Should Boise State fans be holding their collective breath after a couple of Mountain West “player transactions” over the weekend? First, Fresno State linebacker Justin Rice entered the transfer portal, seeking to play as a graduate transfer for a school that still has a football season. Just last month, Rice was named the conference Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Then, Colorado State wide receiver Warren Jackson, named the Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, decided to skip his senior season and start preparing for the 2021 NFL Draft.
There aren’t as many opportunities as you’d think for potential transfers, and Rice may land at a school that ends up having to scrap its season, too. And you have to be pretty secure in your perceived NFL potential to ditch a senior season for the draft like Jackson did. But you can’t help but wonder what Jalen Walker and John Bates are thinking. Both are seniors and are NFL prospects. And both are loyal Broncos and could use one more season of wow factor to help their stock rise. Perhaps you’ve heard, though: these are not ordinary times,
JAEGER IS THE ALBERTSONS BOISE OPEN MEISTER
Stephan Jaeger is battle-tested. His name would certainly be one you’d expect to hear on the PGA Tour in the years to come. After all, Jaeger’s victory in the 31st annual Albertsons Boise Open Sunday was his fifth on the Korn Ferry Tour. But his circumstance is a little different. Jaeger is 31 years old and has been on the PGA Tour, and he just wants to get back there and prosper. Under normal circumstances, the two-stroke win at Hillcrest Country Club would do it. But because of qualifying adjustments due to COVID-19, Jaeger is still on the Korn Ferry. For now.
But there is a consolation prize this year—beyond the $180,000 Jaeger earned for winning the tournament. His victory also places him atop the three-event points list of which the top-five earners over the Korn Ferry Tour Championship Series earn 2020 U.S. Open exemptions. While not mathematically confirmed yet, Jaeger is in great shape to earn one of those exemptions next month at Winged Foot. By the way, his five titles on the Korn Ferry Tour are two short of the career record of seven held by Jason Gore. One of Gore’s victories was in the 2002 Albertsons Boise Open.
ANOTHER ONE FOR HUTCH TO WIN OVER
Chandler Hutchison will be on his third Chicago Bulls head coach when the next NBA season starts. The Bulls didn’t make the field when the season resumed this summer, but they took a long time to decide coach Jim Boylen wasn’t going to be their guy moving forward. He wasn’t, though, having gone just 39-84 since replacing Fred Hoiberg early in Hutchison’s rookie year. The new coach will have to decide what role he sees for Hutchison, who has been plagued by injuries since being drafted in the first round out of Boise State in 2018. The latest setback was a shoulder injury that he suffered in November and tweaked in February. He underwent arthroscopic surgery in March, just after the season was shut down.
FRONTIER CONFERENCE FALLS INTO PLACE
Back to football—no more island for College of Idaho football. C of I, Eastern Oregon and Southern Oregon are members of the Cascade Conference in all sports except football, so they followed the Cascade’s lead last month and postponed their seasons to the spring. The Frontier Conference, the football home for the three teams, vowed to forge ahead with the five remaining teams, all Montana-based. But alas, the Frontier has elected to postpone its football season until spring, which theoretically leaves the Yotes with an eight-game conference schedule.
CRAWFORD BACK IN CLEATS
The Dallas Cowboys are officially practicing, and so is Tyrone Crawford. That’s big news for the former Boise State star, as he has been activated off the Physically Unbale to Perform list following offseason double hip surgeries. Crawford was on the first team at defensive tackle in Friday’s opening practice, and that’s big news, too. The Cowboys signed defensive end Everson Griffin away from the Minnesota Vikings last Wednesday. Griffin has to pass a couple of COVID-19 tests before joining the team. There could be a shakeup on the Dallas D-line when he does. Crawford was limited to three tackles in four games before finally being shelved last season.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by COMMERCIAL TIRE…keeping you and your family on the road.
August 17, 1995, 25 years ago today: Bobby Dye, the most successful basketball coach in Boise State history, suddenly resigns three months before his 13th season was to begin. Dye and the BSU administration had been wrangling over the length of his contract, and the veteran coach elected to step down after three Big Sky championships and subsequent NCAA Tournament appearances. Dye had an overall record of 213-133 at BSU, with four 20-win seasons. He was replaced that day by top assistant Rod Jensen. Dye would resurface two years later as head coach of the new Idaho Stampede of the CBA.
(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 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)