The countdown gets serious now

When you hit the 100-day mark in the countdown to kickoff, you move into warp-speed mode. When you hit the 100-day mark in the countdown to kickoff, you move into warp-speed mode. That’s where Boise State and Washington are today—and the momentous beginning of the season will be here in the blink of an eye. Just you wait. Discussion of the Bronco-Husky game to this point has revolved around not X’s and O’s and quarterbacks and returning starters, but of how former BSU coach Chris Petersen will be treated when he makes his return 21 months after departing for Seattle.

There’ll surely be a chorus of boos when UW runs out on the blue turf, but hopefully that will just be the same greeting as any other opponent would get. Like Fresno State or Nevada. Because if Petersen was to be introduced separately (which he won’t be), he should receive a standing ovation. He devoted 13 years of his life to Boise State, eight of them as head coach, when he had countless opportunities to leave. His record was 92-12. That’s 80 games above .500. If those who think Petersen “deserted” Boise would just let that sink in—92-12, 80 games above .500, two Fiesta Bowl championships, four top 10 finishes in the polls—maybe they could simply appreciate the incredible thing they had and show some respect on September 4.

The first college games of the 2015 season will be played September 3, and celebrated yesterday with “100 numbers to know 100 days from kickoff.” A couple notables—No. 14 was “14. Most wins in a season: Seven teams have won 14 games in a season, the most in one season in FBS history. Those teams are 1996 BYU, 2002 Ohio State, 2009 Alabama, 2009 Boise State, 2010 Auburn, 2013 Florida State and 2014 Ohio State. And No. 24 points out that those who doubted TCU’s ability to transition to the Big 12 from the Mountain West were wrong. “TCU outscored Power 5 opponents by 24.3 points per game last season, best in the FBS,” notes. It was only the Horned Frogs’ third season as a BCS/Power 5 school.

Grant Hedrick is one of seven quarterbacks on the B.C. Lions roster, but a closer look says the former Boise State star has a good shot at being one of the QBs who stick when the CFL season begins a month from now. The Lions have an established starter in one-time Montana State standout Travis Lulay. Behind him is BYU product John Beck, who has a pedigree but is now 33 years old (he played against the Broncos in Boise 11 years ago). Other than that, there are four quarterbacks out of small colleges: Aaron Wilmer of Delaware Valley, Travis Partridge of Missouri Western, Jonathon Jennings of Saginaw Valley State and Greg McGhee of Howard.

Jeff Tedford, the former Cal coach, begins his first season as the head man at B.C. when the team begins its training camp for rookies tomorrow at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. In Hedrick he’s getting a guy who has big game experience—witness the 309 yards passing in the Fiesta Bowl win over Arizona on New Year’s Eve. Hedrick can also survive those frigid Canadian days late in the CFL season in October and November. With temperatures in the single digits at Albertsons Stadium on that freak Saturday night last fall, he helped rally Boise State past San Diego State 38-29, finishing with a dagger 13-yard touchdown run with two freezing minutes left.

As Idaho State looks ahead to the 2015 season, the Bengals wonder if they’ve turned the corner in fan support in Eastern Idaho after their breakthrough 8-4 campaign last year. Kyle Franko of the Idaho State Journal takes an optimistic view after ISU finished last season with a crowd of 9,323 against Cal Poly, the Bengals’ largest home crowd in 11 years. Idaho State averaged 6,721 in Holt Arena after a paltry 5,367 in 2013. Franko points out three huge home dates that could boost that number again this season, with defending Big Sky champion Eastern Washington visiting in October and Montana and Montana State coming to Pocatello on back-to-back weekends in November. The Bengals have to get to the Eastern game in one piece, though. They have four straight road tests in late September and early October—at Boise State, UNLV, Cal Poly and North Dakota.

After seeing his batting average to dip below .300 over the weekend for the first time since mid-April, Josh Donaldson obviously wants to stay north of that plateau. The former Boise Hawk went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and three runs scored in Toronto’s 6-0 Memorial Day win over the White Sox. Then last night, Donaldson hit two home runs, the second one a three-run walk-off shot that gave the Blue Jays a 10-9 victory over the Sox. He was 4-for-4 in the game and scored five more runs while getting his average back up to .315. Donaldson has 12 homers and 33 RBI. It’s still seems other-worldly that Oakland traded him to Toronto during the offseason, especially since the A’s were missing any kind of power other than Donaldson’s in their lineup after the departure of Yoenis Cespedes last summer. Oakland has the worst record in the American League at 17-31.

The Boise State men’s tennis team won the Mountain West championship for the fourth straight year and made another trip to the NCAA Tournament, but at the end of the day the Broncos still recorded their first losing season under coach Greg Patton at 15-16. The program seems bent on proving that was an aberration, as has Boise State listed as 19th on its list of this year’s top 25 recruiting classes. The site shows the Broncos with verbal commitments from one Australian, one New Zealander, one Texan, and one North Dakotan. It lists Kyle Butters of New Zealand and Tillman Haynes of Dallas as having signed their National Letters of Intent.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by PEASLEY TRANSFER & STORAGE…a 125-year tradition!

May 27, 1968: Chicago Bears owner George Halas retires as the coach of his team for the fourth and final time. The 73-year-old “Papa Bear” began his pro football career in the early 1920’s when the team was the Decatur (IL) Staleys and he was its player-coach-owner. During his 40 years as coach, Halas won 324 games (an NFL record that wouldn’t be broken until 1994 by Don Shula) and seven championships.

(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.)