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Boise State Vs. San Diego State; Predicting The Score

DeMarcus Lawrence has been making his presence felt not only on the pass rush, but also the run. He elevates the entire defensive effort of Boise State.

DeMarcus Lawrence has been making his presence felt not only on the pass rush, but also the run. He elevates the entire defensive effort of Boise State.

Boise’s slow start on offense is problematic.

San Diego State has lost only to formidable competition. They lost to Fresno in overtime and have won two games in overtime. They are tough and will be tough to beat before their hometown crowd.

It will take Boise State’s best performance to date to beat San Diego.

Grant Hedrick will have to perform far above what we have seen in the past. He will have to be explosive. He can’t throw screen passes into the chest of opposing players. He will have to establish himself early as a dangerous and explosive runner. His passing must be uncanny.

Beyond that Boise receivers can not drop anything – period. In the last two games they have had their share of drops, especially the balls that are right on target. In addition they have to pull in passes that are a little off target.

The O-line must open holes for Jay Ajayi and company. Ajayi sheds secondary runners like a mad man running from a burning house wearing flaming clothes.

The D must play fast, strong, and aggressive.

The problem is that they are young and play erratic. One game they look great and the next game not so great.

All the comparative numbers can be crunched and it looks like Boise should walk away with a close win. The facts are that at present BSU is not quite ready for a big win. If everyone was healthy Boise State could easily defeat San Diego, but they are not.

I was very close to calling an Aztec upset, but upon reflection the Broncos will be out to punish SDSU for the upset loss last year on the blue turf in front of the Boise fans. My hope is that SDSU will not be able to exploit the Broncos’ youth, exuberance, and inexperience.

I’m going to play the head and heart hand again.

My head says 40-27 BSU.

My heart says 48-17 BSU.

Here’s my previous predictions: 

1. Boise over UW 35-17 (Actual, 6-38 UW, hope springs eternal.)

2. Boise over UT Martin 49-0 (Actual 63-14, got the spread.)

3. Boise over Air Force 45-17 (Actual, 42-20, missed by a field goal on both ends.)

4. Boise over Fresno 45-30 (Actual 41-40 Fresno win, Frankly if the game were held any place, but Fresno…)

5. Boise over Southern Miss 49-10 (Actual 60-7, Petersen purposely left the first team in too long to foil me and Demarcus Lawrence was off-sides on one of his blocked field goals [not really, I’m just a sore loser})

6. Boise over Utah State 35-7 (Actual, 34-23, My original prediction was 52-7. I think if BSU would have played the second half without their foot on the brake that would have been more likely. Let’s be honest the game was not really that close.)

7. Boise over Nevada 52-10 (Actual, 34-17. If not for the Southwick injury Boise would have scored 50+ and Nevada would not have scored 17.)

8. Boise over BYU 38-21 (Actual, 37-20 BYU. BYU was simply too big and too strong. Boise turned the ball over 4 times.)

9. Heart: 45-10 BSU, Head: 35-24 BSU (Actual, 42-30. My head was close on the spread. BSU D had a real lapse and the Broncos put the brakes on in the second half.)

10. Head: 40-23 BSU, Heart: 55-14 BSU (Actual 48-7 BSU. My heart was closest. In fact, Wyoming was lucky to score.)

 

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Boise State Vs. Wyoming, Predicting The Score; Let There Be A Healing

Quiet, steady, and about to explode.

Matt Miller, quiet, steady, and about to explode.

Wyoming started with such great promise and quickly slid to mediocrity. Yet they are still a team that has promise and potential, but not against Boise State. 

The Bronco blue turf has become purple with bruises and has had a bye week to heal.
This should be a lopsided win for BSU. Jay Ajayi should easily go over 100 yards. Because of all the problems he has experienced in holding on to the ball he will have get all his yards in the first three quarters. Boise wants to be sure they hold on to the ball with a fourth quarter lead.
Likely, an improving and eager Grant Hedrick will take the field against Wyoming. He’s had a few weeks to become accustomed to his new role. It seems he has found a comfort zone with his receivers. He knows when  and where they are in given situations. He knows their strengths and weaknesses.
Hopefully the o-line is patched up enough to give some quality minutes free from anymore boo boos. One key will be to play to the strengths of the existing corps of linemen.
The defense will once again be challenged. Wyoming has an aggressive quarterback and decent running back (Brett Smith and Shaun Wick).  Boise did a good job on the MWC leading rusher Karpi Bibbs. There is little reason not to expect the same results against Wick.
Hopefully our d-backs will give Smith smaller windows in which to place the ball. Opposing receivers seem to be wide open often. The backs close quickly and hit aggressively, but it would sure be nice to see some more picks and batted down passes or better yet a d-line that doesn’t allow a qb time to even set up.
In spite of Boise’s youth on defense they are much, much better than Wyoming. They are close in offense, but Boise clearly has the edge.
Look for Wyoming to try the same game plan as Colorado State; keep Boise State’s offense off the field by consuming the clock and utilizing the run and a short passing game.
It won’t work.

