited for football staff members arranging inadmissible summer housing and transportation for 63 prospective student-athletes from 2005 to 2009.

The school has made changes to its compliance office, now making it part of the president’s office instead of the athletic department. Boise State has also hired a search firm to help in finding a new athletic director to replace Bleymaier.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

I don’t you know about you all but I’ve about had it with the NCAA, from their hypocrisy, to its bluntly dragging of its feet in regards to the Dutch three, to it’s over zealousness towards Boise State.

I don’t mean to pick at scabs here but how does OSU just drop the last 2 suspended games of the 5 they were to be punished with? Does this not just show how little authority the NCAA actually has?

Where is the enforcement? Where is the condemnation? Where is the level playing field?

Seemed every week the NCAA had to clear Cam to play and they did, less than 3 days to clear OSU players to play in their bowl game, we are working on 6 weeks now with this and still no word?

Personally I believe we should tell the ncaa to go get bent what are they going to do? They have zero power, unless we give it to them.

Hinxman: What if Kyle Brotzman makes the kick?

The movie, “The Longest Yard,” was pure Hollywood, a fantasy — football fiction for all to enjoy.

The Widest Inch was very real — replete with oceans of human emotion, anguish for the Boise State football team and exultation for its foil, Nevada.

It’s been 10 months since the Wolf Pack shocked the third-ranked Broncos, 34-31, in overtime at Mackay Stadium, in what some national pundits called the game of the year. It was absolutely the greatest victory in Nevada history, and if Broncos spoke truthfully they’d probably say the Nov. 26 loss was the most demoralizing in school history.

It was certainly the most punitive, robbing Boise State of a shot at a BCS bowl game, perhaps even the national championship game, and all the dollars that come with it.

Nevada went on to a 13-1 record, a victory over Boston College in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and national rankings of 11/13. Boise State finished 12-1, which included a 26-3 victory over Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl, and final rankings of 7/9.

A 26-yard field goal attempt by Kyle Brotzman looked as though it could have been called good, which would have given the Broncos a 34-31 victory over the Wolf Pack as time expired. It was that close. But it was wide right, and after a second miss in overtime, Nevada’s Anthony Martinez drilled a 34-yarder to win it.

An inch, maybe 2 or 3. Here’s a look at the lives that were altered as it drifted astray.

Kyle Brotzman

Today, Brotzman kicks for the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League, living in relative anonymity. In his first season he hit one of two field goal attempts and 41 of 48 PATs (AFL goal posts are half the width of the 18-foot-9 college and NFL posts). He also rushed for a two-point try.

Brotzman would have gotten a chance in the NFL, but nobody was going to touch him after two short misses. If the NFL can’t trust a kicker, he won’t get a job. Although he took part in Boise State’s pro day, not a single team contacted him.

He is Boise State’s all-time leading scorer, a testament more to the offense than to his skills, but he also was at times very accurate (16-for-17 from inside 49 yards his freshman year) and strong-legged (3-for-4 from outside 50 yards during his Bronco career).

Three inches left and maybe it’s Brotzman, not rookie Dan Bailey, who goes 6-for-6 on field goals in the Dallas Cowboys’ 18-16 win over Washington on Monday night.

Anthony Martinez

Three inches left, and Mackay is all but empty by the time Martinez’s apparition strolls out for the winning kick — nobody there except the clean-up crew that like Wolf Pack fans is left to wonder “when will the Pack ever beat Boise again?”

His game-winner never happens, and he’s left to wonder what might have been had his 35-yard try early in the third quarter not been blocked.

Martinez, the 5-foot-6 McQueen High grad, is a sophomore this year.

But the following day, Martinez went back to his old stomping grounds to watch his younger brother play. People patted him on the back and told him how great he was. He’ll have that for the rest of his life.

A massive swing of fate, all because of three inches left.

Colin Kaepernick

The four-year starting quarterback is the greatest player in Wolf Pack history, even if Brotzman’s kick is true.

He leaves Nevada with amazing records and accomplishments. But he also leaves forever haunted by the big win that never was and the WAC championship that never came to be. And worse, he had no control over it.

His NFL fate would not have changed. The 49ers, who took him with the fourth pick of the second round, aren’t going to hang the Boise State loss on him. His orchestration of the game-tying touchdown drive — 14 plays, 79 yards, scoring with 13 seconds left — sealed their belief in him.

But the iconic image of him being carried off the field by fans disappears into the crisp November night. Instead, his arm is draped over Martinez’s shoulder as they walk off the turf together.

Gene Bleymaier

Bleymaier is out of work today, fired six weeks ago as Boise State’s athletic director after an NCAA investigation and a Boise State internal investigation uncovered 22 infractions within the football program, men’s and women’s tennis, and track and field. The athletic department was found to have an absence of institutional control

But what if … three inches left?

