Here’s a couple of random thoughts before GameDay comes on.
It’s hard for me to watch what’s happening to Colorado. You see, I enjoy rooting for Boise State for a number of reasons (their offensive style, they use orange and blue, the blue turf) and I really thought that Dan Hawkins would do better off the bat with the Buffs. It turns out that Colorado in Gary Barnett’s last days was a lot like Mississippi State during the end of the Jackie Sherrill reign: rotten from the inside and ready to collapse. Now, MSU is in worse shape than Colorado if for no other reason than it’s in the brutally tough SEC rather than the soft Big XII North.
It really goes to show that there may be something to staying at a top-tier “mid-major” school and bringing it to prominence. Dirk Koetter, the BSU coach before Hawkins, has not exactly set the world on fire since starting there in 2001 and frequently is mentioned as being on the hot seat. Hawkins probably should have gone to a better situation than the mess at Colorado. Meanwhile, Boise has not missed a beat under Chris Petersen, most notably destroying Oregon State 42-14 a couple of weeks ago. Now, if they can beat Fresno State at home (where Broncos have only two losses since 1999) they will likely be undefeated at season’s end and perhaps fighting TCU for a BCS bid.
Aside from Boise’s big loss at Georgia last year, the team has played well in recent years. It has beaten Pac 10 teams on a regular basis. If the program could become a consistent winner, who knows, it might get an invite to be the 11th team in the Pac 10 similar to how Penn State became the 11th team in the Big 10. I’d say that Boise State is already better than Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Oregon State, and Arizona. It also could probably beat Arizona State and UCLA fairly regularly. Potentially that’s a third-place finish in the Pac 10.
That is why I don’t know why Boise State coaches seem to want to get out of there. Of course, BCS programs pay more, and there is the disadvantage in being in Boise, Idaho (not exactly LA when pitching to recruits). However, Bill Snyder consistently put a winner on the field in Manhattan, Kansas. Plus, there’s no guarantee that the Pac 10 would ever invite Boise State to join. Still, George O’Leary seems to be content to build up UCF into a national power, and the right coach could do the same for Boise State. Heck, Boise State is already a national power to a degree in that it gets ranked for some time every year. Maybe Petersen is the guy, unless he chases dollars at someplace like Stanford where is paycheck increases, but job security and satisfaction plummet.
In Gator news, Dave Revsine points out that Chris Leak has won five straight games against Florida’s big three rivals (FSU, Tennessee, and Georgia) dating back to the Ron Zook Field game. The only other Gator QB to do that was Danny Wuerffel, some of whose records are in jeopardy of being broken by Leak. It’s looking likely that Leak will extend that to six straight and possibly seven since Georgia is playing a freshman quarterback and Florida just finds ways to beat Georgia every year, and FSU looks like a train wreck. Some of that credit also should go to Urban Meyer for putting together great game plans for those rivalry games (even if his Alabama and LSU game plans in the past leave something to be desired).
Urban also says that Percy Harvin will see limited playing time, in the neighborhood of 10-15 plays. I’d rather see him sit the game out since there’s no possible way we’re losing to Kentucky, but Urban is on his “Are we a tough team?” kick, tough guys play through pain. I just don’t want to see Harvin reaggravate the injury against the Wildcats and lose him for the important stretch of the season, like how Alabama lost Tyrone Prothro last year in the fourth quarter of a blowout. Marcus Thomas is already out, let’s not lose Harvin too.