My early-bird celebration to Albertsons Stadium’s 50th anniversary took last Friday off due to the NFL Draft. Well, we’re back in the sports slow zone, so here you go. Next up in this salute is a momentous event that just passed its 25th anniversary. Boise State ended Idaho’s 12-game winning streak in what was then a bitter rivalry in a riveting 27-24 victory on the blue turf in November, 1994. It was a winner-take-all game for the Big Sky championship, and it was played before a then-record crowd of 23,701 that crammed into Bronco Stadium.
Boise State jumped out to a 13-0 lead behind Tony Hilde and Ryan Ikebe—then hung on for the victory during a wild fourth quarter. It capped what second-year coach Pokey Allen called a “magic carpet ride,” a 10-1 regular season that brought the Broncos their first league title since 1980. Fans stormed the field while Allen’s offensive coordinator, Al Borges, tried to climb the goal post in the north end zone and almost lost his pants. The Division I-AA Playoffs were next, and Boise State’s season still had four weeks to go.
A BRAND SPANKIN’ NEW JERSEY
Because there aren’t enough numbers to go around in college football anymore, the NCAA is allowing the use of No. 0 this year for the first time in almost four decades. Which brings up this question: has a Boise State player ever worn No. 0? Kind of. Glenn Simonton, a noseguard, wore No.00 as a true freshman in 1981. But zero was phased out the next couple of seasons, and Simonton finished his career wearing No. 57 in 1984. My guess is that there’ll be a clamoring in the Bleymaier Football Complex to be the first to don No. 0 in this new era.
IT’S NOT JUST A POWER 5 THING
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports contends that the sky isn’t falling for Group of 5 schools as the NCAA prepares for the paying of athletes. “Let’s say you’re a three- or four-star quarterback coming out of high school,” writes Wetzel. You have an offer to go to Alabama and battle a depth chart that can go six deep. You aren’t the prime recruit, just another guy in a 25-man class. No guarantees of success in Tuscaloosa. Or you can sign with Boise State, where you are considered the priority recruit and have a better chance at starting early. You could then become the star of a winning program that is the only major sports entity in a near million-person metropolitan region, let alone the whole state of Idaho. If making money is a major factor in your college decision, then the smart play is Boise State.”
Jeff Goodman of Stadium has analyzed all 163 players who have applied for early entry into the NBA Draft next month, and he has Boise State’s Derrick Alston in his “The NBA Is Intrigued, But It’s Wise to Return to School” category. Goodman quotes an NBA executive on Alston: “Someone might take a flyer on him, but he’s probably undrafted and playing in the G League—where his dad is a coach.” Maybe Alston’s dad, Derrick Sr., sees value in G League experience next season. That would be the only reason for the 6-9 shooting guard to go. The NCAA deadline for Alston to withdraw and retain his eligibility at Boise State is June 3.
Goodman, by the way, has San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn on the “No-Brainer—Going, Going, Gone!” list. Then there’s Nevada’s Jalen Harris, who gave Flynn a run for Mountain West Player of the Year honors this past season. Harris is in the “Leaning Toward Going Pro And It’s A Bad Idea” category. “I know he’s probably staying in the draft, but he should go back to school,” an NBA executive told Goodman. Said another executive: “Our intel is that he needs to go back to school and mature.” Harris is kind of in Alston’s boat.
This Day In Sports…brought to you by BBSI BOISE…we’re payroll, we’re risk, we’re HR, we’re business!
May 1, 1920, 100 years ago today: Both Joe Oeschger of the Boston Braves and Leon Cadore of the Brooklyn Robins (later renamed the Dodgers) pitch all 26 innings in a game that is called because of darkness with the score knotted at 1-all. The two pitchers each set a major league record for longest appearance in a single game. Amazingly, the 26-inning contest lasted just under four hours, and reportedly only four baseballs were used for the entire game.
(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.)