Bleymaier is the single greatest figure in Boise State’s rapid ascension from a I-AA perennial playoff program to a national I-A power in less than a decade. And if the kick is true it ultimately leads the Broncos to their second straight undefeated season and a shot at BCS riches, a payday of about $3 million.

There are those in Boise who feel Bleymaier was wrongfully singled out for the errors of others. Perhaps a straighter kick leads Boise State’s administration to choose other avenues to appease the NCAA.

Chris Ault

When the final chapter is written on Ault’s long, Hall of Fame career as Nevada’s head coach, it is this game that will stand out as his greatest single accomplishment.

Imagine, though, the agony of three inches left.

No big win, probably no Kraft Bowl and given how it would have ended, the hot seat Ault had been on for the previous year would not have completely cooled.

One play prior to the failed kick — the play after Kaepernick hit Rishard Matthews with the tying touchdown pass with 13 seconds left — Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore heaved with all his might a deep pass to Titus Young. There was only one thing Wolf Pack defenders couldn’t do: let Young get behind them.

But there was Young, diving to catch the 53-yard Hail Mary at Nevada’s 9-yard line. There were 2 seconds left.

It is just a footnote now. It forever will be just a footnote.

But just imagine, three inches left …

Historically, Broncos have had Nevada’s number early

It’s almost as if recent games between the Nevada and Boise State football teams are preordained to follow a certain path.

Boise State jumps out to big lead. Nevada crawls back into the game. The battle culminates with an emotional crescendo — be it a game-winning field goal by Anthony Martinez (2010); a failed Hail Mary heave by Colin Kaepernick (2008); or a game-sealing 2-point conversion stop by Boise State in the fourth overtime period (2007).

Fans of both teams could only be so lucky to have a repeat of some of the classics waged between these teams in recent years. The latest chapter will unfold Saturday when Nevada visits Boise State for an 11:39 a.m. kickoff.

If Nevada, a four-touchdown underdog, is to make this game as competitive as recent battles, the Wolf Pack knows it has to get out to a fast start — unlike previous games against the Broncos.

“In the past, they’ve jumped on us early, so we need to make a point to jump on them early and do the best we can with that because they’re a good team,” Nevada linebacker James-Michael Johnson said. “We can’t make stupid mistakes like we did in previous years, in the first quarter doing dumb stuff. We can’t do that.”

In the past four games between these teams, Boise State has out-scored Nevada 44-7 in the first quarter and 103-47 in the first half.

Last season, the Broncos took a 17-0 lead; in 2009, they got out to a 20-0 lead; in 2008, it was a 24-3 spurt to open the game; and in 2007, a 21-7 start.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen said he has no idea why the Broncos have had such great first-half success.

“I can’t answer that because I don’t know,” Petersen said. “Likewise, they’ve played better in the second half than we have. I don’t know the answer to that either. Those things are hard to explain why, and I really don’t know why it’s happened like that.”

Wolf Pack coach Chris Ault didn’t have much explanation for his team’s poor starts, either.

“Just poor first halves,” Ault said. “We just haven’t gotten it done early. They always have really good teams. We have to fight our way just to stay with them. You look at the games and you see mistake after mistake early on, and you just can’t make mistakes against Boise. You make big mistakes, critical mistakes, they’re going to capitalize.”

But unlike most teams, the Wolf Pack hasn’t crawled into a ball after Boise State bursts in front. Three of the teams’ past four games were decided by a touchdown or less, and two went to overtime.

Petersen said his team hasn’t let up when playing the Wolf Pack, but instead has been out-played after intermission. While the Broncos are usually able to stave off Nevada’s charge, they couldn’t last year and Nevada took a 34-31 overtime victory, its first over Boise State in a decade.

“They’re well-coached, they’re a good program, they play hard and they have a good system in all three phases of the game — offensive, defensive and special teams,” Petersen said. “They’re always close, hard-fought games and we know that’s what we’re going to get every time we play Nevada. A tough battle.”

Ault said given that his team is “re-tooling” and coming off a tough loss to Texas Tech, he doesn’t think Nevada can afford to drop into an early hole against Boise State on Saturday. But there’s no doubt the Wolf Pack believes it can beat the Broncos given how close the past few games have been.

“You’ve got to have the belief you can beat anybody,” Ault said. “But things have to go right for us. We don’t think we can just walk out there on the field. We have to play hard. You can’t make critical mistakes. Even last year, it was 24-7 at halftime and we weren’t playing bad in the first half. We really weren’t. They’re just an outstanding football team. There’s no question about it. Our circumstances right now, it’s going to be a tremendous challenge.”