My Predictions

Head: 40-23 BSU,
Heart: 55-14 BSU.

Previous Predictions

1.  Boise over UW 35-17 (Actual, 6-38 UW, hope springs eternal.)
2.  Boise over UT Martin 49-0 (Actual 63-14, got the spread.)
3.  Boise over Air Force 45-17 (Actual, 42-20, missed by a field goal on both ends.) 
4.  Boise over Fresno 45-30 (Actual 41-40 Fresno win, Frankly if the game were held any place, but Fresno…)
5.  Boise over Southern Miss 49-10 (Actual 60-7, Petersen purposely left the first team in too long to foil me and Demarcus Lawrence was off-sides on one of his blocked field goals [not really, I’m just a sore loser})
6.  Boise over Utah State 35-7 (Actual, 34-23, My original prediction was 52-7. I think if BSU would have played the second half without their foot on the brake that would have been more likely. Let’s be honest the game was not really that close.)
7. Boise over Nevada 52-10 (Actual, 34-17. If not for the Southwick injury Boise would have scored 50+ and Nevada would not have scored 17.)
8. Boise over BYU 38-21 (Actual, 37-20 BYU. BYU was simply too big and too strong. Boise turned the ball over 4 times.)
9.  Heart: 45-10 BSU, Head: 35-24 BSU (Actual, 42-30. My head was close on the spread. BSU D had a real lapse and the Broncos put the brakes on in the second half.)
 

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Boise State Over Colorado State; Lightning Strikes Fast

Hedrick strikes.

Hedrick strikes.

It looks like the head was closer than the heart predicting the score to this game; My head: 35-24, My heart: 45-10.

Colorado State’s plan to beat Boise was to create long drives sustained by a short slant passing game. They planned to aim for the Achilles tendon of Boise, a young, inexperienced, and undersized secondary. They wanted to keep the Boise State offense off the field thus their defense on the field. The plan nearly worked. Their time of possession was insane, 40 minutes compared to Boise’s 20 minutes.

(In 20 minutes of possession Grant Hedrick and company put up 42 points, now that’s insane. He is lightning the bottle.)

The good thing; although Kapri Bibbs scored three touchdowns he was held to 2.8 yards per carry, less than half his season average. Colorado State as a team was held below its per carry average.

The bad thing; a marginal quarterback put up nearly 400 yards.

Boise’s first play from scrimmage was like watching a bad movie for the fourth or fifth time or worse yet your mother-in-law showing up at the front door with bags in hand. A fumble on the exchange from Hedrick to Ajayi greeted us. Hearts sunk. It’s hard for me to tell, but I think the fumble was Hedrick’s, but Ajayi didn’t look so hot on the sidelines afterwards.

Hedrick threw 5 TDs and ran for another. He was 19 for 27, 305 yards, and no interceptions. That put his qb rating at 226. Even though those are great numbers that is not the best we will see of him. That is only the preview.

The TD pass to Shane Williams-Rhodes was pure magic and courage. Hedrick read the blitz, saw the hit coming, and flung the ball exactly where the blitzing safety should have been.

He kept drives alive with good passes, good decisions, and good legs.

Hedrick’s performance was cut a little short by three dropped passes. They were to guys wide open and it either hit them in the hands or on the numbers. They ended drives. They are almost as bad as a fumble, they just can’t be recovered by the other team. The reasons for them are exactly the same as fumbles, sloppy thinking.

Matt Miller played his quiet unassuming self with 6 catches for almost 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. (We sure miss Kirby.)

It looks like Ajayi will not be playing the fourth quarter with a lead. We don’t need the ball on the ground and Prince knows that everybody will be trying to rip the ball away from Ajayi. If Ajayi does what he’s supposed to in the off season and takes his anit-fumblitss pills likely we won’t see him coughing it up at all next year.

