Kellen Moore & Black Monday

Kellen Moore, who interviewed for the Jacksonville job last Friday, is certainly in the conversation for the other job openings that cascaded down on Monday—with Mike Zimmer gone at Minnesota, Vic Fangio in Denver, Matt Nagy in Chicago and Brian Flores in Miami. The former Boise State great has no control on who might talk to him, but the most stable organizations appear to be in Denver and Minnesota, and the Broncos have requested permission to talk to him. Mike Klis, longtime KUSA-TV beat reporter, tweeted Monday that Moore “might be the (Sean) McVay of this hiring cycle. A rising star coach with ties to Mountain West.” But Klis listed at least three other coaches Denver wants to talk to.

The fact that both Denver and Minnesota have Boise State representation (Brett Rypien with the Broncos and Alexander Mattison and Ezra Cleveland with the Vikings) is irrelevant. It’s nice for small talk at practice, but when Moore’s livelihood is on the line, he’s going to do what’s best for his team. Cedrick Wilson is only playing a key role for Kellen’s Dallas offense right now because he’s earned it. On a side note, the National Football Foundation unveiled its list of 2022 inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame, and Moore (who qualifies) was not on it. Most of the 18 players who made it go way back (12 of them to the 20th century). It’s a long-game proposition, and he will eventually get in.

PLAY BALL?

Coach Leon Rice revealed to the media Monday that Boise State men’s basketball was hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak that struck the Broncos in the hours leading up to the Wyoming game 10 days ago. Rice says Boise State is close to having its full roster available for Wednesday night’s scheduled game at Nevada. Nothing’s certain until the Broncos board the plane today—and not even then, based on what happened a half hour before tipoff in Laramie. Right now it’s game on for the Broncos and Wolf Pack in Lawlor Events Center.

The Mountain West has started re-scheduling games postponed by COVID (or trying to, anyway). The Boise State men’s game at Utah State is planned for Thursday, January 20, two days before the Broncos’ tilt at San Diego State. The Boise State women’s game at Wyoming is penciled in for Tuesday, January 25. Meanwhile, the conference no longer has a men’s Top 25 team, as Colorado State plummeted out of the rankings following its 30-point loss at San Diego State on Saturday. The Rams, previously ranked No. 20, received 64 points in the Coaches Poll but only 10 in the AP Poll. Sure it was an ugly loss, but it was also CSU’s first game since December 11.

BERTO & SON

Following Eastern Washington’s 96-93 men’s basketball win over Idaho Saturday, it’s a good time to update Boise’s Bergersen family. Rylan Bergersen scored 13 points and went 7-for-7 from the free throw line as the Eagles held off the Vandals. Bergersen, the former Borah Lion who came to Cheney after stints with Central Arkansas and BYU, was right on his average—he’s EWU’s third-leading scorer at 13.4 points per game. Dad Roberto, the Boise State Athletic Hall of Famer, is an assistant coach for EWU, which is currently 9-7. By the way, fellow former Borah High star Ellis Magnuson was scoreless in 10½ minutes off the bench for EWU. Magnuson is averaging only 15 minutes per game this season.

THE HAWAIIAN NIGHTMARE

No one expected it to go well, and it did not. The Hawaii State Senate conducted a hearing last Friday on the Hawaii football program and coach Todd Graham. While the format was somewhat of an ambush, it still laid bare the terrible situation the Rainbow Warriors are in. There were current and former players accusing Graham of verbal abuse and of destroying the UH program’s culture. Writes veteran Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist Dave Reardon, “People are disgusted with UH (for rampant claims of mismanagement and harming student-athletes) or the lawmakers (for meddling with UH’s affairs when it pleases them, but not expediting a new stadium), or both. And now the whole world knows, if it didn’t already. ‘Todd Graham’ was trending on Twitter, and not because people think the coach is a swell guy.”

This Day In Sports…brought to you by BIG BUN DRIVE-IN…old-time goodness you can grab on the go!

January 11, 2007, 15 years ago today: Ten days after leading Boise State to its legendary upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, Chris Petersen accepts the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award as national coach of the year. Petersen had gone unbeaten as a rookie coach, the first college football head coach to post a 13-0 record in his first year since Yale’s Walter Camp in 1888. Under Petersen, the Broncos won their fifth straight WAC championship and finished as the only undefeated team in the country.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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