Boise is No. 69 on list of best sports cities; What if Petersen had gone to Colorado with Hawkins?

UPDATE 2:43 p.m. — Boise is ranked No. 69 in the Sporting News' annual Best Sports Cities rankings. The city was 85th last year.

Pittsburgh is No. 1 this year. Boston, No. 1 last season, is No. 3.

Other Idaho cities: Moscow (128), Pocatello (181) and Idaho Falls (375).

Other WAC cities: San Jose (24), Reno, Nev. (93), Logan, Utah (101), Ruston, La. (108), Fresno, Calif. (110), Honolulu (116) and Las Cruces, N.M. (125).

This year's list includes 399 cities and towns in the U.S. and Canada.

From the Sporting News:

"Boise has a lot going for it, and really has become part of the national sports scene with Smurf turf and the Boise State football team,” said Sporting News chief of correspondents Bob Hille, who has coordinated the rankings since their expansion 13 years ago.

“We know, though, that win or lose the fans there are going to support their teams in that community.”

The cities are ranked by a system that assigns points to a variety of categories, including a city’s number of teams, their regular-season won-lost records, playoff berths, bowl appearances and tournament bids, championships, applicable power ratings, fan fervor, attendance and more.

“We identify with our sports teams as cities and communities, and, right or wrong, that affects how we feel about ourselves, not just as fans but as citizens,” Hille said. “That’s what we’re getting at with this list. We’re not just celebrating success but that sense of community in so many great sports cities in the U.S. and Canada.”

The full list can be found at here.

Sporting News began its Best Sports Cities rankings in 1993. Past winners:






2003—Anaheim/Los Angeles


2001—New York

2000—St. Louis

1999—New York






Note: There was no Best Sports City in 1996 as the ratings were expanded and refined.

UPDATE 2:14 p.m. — Boise's favorite national columnist,'s Gregg Doyel, says BCS title game is for big boys, not Boise State or Cincinnati.

1:19 p.m. — What if is one of the greatest questions in sports.

What if Barry Sanders had played for those great Dallas teams and Emmitt Smith had played for the lowly Lions? Would the Cowboys have won all those titles? Would Smith be the all-time leading rusher in NFL history?

After watching the ESPN documentary on Wayne Gretzky’s 1988 trade from Edmonton to Los Angeles, what if the Oilers had held onto the Great One? Would they have won four more titles? Would hockey have expanded into the Sun Belt without Gretzky going to L.A.?

But here’s one I got to thinking about last week — after watching Colorado and Louisville get torched on consecutive nights on national television: What if Chris Petersen had gone with Dan Hawkins to Colorado?

It’s not out of the question.

In fact, Petersen was planning on going with Hawkins to be his offensive coordinator after the 2005 season. But, after about three days, Petersen decided he would rather remain in Boise and become the head coach of the Broncos.

With Petersen as his offensive coordinator, is it possible that Hawkins’ disastrous tenure with the Buffaloes is instead a success? Hawkins is 14-26 at Colorado and 8-16 in Big 12 play. He is on the hot seat with fans and the media.

If Petersen had left with Hawkins, the then-Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe would have been among the leading candidates for the Boise State job. Kragthorpe was a hot commodity at the time.

He had just led Tulsa to a 9-4 record and a victory in the Liberty Bowl in 2005. He was 21-17 with two bowl appearances in three seasons with the Golden Hurricane at the time.

Kragthorpe would coach another season at Tulsa, going 8-5 and reaching the Armed Forces Bowl before getting the job at Louisville.

At Louisville, Kragthorpe is 12-16 and 4-11 in Big East play. He is most definitely on the hot seat.

If Petersen had left, what happens to Bryan Harsin, who Petersen elevated to his offensive coordinator? Does Harsin go to Colorado, too? Justin Wilcox was the linebackers coach at California. He is probably not the defensive coordinator at Boise State if Petersen is not here.

Meanwhile, Petersen is 40-4 as the Broncos head coach, including 24-1 in the WAC. Boise State won the 2006 Fiesta Bowl and is aiming for its third undefeated regular season in his four years. The Broncos are currently No. 6 in the country — and Boise State certainly is a better job than Colorado or Louisville at the moment.