Ajayi had another good game (13 carries 91yards). The referees kept him out of the end zone on one run. The review clearly showed he was in bounds. (Did I see a female referee?)

Derrick Thomas looked good on the returns, but not speedy. Running the ball in the fourth quarter was another issue. He doesn’t seem to find openings. He holds on to the ball even when they’re trying to rip it away. He did a good job.

On defense three names kept showing up Ben Weaver, Gabe Perez, and Tanner Vellejo; all freshman. Is that a preview of things to come? The great thing about having three guys like that, they flush everybody into the arms of the other guys.

Cleshawn Page’s hit on Colorado State’s punt return man was cheap. There is no other way to put it. That’s not Boise football, in fact that’s not football. If the intent was the jar the ball loose it’s best to hit the ball or right below it.

A word about Dillon Lukeheart’s hit last week. It was not as egregious as the one against Colorado State. The BYU receiver was moving into Lukeheart which made it appear worse. The receiver was in a lower position. Lukeheart was trying to lead with his pads for the ball; at least that’s what I saw.

Cheap shots don’t cause fumbles, they cause penalties.

Frankly, at this point as fan I can’t be anything other than pleased. This is really a young team – very young. Most of the vets are seeing limited action or no action because of injuries.

Now the Broncos get a week off to get healed and get smarter.

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Boise State; Starting To Rumble

SWR - Shakes Wiggles Runs

SWR – Shakes Wiggles Runs

Boise State dominated Utah State in a 34 to 23 win.

It seemed like Boise State came out in the second half of the Saturday night game against Utah State with the brakes on.

It was the Shane Williams-Rhodes show all the way; 13 catches for 150 yards and a TD. He not only ran good tight routes, but broke those routes and got open when the play became extended. He not only was able to break away from his coverage, but also made great catches in tight coverage.

I see him running for governor of Idaho someday.

Another good game for Joe Southwick; two TD passes and he ran one. He had two picks, but the one, Boldewijn slipped and allowed the defender to go over the top for the pick. It was ran back for a score that should not have happened.

Is there a conspiracy to keep Southwick’s numbers down? There were at least five passes that hit the receivers in the hands on the numbers; that’s Sun Belt Conference stuff.

What was really impressive about the offense was the long scoring drives. Utah put Boise behind the twenty a couple times, but Southwick engineered four TD drives of 91, 89, 69, and 61 yards.

If not for the numbers Williams-Rhodes put up, player of the game goes to Jay Ajayi. He averaged 5 yards a carry where there was not five yards to carry. He carried defenders five yards. I thought it was one of the most courageous performance I’ve seen in a while. There is a lot of pride in the Ajayi family this week.

That said, the average per carry as a team for the game was 2.9 yards. That ain’t good. The o-line has to make holes. There are none. Perhaps what may cure that is Southwick pulling the ball out of Ajayi’s gut and dinking the ball to a tight end or slot receiver where the linebackers (who are bunched up for a run) should be.

Sometimes you have to call plays away from your weakness.

The Boise State defense seemed to get to the ball faster. Demarcus Lawrence was an absolute beast (and I mean that in the best possible way). On several possessions he single-handedly stopped drives.

Ben Weaver is playing like he’ll receive the Butkus Award someday. Great teams have great linebackers. There is something about the way they play the game that raises the level of everybody else, including the offense. A good football player is agile, mobile, and hostile. That’s Weaver. He’s the future.

At times the d-backs played a little soft, but their play was outstanding. Bryan Douglas had a pick as did Donte Deayon. Jonathan Moxey would have likely had one also if not for an offensive interference call.

I hate to say this, but Coach Pete said it first. Coach Pete got out-coached with time management at the end of the first half. A blocked field goal by Charles Leno saved what could have been a half-time locker room boost for Utah.

Okay, okay, Coach Pete coaches pretty good special teams too.

All in all it was well-played game.

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Where Should Boise State Be Ranked? – And Other Stuff

The best seat in the house was Notre Dame's; just about five yards from all the action.

The best seat in the house was Notre Dame’s; just about five yards from all the action.

A Cloud Hangs Over The Rankings

I was all set to give my reasons why the AP college football rankings should have voted Ohio State #1. After viewing how Alabama manhandled Notre Dame I’m a believer. Alabama kicked Notre Dame around like barnyard mutt.

