By Brian Murphy
Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier told the Statesman’s Chadd Cripe that because of the economy he has to consider scheduling a money game for the Broncos’ football team.
“Right now, I’d go where I can make the most money,” Bleymaier said. “If I can play at home and make that much money, then I’m going to play at home. But it’s difficult to make that much money in our stadium size. … I’ve tried to avoid those (guarantee games). Now they’re much more of a reality going forward.”
That means a road game for the Broncos with no return trip to the blue for the visitors. Similar to what Boise State has done with Georgia and Washington recently.
Here is Chadd’s story on the steps that Boise State is taking to get through these tough economic times.
Boise State still has a non-conference game to schedule for 2010.
The Broncos are slated to play Toledo and Oregon State at home in 2010 and Miami (OH) on the road, according to BroncoSports.com
(CORRECTION: Boise State is not at Hawaii in 2010 nor do the Broncos have a game scheduled with Wyoming in 2010, as an earlier version of this blog stated.)
So who could the Broncos play in a 2010 money game?
According to NationalChamps.net, there are many Bowl Championship Series teams that have openings on their 2010 schedule.
Schedules change all the time and it’s possible some of these slots have been filled or other spots have opened. (As a word of caution about the site, it has Boise State playing Wyoming next year.)
But these 12 are a good place for us — and Bleymaier — to start.
The teams (conference affiliation):
Michigan (Big Ten)
Missouri (Big 12)
Notre Dame (independent)
Oklahoma State (Big 12)
Washington State (Pac-10)
Wisconsin (Big Ten)
UPDATE: Here are the other BCS teams without four non-conference games (except for Pac-10 teams, which only schedule three):
Baylor (Big 12)
Georgia Tech (ACC)
Illinois (Big Ten)
Indiana (Big Ten)
Iowa (Big Ten)
Kansas (Big 12)
Kansas State (Big 12)
Michigan State (Big Ten)
Minnesota (Big Ten)
Mississippi State (SEC)
N.C. State (ACC)
Northwestern (Big Ten)
Pittsburgh (Big East)
I ruled all of these out for other reasons (mostly financial or schedule reasons) in compiling my list of 12, though I probably should have included LSU, Miami, Michigan State and Iowa on the original list as they would seem to be real possibilities. END UPDATE
I don’t think Kentucky or Washington State would or could pay Boise State the type of money it would take for Bleymaier to accept the game.
California, Missouri, Oklahoma State and Virginia are borderline cases. They could pay, but I’m not sure if they would. I’d love to see the Broncos play any of these four teams — basically mid- to upper-level teams from power conferences. These are the types of games Boise State should be trying to get every year.
Leaving those six out of it for now, there are six schools remaining with the financial ability to give the Broncos the necessary payday for Bleymaier to accept the deal.
Here they are with a breakdown:
Alabama: The Crimson Tide, one of the most storied programs in college football history (you’ll be hearing that a lot in this blog), has games with Penn State and Duke on the 2010 schedule. Alabama probably wants to add two easy wins, but it’s worth a call. Coach Nick Saban tried to lure Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin to Alabama when he was first hired.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks hosted Boise State in 2002. Coach Bobby Petrino is likely to have Arkansas’ offense humming by 2010. Arkansas has a game with Texas A&M on the schedule and that’s it, according to NationalChamps.net. The Razorbacks might be very receptive to a call from Bleymaier.
Georgia: Boise State has visited the Bulldogs before. The 2005 game was one of Boise State’s worst performances this decade. No doubt fans would love the chance for revenge between the hedges. The Bulldogs are slated to play Louisiana-Lafayette, Colorado and Georgia Tech on the schedule, so I’m not sure if the Bulldogs would want to add the Broncos.
Michigan: Storied program? Check. Classic venue? Check. Room on the schedule? Check. Michigan has Notre Dame, Bowling Green and Massachusetts on the schedule. There is definitely room for Boise State. Call the Wolverines now.
Notre Dame: This would be a dream game for Boise State. (And most other schools in college football, for that matter.) An old school vs. new school game between the tradition-rich Irish and the upstart Broncos. Notre Dame has nine games scheduled for 2010 so there is room for Boise State. Notre Dame plays Nevada this year. This would be my top choice.
Wisconsin: The Badgers are tough at home and with games against UNLV and Arizona State already on the docket, you can expect Wisconsin to find an easier foe than Boise State to complete its non-conference schedule.
How would you rank those six in terms of want-to-see potential? Here’s my list:
1. Notre Dame