Griping about Mountain West Player of the Week selections is an exercise in futility. Griping about Mountain West Player of the Week selections is an exercise in futility. Big deal, right? But wouldn’t it take some Herculian numbers to top a rare Mountain West honoree as a Manning Award Star of the Week to earn the conference’s weekly honor? Boise State’s Brett Rypien is one of eight quarterbacks to get the Manning nod this week after his MW freshman-record 469 passing yards, two touchdown throws (and 52 attempts without an interception), and TD reception in the 55-27 win over UNLV. Fans will now vote on the overall Manning Award Quarterback of the Week.
So who’s the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week? San Diego State’s Donell Pumphrey, who rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns and had a TD reception in the Aztecs’ 41-17 win at Colorado State. Not Herculian, but whatever. It’s been a weird season in player of the week land. Every time Boise State has had an award-worthy performance, somebody else in the Mountain West seems to have done something other-worldly. I get that. But this week is different. Rypien wuz robbed, I’m tellin’ ya. Through Week 9, there have been 27 MW Players of the Week named. The Broncos have two.
As long as they both keep winning, the race for first-team All-Mountain West quarterback this season will be between Rypien and Utah State’s Kent Myers. Rypien leads the conference in pass efficiency with a rating of 152.8. But Myers’ rating is 162.0 after he went 14-of-17 for 246 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the Aggies’ 58-27 rout of Wyoming. Myers needs to play three more games to meet the minimum qualifying standard. Rypien’s efficiency number rose just eight-tenths of a point this week mainly because he threw for “only” two TDs on 52 attempts. Myers’ number jumped on the merits of three touchdowns on just 17 throws—and an impressive 14.5 yards per attempt.
It was a glorious sun-splashed afternoon in Las Vegas Saturday, and UNLV was still able to draw only 14,315 fans. And a third of those were Boise State fans. So how do the Rebels rate, getting a 12:30 p.m. (Pacific time) kickoff? Sure, it was on ESPNU. But so is the Bronco-New Mexico game a week from this Saturday, and guess what start time was announced yesterday? The familiar 8:15, which means 8:26. But whining about that is like, uh, whining about Mountain West Player of the Week selections. Futile.
Topping the mailbag at DallasCowboys.com yesterday was a question from a reader in Atlanta, GA, that could just as well have been from Atlanta, ID: “If the game result will be the same (a loss) why not start Kellen Moore at QB? Give the man a chance and let’s see what happens. It can’t be any worse.” The answer from Cowboys expert David Helman: “Kellen Moore comes with a learning curve, given that he has never started an NFL game. Maybe he’s a future Hall of Famer, but it’s a damn-near guarantee that he will take some time to adjust. That’s not time the Cowboys are willing to spend while they try to stay afloat in the NFC East. (Matt) Cassel didn’t play well, but he’s an 11-year veteran with starting experience. This coaching staff values that more than anything until (Tony) Romo comes back.” They just have a mental block against Kellen down there.
Former Boise State star Matt Paradis and his young offensive line mates continue to prosper in Denver. The Broncos didn’t allow a single sack of Peyton Manning in their 29-10 conquest of the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football. At this rate, Paradis should make it 3-for-3 on Jimmy Fallon’s “Superlatives” bit on the Tonight Show, in which Fallon reads yearbook-style, most-likely-to awards for various players in the upcoming Sunday Night Football matchup. In September, Paradis was “Most likely to be named Redneck Julius Caesar.” Last week, he was “Least likely to deserve hair.” Can’t wait to see what happens leading up to the New England at Denver SNF matchup on November 29.
This Fresno State football season has been nothing if not bizarre. A freshman walk-on wide receiver, Chris Pryor, was arrested at the Bulldogs’ athletic complex yesterday after allegedly making threats via social media to “release my frustrations” with gunfire on campus. The post included a photo of Fresno State’s library. All this while the Bulldogs, working with a starting quarterback who began the season as a fourth-stringer, are spinning their wheels with a 2-6 record just two years after winning the Mountain West with an 11-2 record in Derek Carr’s senior year. These are not fun times in the San Joaquin Valley.
Boise State men’s basketball will go into the season with votes in the AP Poll for the first time in school history. The Broncos received four points in the preseason rankings released yesterday as they gear up for their exhibition game Friday night at Taco Bell Arena against Northwest University. Oregon, the marquee home opponent on this season’s non-conference schedule, is first among “Others Receiving Votes” with 116 points. Mountain West rival San Diego State has two. Boise State made the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history eight months ago and spent a week in the rankings before a loss in the Mountain West Tournament.
The Idaho Steelheads appear to have found their main man between the pipes. Philippe Desrosiers allowed a Utah goal midway through the first period last night in West Valley City, and that was it as the Steelheads beat the Grizzlies again, 2-1. Desrosiers, who clocked 46 saves on the night, was still trailing 1-0 with eight minutes left in the game when Elin Molin scored to pull Idaho even. Then Brandon Magee added the game-winning goal three minutes later. The Steelies took two out of three games in the series against the Grizzlies, and they held Utah standout Barry Almeida without a point. Almeida had come into the series with six goals, tops in the ECHL.
Two campus notes: FloTrack.com continues to rank Boise State’s Allie Ostrander as the No. 1 women’s cross country runner in the nation. Ostrander, whose next assignment is the NCAA West Regionals in Seattle next week, is followed by Dominique Scott of Arkansas and Molly Seidel of Notre Dame. And Bronco women’s soccer star Brooke Heidemann has made some history. The senior from Meridian has become only the third Mountain West player ever to be named first-team all-conference in four consecutive seasons.
This Day In Sports…November 3, 1995, 20 years ago today:
Portland’s commitment to remain a major pro sports city is reinforced with the opening of the Rose Garden, the new 20,000-seat arena in the city’s Rose Quarter. The Blazers didn’t ride the hoopla well, falling to the Vancouver Grizzlies, 92-80. The sellouts that were the norm in the adjacent Memorial Coliseum would continue in the Rose Garden, at least until the team was tagged with the “Jailblazers” nickname at the turn of the century with the onset of numerous off-court problems.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)