That said, there is a very strong argument for Ohio State being ranked first or second if not for the NCAA’s self-righteous indignant hypocritical attitude for keeping Ohio State from the championship game or at least a top-flight bowl.

Notre Dame has been living on borrowed time the entire year. Nearly half of their wins could have gone either way, nevertheless they won and that’s the only stat that really counts. On paper they belonged in the championship game.

Yet their were at least eight to ten teams in the nation that could have given Alabama a better game.

Musburger Must Go

Without Herbstriet at his side Musburger would not know if he was at a college football game or langerie football game. He was embarrassing.

Without Herbstriet at his side Musburger would not know if he was at a college football game or lingerie football game. He was embarrassing.

The telecast was miserable of the Alabama/Notre Dame game was terrible. Kirk Herbstreit was brilliant, but Brent Musburger has slipped into senility or is returning to the same form that pushed him from the big time several years ago. Herbsteit came along just in time to save his career.

Musburger was nearly drooling all over the microphone every time the camera got a shot of A J McCarron’s girl friend. I think he knew more about her than the game.

The only thing that kept him completely unbiased was the girl. At one time he said, “If only Notre Dame could get one touchdown.” He did everything and anything to bolster the weak and ineffective play of Notre Dame. I think he was channeling Knute Rockne or the Gipper.

All the hype in the world could not make the game seem close. In fact Notre Dame should have dropped at least out of the top five.

Trying To Make Sense Of The AP Rankings

Boise State ended up 18th in the AP. That doesn’t make sense. Using the same reasoning that is used against them when it comes to ranking conferences; it is noteworthy the MWC slipped ahead of the ACC in conference power rankings. Logically, Boise should have been ranked better than ACC schools with the same won/lost record.

Clemson from the ACC finished 11 – 2. They defeated LSU from the SEC.

Louisville from the Big East defeated Florida from the SEC. Talk about craziness, the AP still ranked Louisville behind Florida.

Apply, again, the logic used against Boise; because Louisville is from a weaker conference with the same record, the Broncos should have been ranked ahead of Louisville.

The USA Today rankings probably more closely reflect the actual rankings with the exception of Ohio State who did not even appear in the rankings.

Next year it will be all Southwick.

Next year it will be all Southwick.

What Do Next Year’s Rankings Look Like

Looking at next year, Alabama already looks like a pre-season favorite for the #1 ranking.

A lot of things happen in the off-season. Some players and teams gain motivation while others lose it.

Southwick should be at the very top of his game physically, mentally, and emotionally next year. This will be his team/his season. He will be the leader. He will add a dimension to the offense that has not been seen in quite a while at BSU – mobility and the ability to run for first downs by a quarterback. At times he demonstrates the moves of a running back.

Boise State should be better next year. They should be ranked to start the season well within the top 20, perhaps as high as 10th to 15th.

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Boise State; The West Is Best, The East Is Deceased

Boise State is back in the MWC. There is a little known fact about Boise State's blue turf; at certain critical points in a game Boise will have at least fifteen players on the field when they wear the blue uniforms. They have had as many as twenty-two. They have been known to smear any exposed skin with pool cue chalk.

Boise State is back in the MWC. There is a little known fact about Boise State’s blue turf; at certain critical points in a game Boise will have at least fifteen players on the field when they wear the blue uniforms. They have had as many as twenty-two. They have been known to smear any exposed skin with pool cue chalk.

It is good to see Boise State remain in the Mountain West Conference. They had no business going to the Big ‘Least.’ It will soon look at if the Big East will become the ‘Big Deceased.’

Boise State has always wanted national exposure. I think they have it and don’t know it. They are probably the favored underdog of the nation.

Several years ago I was golfing at Myrtle Beach. I wore a Boise State sweat shirt to a restaurant. A number of people approached me and said, “Hey, aren’t you the guys with the blue turf. We’re fans.” This was before Boise State’s upset victory on National TV in the Fiesta Bowl 2007.

I think Boise State stands poised to be the next Notre Dame (small school, small out-of-the-way-town).

But there is more; Boise State appeals to the blue collar mentality and work ethic that is slowly disappearing and yet greatly admired. They have become the epitome of the little guy working hard and believing in himself and if given a chance can succeed. That will always be a part of the mystique and legacy of their program.

There is Yet One Problem

With all the success they have had it is still difficult for them to fill all 37,000 seats at Bronco Stadium. The reason? Boise is not a huge metropolitan area. Many of the people in the area are from out of state (California, Oregon, the Midwest, etc). Those people still have strong ties to their states and college teams.