Is Colorado better if Petersen goes with Hawkins? Almost assuredly yes.

Is Boise State better if Kragthorpe replaces Hawkins? There’s almost zero chance of that. There's no Fiesta Bowl. Probably no Kellen Moore on the blue. No No. 5 ranking.

Shows you how easily history can be changed.

•’s Pat Forde hit on the troubles of Louisville and Colorado in his weekly Dash.

•’s Dennis Dodd thinks it’s unfair that Boise State is being treated differently than other teams in the Top 25.

One shocking line in the column: A coach has Boise State No. 18 on his ballot.

• ESPNU will televise four WAC women’s basketball games, including Boise State and Idaho.

Here are the games slated for ESPNU:

Louisiana Tech at Nevada, Jan. 26, 9 p.m.

Boise State at Fresno State, Jan. 27, 9 p.m.

Louisiana Tech at Idaho, March 3, 9 p.m.

WAC Tournament championship game, March 13, 2 p.m.

You can follow Murph's Turf on Twitter.

Brian Murphy is co-author of "Blue Magic: Boise State's Unlikely Journey to a Fiesta Bowl Win." Click here to learn more about or purchase the book.

1254971928 Boise is No. 69 on list of best sports cities; What if Petersen had gone to Colorado with Hawkins? Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

wow, dude.

MUST be a slow, slow news day.

This blog is getting ridiculous

What a day for a day dream, eh, Murph? Are you expecting people to rewrite history?

Well, what if Gannett had never sold the Idaho Statesman? What if Brian Murphy had never landed in Boise? What if we had a Pulitzer winning sports writer and editor at the local newspaper? What if the Idaho Stateman had anticipated the rise of Bronco Nation and started printing in Orange and Blue ink? Well, I think you know what I'm getting at.

BTW, regarding the #18 ranking

The upside to the silly #18 ranking is that this coach may (and probably will) ultimately give the Broncos a little more love later in the season, giving the Broncos a little boost up the standings. Bleed Blue! Go Blue!!!

I would rather....

Contemplate life without Murphy...or PrHater from the Statesman.

Let's banter these variables back and forth.


You idiots are reading it!!!



To Be Fair

I know the Statesman isn't too keen on keeping things fair and objective, but this article by Gregg Doyel is linked on Dodd's article.

Not saying one guy is right or wrong, but there should be two sides to every story.. (except in the Boise Statesman). Before you accuse me of being hater, I do root for BSU when they aren't playing a Pac 10 team (especially UW), but this newspaper's continual bias is comical. (Yes I know it is a Boise paper, but any newspaper should try and be objective.)

I was posting that link before your comment.

I didn't see it earlier. If I had, I would have linked to it.

-- brian murphy

Nice man, they are an

Nice man, they are an interesting 3 columns to read, one pro-BSU, one pro-Cincy and one against both for anyone who's interested.

right on

The rating game is totally out of control. BS-U is the current recipent of benefit the doubt systems where the rating is maintained by "they haven't lost" logic rather than rewarding for "they are beating strong competition". It's amazing to me that a rational poll voter would rank them ahead of some of the high quality teams with a loss to another high quality team, with Boise's dismal head to head and bowl results. TCU has much better credentials this year.
I saw BS-U play in Seattle a few years ago, coming in with the nations' long win streak and Heisman hype for a mediocre running back, and leaving with a 14 point loss to a 9th place Pac10 team with a lousy coach. That about sums up the real world for the WAC and it's champion.
Go Dawgs!

I'm just happy that BSU is being talked about and considered

seeing how they've only been playing big time ball for 13 years.

The SEC has been playing football games since 1932. The same year that Boise Junior College was established.
Boise State won a JC National Title in 1958 and a Div-II National Title in 1980, which is the same year that UGA won it's last Div-1 National Title, so considering the head start the the "elite" BCS conferences and "elite" BCS teams have on BS-U, it's kind of amazing how far a little football program in Idaho has come.

That Washington game that you referenced was the starting point for a young team who would mature and improve and eventually go on to beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl and so what if that was a few years ago? College football often sees the ebb and flow of success for it's football program, but BS-U has remained constant for 10 years and has become one of the most successful football programs of the modern era.
Can we stand toe to toe with the likes of Florida, Texas, Alabama, and LSU? Maybe, and probably not, but it sure would be fun to watch.

