Torn by the news of Idaho Vandals going independent in football

I am torn by the Idaho Vandals going independent in Division I football and moving all other sports to the Big Sky Conference. They are fighting for survival in Division I after being snubbed by the Mountain West Conference. I am torn because I want them to stay at the FBS level in football, but feel the security of the Big Sky is where they probably should be.
I personally feel that Idaho would fit in perfectly in the Mountain West. They compete on an equal basis with all the schools and do quite well in all of the olympic sports. Though they have struggled in football, they almost beat Colorado State University in Fort Collins a couple of years ago.

I think Idaho has suffered from a perception problem. People think it is hard to get to Moscow, but it is not that hard to get to.

Then there is a media market problem. Moscow is in one media market (Spokane) but its major fan base is located in Boise, another media market. But they also have a large fan base in Portland and Seattle. I think the Mountain West and others are discounting this larger fan base.

Has Idaho made some mistakes? I think so. When they had the opportunity to develop and expand its facilities, they were slow to the party. They have made some steps to expand the Kibbie Dome, but it only sits 18,000. They need about 12,000 more to have a good size for Division I. While they use the Kibbie Dome for basketball, or as it is known as the Cowen Spectrum, they do need a dedicated activity center complex where they can play basketball, volleyball, dare I say hockey, and the jazz festival.

But fans, alumni, students, and residents of the inland northwest need to start coming out and supporting the Vandals. Getting only 12,000 to come out for a game against a team is something that all of us Vandals should not stand for. Since the Kibbie Dome only sits 18,000, that place should be sold out every game.

We are all Vandals and I trust that Rob Spear and Duane Nellis are going to do what is best for Idaho.

Go Vandals!


Conference alignment is just nuts

The conference realignment is just nuts.
TCU has left the Mountain West Conference for the Big East. So instead of playing games in Fort Collins, Albuquerque and Las Vegas they will be playing in Syracuse, Boston, and Pittsburgh.

Now the Mountain West Conference is talking with Hawaii about a football only membership and Utah State is lobbying to get into the conference.

The Western Athletic Conference is in real danger of just going away leaving Idaho, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State in the cold.

This is just nuts. And all because everyone is chasing the millions in the BCS.

Boise State started it all off by moving to the MWC to help the conferences opportunity to be an automatic qualifier into the BCS. But Utah, BYU, and now TCU have left and has really hurt the chance.

The only thing that is real plausible for the Mountain West Conference right now is to merge the WAC and MWC into one mega-conference. It would help its opportunity and generate some good competition.

Let’s bring some sanity to this mess, but I doubt this will happen.

The Western Athletic Conference has some explaining to do

The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) has some explaining to do about its suspension of Shiloh Keo of the Idaho Vandals.
They suspended him for the first-half of their game this weekend versus the Utah State Aggies for his hit on a Boise State University quarterback.

They said it was a helmet-to-helmet hit. But as you can see, Keo hit him with his shoulder into the chest. It was just a violent hit. This is football.

What makes it even more upsetting is that a Boise State University player hit the Idaho QB with a helmet-to-helmet hit that was clearly a hit and it wasn’t flagged. There was even some other questionable calls against the Vandals in the game.

BSU is a good football team, but it appears they are being protected and supported by the WAC officials.

Why Boise State Supporters Don’t Get It and Why I Can’t Stand Them

Boise State University President Bob Kustra just doesn’t get it. It also filters all-the-way through to its supporters. They have a good football team, but when it comes to everything else they just don’t measure up. They are nasty, mean, uninformed and ignorant.
I’m a University of Idaho alum and I bleed silver and gold. It is a great university and I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else. It is also the Land Grant University in the state of Idaho which means that it provides services through its agriculture extension offices throughout the entire state while also focusing its teaching in agriculture, science and engineering.

Because of this, the University of Idaho has an extensive endowment and last year brought in more that $89 million in research funding (that is 74-percent of all research funding of Idaho’s public universities).

The University of Idaho also contributes nearly $1 billion to the Idaho economy on an annual basis. So for $1 of state money given to the University of Idaho, they return $9 to the state economy.

Continue reading “Why Boise State Supporters Don’t Get It and Why I Can’t Stand Them”

Idaho Vandals and the Humanitarian Bowl

This is the best sign for the Idaho Vandal football team in the last 11 years. Yesterday they beat the Bowling Green Falcons 43-42.

They drove 68 yards in three plays to score a touchdown and instead of settling for a field goal went for the win by going for two. And they succeeded.

Since playing in the 1998 Humanitarian Bowl, the Vandals have struggled. But since Robb Akey was hired three years ago, the turn-around began.

Now it is on to the next level and going for a bigger bowl game.

Let’s Go Vandals!

Vandal Victory Highlights

This has been a great year for the Vandal Football team and it will be a great remaining part of the season. Let’s get out there against the Utah State Aggies next week and then the bowl game. Go Vandals!

I support the University of Idaho

I am getting tired of all the naysayers out there that say the University of Idaho football and athletics should move back to Division I-AA, also known as FCS.  Idaho is in the right conference and the right division.
Has the football team struggled the last 10 years? Yes!

Has the basketball team struggled? Yes!

But there are signs of improvement in the football program. I think Rob Akey is the right person to lead the turnaround.  He came in and had to deal with a disaster of a team, one that Dennis Erickson tore apart in one year.

Akey had to let go 18-20 players who were dealing drugs, stealing from teammates, and couldn’t handle the academics of college.  They are now playing mostly freshman and sophomores.  While they are getting experience, they are making mistakes and it is costing wins, but the future is quite bright.

There are signs are getting brighter for Idaho’s basketball program.  They have a good coach who can guide them.  I am also hearing that they are getting commits from some good recruits.  Face it, the basketball program can only get better.

Now I am a person that thinks that Idaho needs to build an outdoor football stadium, but I wouldn’t get rid of the Dome.  It is too heavily used by the student body for intramurals and workouts.  It would also make a great practice area for various sports.

Having an outdoor stadium would add so much.  Also when Idaho played their home games at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Idaho averaged higher attendance than the Kibbie Dome holds.

Basketball needs a new arena for basketball and volleyball.  The Kibbie Dome does not cut it for those sports.  The new arena could even be used for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival where good jazz gets lost in the vastness of the Dome.

I am a supporter of Vandal athletics and the University of Idaho as a whole. They are going through a transition in their athletic program, but the academic program is growing. The enrollment is up, they are getting more grants and research dollars (over $100 million since 2003), and is consistently rated as one of the best values in education.

The search for a new President is on and it will be nice to get that settled and the new person into the position.

Everyone just needs to be patient with the football and basketball programs.  They will come around.  The future is bright for the University of Idaho.

Go Vandals!

Spokesman-Review Censors Blog, Removes Post That Had Negative Comments

The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., runs a blog that discusses sports in the region. The have entries for the Washington State Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Eastern Washington Eagles, Spokane Chiefs, and local high school sports. It is called Sportslink.
Last week prior to the University of Idaho/Boise State men’s basketball game, after not having any posts about the Idaho Vandals for some time, writer Greg Lee responded to a comment in the post describing the Vandals previous game. The comment was wondering what had happened to the Vandal coverage.

His response: Continue reading “Spokesman-Review Censors Blog, Removes Post That Had Negative Comments”