The city of Boise has a population of a little better than 200,000 and taking in the metropolitan area there is a little more than 600,000 and that takes in nearly 12,000 square miles. That is half again larger than New Jersey with 1/13th the population. Filling the stadium requires one out of every sixteen persons in that area to attend, but they nearly do it. That is why TV revenue and national recognition is so important.

If you drive 150 miles in any direction of Boise there is nothing, but if you do the same in South Bend (home of Notre Dame) the population is between 7,000,000 to 8,000, 000. It is also in the same time zone as the majority of TV homes (EST).

At present Boise State has to schedule 2 for 1 with larger schools. In other words, Boise plays at their opponents’ home or area twice while they come to Boise once. Kind of unfair, but that’s the uneven playing field (though it be blue) Boise is currently playing on.

Is Boise Calling the Shots?

Staying in the MWC is good for the fans and travel expenses for the team.

Boise’s reason for going to the Big East to begin with was the TV revenue and national exposure, but also the automatic bid to a BCS bowl game. Starting in 2014 the Big East will not have an automatic bid. The MWC will be on the same level with the Big East anyway.

Boise will have pay a $5,000,000 exit fee to the Big East, but the Mountain West has agreed to help. This indicates a shift in the Mountain West’s conceit displayed before Boise was courted by the Big East. One wonders if this was not Boise State’s President, Bob Kusta’s plan all along.

Boise State will likely draw more revenue from the new agreement with the MWC than they would have with the Big East. Likewise that will bring more revenue into the MWC and its other schools.

One of the terms for Boise State to join the MWC two years ago was they could not wear blue uniforms on the blue turf. Boise can now even wear their blue uniforms on the blue turf according to the new agreement.

It is baffling why the PAC did not try to enlist Boise State. One suspect it had to do with recruiting and attracting better talent away from the top tier of the PAC like USC, Stanford, and Oregon State.

Next year the BCS championship will be in Pasadena. It looks like Ohio State and …

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Idea For New Bowl Game; The BCS Loser’s Bowl

Southern Miss (0-11), One of my selections to play in the Loser's Bowl and fight for the title not be the nation's worst football team.

Southern Miss (0-11), One of my selections to play in the Loser’s Bowl and fight for the title not be the nation’s worst football team.

I’ve always been ahead of my time (Honestly, when people say that it means thy don‘t even have a clue as to what time zone they are in, but I‘m different.). Anyway, I’ve always been forward thinking. I was the one who said the Berlin Wall should have painted doorways and tunnels. I got the idea from the Coyote on the Roadrunner cartoons. I pitched it tow the East Germans, but the Stasi didn’t see the humor in it.

I’ve been kicking this idea around for a long time. Every year they have a National Championship Bowl game to select the best team in football. It makes sense to see the nation’s to top teams compete for the coveted title as the BCS Champions. But who is the worst? That has to be an argument in sports bars, call-in shows and barbershops across the nations. Playing to be the best doesn’t hold a candle to scrapping and scraping to not be called the worst. That is real human drama!

I propose a “losers” football bowl games. Pit the two worst teams in the nation and see who will scrap, claw, kick, bite, chew, gouge, cheat, knife and shoot to keep from earning the title as the BCS National Loser. That would be a real game. Everybody wants to be first, but nobody wants to be last. It would be like to starving men a drift at sea and fighting to the death for a dead rat. It would be the worst of humanity at its best!

Details at this point are sketchy, but I got the whole off-season to work out the details.

I have to come up with a catchy name and where to hold it. TV sponsorship is no problem, they already produce a bunch of loser shows.

1. The Stained Underwear Bowl

2. The Worthless Humanity Bowl

3. The Dehumanization Bowl

4. The Cleveland Bowl (Where everybody goes to loose)

5. The Edsel Bowl (Looser car)

6. The Raman Soup Bowl (Cheap looser soup)

7. The Al Gore Save-Our-Planet-Bowl (Lost and trying to find a purpose in live)

8. The Bernie Madoff Ponzie Scheme Bowl (Investors needed)

9. The Nigerian Prince Bowl (Finally something legitimate)

10. The MSNBC/ESPN Bowl (Two loser networks)

If everything was up and running this year invitations would be sent to Southern Mississippi (0-11) University of Massachusetts (1-11) Akron (1-11) New Mexico (1-11).

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