The Front Row with MARK NELKE November 11, 2010
So what’s going to be more interesting Friday night — the actual football game between Boise State and Idaho inside the Kibbie Dome, or the pregame “festivities” between the Bronco and Vandal fans outside the Dome?
With the Broncos hoping this is their last trip to Moscow forever — or at least until they have to come back again — and the Boise State president suggesting that some Idaho fans act like less than model citizens, and the Broncos leaving the Vandals behind for another conference and hopefully more riches — and, oh yeah, the natural rivalry between the school in our state’s capital and the other school up in North Idaho — there will be a lot to get excited about before the game.
Then there’s Idaho coach Robb Akey, who often has the most refreshing take on things.
“Believe it or not, life will go on without Boise State in the conference,” Akey said on TV the other night.
With Boise State rolling as usual, hoping to somehow wind up in the BCS championship game, and Idaho coming off a couple of big-time beatings, the prospects for a fantastic finish on ESPN2 look slim.
Boise State, its fans are happy to remind you, have beaten Idaho 11 straight times by an average of 32.9 points. Idaho fans can at least hang their hats on the fact that the last three games at the Kibbie Dome have at least been competitive (even the 45-10 BSU win in Moscow in 2008 was 17-10 at the half).
But some of the projected scores I’ve seen bandied about for the actual game — 72-13, 63-7, 55-35, 62-26 ... — sound more like a carnage than a rivalry.
Idaho gave up nearly a half-mile in total offense — 844 yards — last week to Nevada, while Boise State eased off the gas and still piled up a school-record 737 yards against a supposedly strong Hawaii team which handled the Vandals the previous week.
Speaking of 737, perhaps Jerry Kramer, who flew up from Boise on Wednesday in a Horizon plane freshly painted in Vandal colors, could be persuaded to stick around and suit up for the Vandals on Friday. Though the former Sandpoint High, Idaho and Green Bay Packers star is now 74 years old, perhaps the old right guard could still help a Vandal ground game which ranks 116th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
I’M CURIOUS to observe the pregame give and take outside the Dome between the fans of the two schools. You hope it doesn’t get ugly. The BSU prez isn’t expected to show up anyway, and he’s the one who poured a lot of the gasoline on this fire.
What is that human rights slogan — “Idaho is too great for hate”? Maybe that can be applied Friday night at the Kibbie Dome.
Mark Nelke is sports editor of The Press. He can be reached at 664-8176, Ext. 2019, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.