Vengance is mine says the Lord of Host!

Big 12 expansion options (Boise State, BYU), Missouri to the SEC (?) and more on realignment




Before we get started, the standard Hotline realignment caveat: Nothing is done until it’s done … and sometimes not even then.

To the latest:

*** The Big 12, which currently has nine teams but may be down to eight very soon — if Missouri leaves for the SEC — is considering expanding to 12, according to sources.

Boise State, Brigham Young, West Virginia and Louisville are under consideration.

(That would be a pretty good league, by the way. Six of the 12 teams are currently ranked: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, West Virginia and Boise State.)

*** What about Texas Christian?

Texas purportedly doesn’t want the Frogs — and never has — and the other schools are worried about the league being too Texas-centric.

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, however — TCU makes a ton of sense on several levels and the league may not have many options.

*** As far as BYU is concerned, remember:

No school in the country is tougher to read — many people think they know what the Cougars are thinking and very few actually do.

I’ve been told the Cougars are happy with their Olympic sports in the West Coast Conference.

Whether they would consider a football-only membership in the Big 12 … and whether the Big 12 would consider such an arrangement … I don’t know.

*** The Big 12 is also considering 10-team scenarios — adding one school if Mizzou stays and two if Mizzou leaves.

But league officials believe that to be considered a peer of the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12, the conference needs 12 teams, two divisions and a title game.

(They’re dead-on in that respect.)

*** Why would Missouri want to join the SEC?

Because of the long-term stability and because when the SEC signs a new TV deal — which cannot happen without expansion — then each school will likely receive $25 million-plus per year for TV rights.

*** Why would the SEC want Missouri?

Because it’s an Association of American Universities member and because there are 2 million TV homes in the state.

Mizzou would be the SEC’s fourth AAU school, in addition to Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Florida.

(And don’t forget: UF president Bernie Machen chairs the SEC’s executive board.)

*** If SEC commish Mike Slive is considering a dedicated network comparable to what the Pac-12 has created, then Missouri and Texas A&M are smart additions: The schools add 11 million TV homes to the league’s footprint.

At $1 per in-market subscriber per month … and this is all back-of-the-napkin conjecture … that would be more than $100 million per year — just from Mizzou and A&M.

*** My favorite realignment comment? That the Big 12 is considering Utah.

The statement comes courtesy of Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, and I have to say, with all due respect to the Big 12:

If anyone has spent a nanosecond wondering if the conference could lure the Utes out of the Pac-12, that person(s) should get Beebe-ed. Immediately.

(No wonder that league is in trouble.)

*** The Big East is in hot pursuit of both Air Force and Navy, according to Hotline sources, and both schools would be solid additions.

But I wonder if, from a political standpoint, Navy and Air Force would be allowed to move into the Big East without Army … and would the BE consider the Black Knights?

I’m sure we’ll get answers to all those issues, and more, in a few days. Or not.

*** Now that Dan Beebe has been ousted at the Big 12, the commissioner on the hottest seat is the Big East’s John Marinatto.

Granted, passing on the ESPN deal appears to have been a monumental mistake, and Marinatto doesn’t exactly ooze Scott/Slive/Delany-esque leadership.

But I’m not sure the savaging is entirely fair given the DNA of his conference. It’s a basketball league, but all the money’s in football.

The Big East doesn’t work in a totally different but exactly the same way the Big 12 doesn’t work: When there isn’t a share mission and culture of equality (in Larry Scott’s words), fractures are sure to follow.

*** I am often asked when the expansion chaos will subside, and here’s the answer: Not for 3-4 years.

Even if the current unrest in the Big 12 and Big East subsides in the next month or two, we’ll likely go through another realignment wave when the Big Ten’s TV contract expires in a few years.

Sources believe the Big Ten will add members in order to sign more lucrative 1st- and 2nd-tier deals with the networks.

The extent to which the landscape changes nationally will depend on whether the Big Ten adds Notre Dame, raids the ACC and/or goes to 16 — as opposed to 14.

*** Meanwhile, the Western Athletic Conference watches the expansion chaos unfold.

As has been the case for many months, and reported on the Hotline, the WAC’s next move is largely predicated on Conference USA.

If the chain of events causes C-USA to close the door on North Texas, then UNT may turn its gaze to the WAC as the eighth football member.

But as long as C-USA is an option, no matter how remote, UNT will cold-shoulder the WAC.

*** The WAC’s future membership also depends, to some extent, on the Mountain West.

If Air Force were to bolt for the Big East … or if Boise State headed to the Big 12 … then the MWC could replace either or both with a current WAC member.

*** Finally, here’s a good read from SportsBusiness Journal about the rise of super conferences.

* Follow me @WilnerHotline on Twitter.