Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sports Buzz: Rivalries

Recently in the state of Idaho college sports rivalries have been in the news. My former school, the University of Idaho and the local school Boise State have had a rivalry for years and it's pretty intense. It's no North Carolina-Duke or Florida State-Miami, it's more like Oregon-Oregon State or Washington-Washington State. It's the biggest interstate rivalry in college sports.

But, Boise State has gotten a little bit overzealous with a couple of Fiesta Bowl wins and pouting about not being included in a BCS championship game. They just announced this year will be their last in the Western Athletic Conference and that in 2011 Boise State will be a part of the Mountain West Conference. With Boise State wanting to play bigger non-conference teams, this pretty much leaves the Governor's Cup game in the dust. Well, then Boise State changed it's mind and said maybe it'd be okay but there was no way they would play the game as the away team. It seems to me that perhaps Boise State is a little bit scared that if they lose to Idaho at Idaho larger school might think them weak.

Although Boise State essentially wants to end the rivalry series (admittedly they've won the last 10 years in a row, but there was a time when Idaho won 12 in a row. Idaho has had their best season in more than ten years last year, so it could be possible for Idaho to make a comeback), it was only fueled by some comments the president of the university made. Bob Kustra basically said there was no point in playing the game because the Idaho fans were not respectful (when is anyone respectful in a rivalry?). Kustra also indicated that if Idaho did win, what was the advantage for Boise, which would indeed indicate some fear that Idaho may be a worthy opponent.

Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples makes the best point I've read so far: Boise State is essentially shunning their past as "underdogs" and "the little guy" to become a big powerhouse team (which they aren't). By shunning this past, Staples says that Boise State loses the right to ever complain about not being included in something big, say a BSC championship game, ever again.

Certainly I have my opinions and I'm sure they've come out in this post, but it does kind of seem like a case of a famous sibling being too good to visit his roots. It doesn't matter, though, I'm still proud to be a Vandal, even if I live in the middle of orange and blue it won't stop my from bleeding black and gold.

Related Links:
Andy Staples' Commentary on the Rivalry
Boise State-Idaho Wiki
More on Bob Kustra and Duane Nellis on the Rivalry
Editorial About the Rivalry