Dream football match-up: Boise State at Notre Dame

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):

Alabama (SEC)

Arkansas (SEC)

California (Pac-10)

Georgia (SEC)

Kentucky (SEC)

Michigan (Big Ten)

Missouri (Big 12)

Notre Dame (independent)

Oklahoma State (Big 12)

Virginia (ACC)

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)

Duke (ACC)

Georgia Tech (ACC)

Illinois (Big Ten)

Indiana (Big Ten)

Iowa (Big Ten)

Kansas (Big 12)

Kansas State (Big 12)


Maryland (ACC)

Miami (ACC)

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

2. Michigan

3. Alabama

4. Georgia

5. Wisconsin

6. Arkansas

We're not ready for the SEC

Any of the teams NOT in the SEC are ok with me. I have no preference.

We're not ready...

Kind of like Utah wasn't ready for the Sugar Bowl?

Kinda like...

Utah would've stomped us. Utah was the best non-BCS team last year. There is no arguing that, unless you say Alabama was the most overrated BCS team in a BCS game.

I'm just saying there are 2 conferences Boise State would most likely lose in: Big 12 and SEC. We may have beaten Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl but if we were so great, they wouldnt have made up the 18 point defecit and take the lead. If we were so good, we would have stomped them instead of struggling at the end.

If we continue to win and get great recruiting, then we could be ready for an SEC matchup, but not for a few years. Let's face facts. High School football players want to play for the best football schools in the country. Boise State is no comparison to Florida, Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and USC. Of those teams, the one they'll beat first is USC, but that's a future event.


Hey Brian don't we play at Hawaii this year and they come to Boise in 2010?
I think Notre Dame would be great to play!

At Hawaii in 2010?

We're not traveling to Hawaii in 2010! We're traveling to Hawaii this year, which is why we have 13 games scheduled for this year. So why would they be allowed to schedule 13 games next year?

Michigan or Notre Dame.


Lets go to the big house.

The Big House!

I have always wanted to go to "The Big House." I would go there to watch any game, but it would be awesome to go there to see the Broncos play. Notre Dame would definitely be a fun trip too, though.

Touchdown Jesus, Here We Come!

No question, without a doubt, BSU in South Bend on a Saturday afternoon would be as good as it gets!


You're going to pick Notre Dame and Michigan as the top two. Big name schools that are currently struggling, which schools would give BSU the best chance of a win.

Even when you have to play big schools for money you still can't man up.

ND all the way... Steeped in

ND all the way...
Steeped in tradition. National stage. Fat Chuck the gamer against young, athletic, actually smart coach Pete. Noisy has hell.
Go Bronco's

Bama would be awesome too.

Bama would be awesome too. Match our young DBs and Wideouts against one of the top programs in the country. That would be repect. Moore a Jr, with Vet O-line. Sounds good to me.
Go Bronco's

Big money

Notre Dame and Michigan would be my choice just because of their rich tradition. But we should play the team that it willing to give us the biggest paycheck.


No on Alabama. They are recently on probation and the quality of their teams will diminish as a result. BSU must play quality opponents to get respect; otherwise it's the same old story.

Michigan-not likely

I'd love for BSU to play in the Big House. But with the loss to Utah fresh in their minds, it seems unlikely to me that they would want to play another top midmajor in their house 2 years later. Then again, it is Michigan and they shouldn't be afraid to play anyone (except App State).

I really don't care Bleymeir's reasoning...I'm a fan that is excited for the possibility of bettering our schedule.

why not...

Why not Ohio State if schedules permit? Using the same logic as the BCS did when they said that the Buckeyes were a high profile team with a larger following and selected them over us this past year.

Anyone with money

is who we should play. Of course a big name school is much better than say a not quite as big Virginia or Arkansas. But if it is all about cash then whomever comes up with the filthy lucre is my choice. But I have to admit that smacking Oklahoma around again would be fun. Do you suppose they would pay big bucks for the privilege? Of course selling yourself for money has a stigma. I think they have a word for it too. I think it is called "savvy".

Notre Dame

the subject says it all

OOOOOK murphy

HOW would notre dame be a dream for the broncos? Because they have their chance to get their buts kicked on a historic field? or because it would be their first/last chance to play in front of fans with a degree? For some reason i think that would be the smartest crowd to watch the broncos in a long time...

Because I am the one that first brought it up. Thanks guys!

Supporting nothing everywhere all day and very well.

Thank you for hollering.


1. I would pick Notre Dame. Big name, Big history, Open sched, easy win. However, this would be the last one possible. Notre Dame is trying to dumb down their schedule in a last ditch effort to help their top 10 recruiting classes not lose 10 games per year. ZERO chance they will add BSU.

2. Anyone Big 10!!!! Michigan would be nice.

I don't really care...

As long as the opponent has a consistent win record and some prestige. I would play Oregon, Oregon St, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, or Ohio St. The only backlash to playing Michigan and Notre Dame is that they've been pretty bad the last few seasons.

Let's make a hypothetical example: say we play Oklahoma and beat them soundly, then Oklahoma has a complete meltdown for the season and finish at 3-12, including a close loss to Idaho St. Now, how big of a win did we have? Not very. Sure, it was against Oklahoma, but the new compaints would be "So you beat Oklahoma? Big Deal, so did every other team". The win won't mean as much. If we play and beat very a crappy Michigan or Notre Dame team, will it change our image? Sure, but not in a positive way.


I would like to see our games against Wyoming CANCELLED! Reason? They are the bottom dweller of the MWC. We can't make a statement if we're playing the worst team of a better conference. What exactly is that gonna prove? Why couldn't we have scheduled Air Force or even Colorado St (at 4-4 conference). That's the equivalent of a 1-AA team scheduling games against the Idaho Vandals. Sure, Idaho is 1-A, but does it really matter?

And, I can feel the heat wave of anger coming south from Moscow as I write this!