The importance of the loss to Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl is coming into focus. The peegate debacle led to a complete melt-down in morale and took the focus from the game. It could not have been orchestrated better.
The loss to Oregon State was huge. It may have cost a few of recruits, especially the ones that went to where nearly the entire Boise State coaching staff went – University of Washington.
The BSU coaches had no incentive to win at the Hawaii Bowl. Does that mean they rigged it to lose? Absolutely not! But the incentive was clearly not there.
Coaches are fierce competitors by nature, but they were a lame-duck coaching staff. They knew their future was not with Boise. They knew that a Boise win might make it a little more difficult to flip a recruit their way when they took up residency in Seattle.
Going to the Hawaii Bowl is like getting $2 tickets for a Broncos Basketball game; (not the basketball team’s fault, the fans) you’re there to just fill the seats. There was nothing to be gained in the final rankings; only the prestige that goes along with winning a bowl game and possibly attracting better recruits as a result of a victory.
If the head coach stays (which he didn’t, he had recruiting for UW to do) he would have at least tried to pad his resume with another win. Since the rest of the coaching staff was heading to UW what do they have to prove. Likely all of them knew they had jobs waiting for them at UW… except for one.
And coincidently the only bright spot was the coach who didn’t go to UW, Robert Prince. Grant Hedrick and the Boise State offense out-passed the heralded Beaver passing attack 382 yards to 259 and beat them in total offense. Prince didn’t fumble two balls ran back for TDs and checking the highlights he didn’t miss one tackle.
All agree that the last two years with the exception of a few bright spots BSU’s performance has been less than stellar. It starts at the top. At times, especially this past season, Petersen looked disengaged on the sidelines. Something like that is like the pebble in the pond; the ripples spread outward.
Petersen probably saw himself becoming anemic. He may have felt he needed a jolt; a new challenge to stimulate his ego and competitive spirit.
The BSU program needs a jolt, a wake-up call. Nothing magic happens when a recruit comes to Boise. The blue turf does not suddenly infuse a player with super powers. It is hard work and heart, maybe just maybe Petersen and his staff forgot that. Not the hard work, but the incentive to go out and prove you’re as good if not better than your opponents.