Regardless of what people have to say, it's just pretty cool to be a Bronco fan right now

The UW game was after the Fiesta Bowl

But the team was still young, except with Tharp as the QB.


wasn't thinking correctly

Please justify...

... the statement that "TCU has much better credentials this year."

Yes they have beaten two AQ teams, but Virginia is terrible. They lost to FCS William and Mary, and have one win this season. Clemson is decent, but nothing special this year. They are 2-3, and just lost to a bad Maryland team. TCU squeaked by them by 4 points. Boise State beat an Oregon team that will challenge for the Pac 10 title by 11 points.

As for the 2007 Broncos, that team was indeed very overated. The 2009 Broncos are a totally different team. Don't believe me? Ask Oregon.

Freeman's argument...

... is silly. Cinci gets an automatic bid to the BCS if they win their conference. They don't even have to be ranked, and they still get a BCS bid if they win the Big East. Also, saying Cinci is clearly better than Boise is highly debatable. They have played two common opponents. Cinci played Fresno at home, and the Broncos played them in Fresno. Cinci won by 8, and BSU won by 17. Both teams played Miami (OH) at home. Cinci won by 24, and BSU won by 49. With that sample of games, any objective observer would have to say the Broncos look better against common opponents.

Also, Freeman trumpets the Bearcat's qb, Pike, as this amazing star that is clearly better than Boise's qb, Moore. He sings the praises of Pike's 66.7% (16th in the nation) completion pct, and 159.9 (11th in the nation) qb rating. What he conveniently leaves out is that Moore's completion pct is 69.2% (tied for 4th in the nation), and his qb rating is 175.3 (second in the nation). This is against nearly identical competition.

He is entitled to his oppinion, but his argument is very, very weak.

In the game of life you can

In the game of life you can "What if..." yourself to death. Don't be a What iffer.

Dan Hawkins success at BSU was the result of Chris Peterson

It's pretty evident now but Peterson was the wind beneath Hawkins wings.

Hey Murph, If you're gonna play the "what if" game, how about talking about something relevant like:
"what if" Dan Hawkins is able to beat # 2 Texas?
"what if" #4 LSU knocks off #1 Florida?
"what if" #20 Ole Miss takes care of #3 Alabama?
"what if" BC pull sout a win against #5 VaTech?

and the ultimate "what if" ..."What If" all the above happens and how would we be treated in the polls.

The Tulsa game just might be one of the biggest games of the year for us

What's his name

Okay, if you're going to post as the Bronco Kid, please realize that it's Coach PetersEn! That's with an E, not an O.

O-Tay, but you should change your username to spellingnazi


thanks badams...I think I have it down now

It's your college

team's coach and you can't even get it right-!!!TEG TI THGIR (shish Kid)

I misspelled his name, big f 'n deal

I misspelled his name, big f 'n deal

UR right

I knew what U meant.

Arguing over two Scandinavian tribes is silly. UFF DA

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

He's got a job...DO YOU?

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

And that is the problem....

with BSU's schedule. Tulsa just might be one of the biggest games of the year. That's a sad statement for a legitimate top 5 team.

Add the WAC to the BCS and the SOS issue is a non-issue

because all of BSU's WAC games would then be against BCS opponents.

BCS is nothing but a football membership to a fancy club and there are many BCS teams out there that are horrible year in and year out. Plus, There's no legitimacy within the college football and if anything we've been seeing the bottom get closer to the top in that we're now seeing that any team can win on any given day regardless of record or rank so as far as being the "legit" #6 team, why bother trying to dispute it or expect a justification?

A play-off however, would pretty much settle everything once and for all would it not?

Sounds good...

it's as good as the solution I heard one person propose to illegal immigration. He stated they should just give citizenship cards to every person that crosses the border into the United States. It would be up to them if they wanted to use them, but at least they would have proof they were legal. It's silly, but at least you could end the debate about illegal immigrants, they would all be here "legally".

In all fairness none of us filled out immigration paperwork with

the native americans.

Instead, white rich white men came here took what they wanted and made up their own rules.

Kinda like the BCS in a way

To their credit, they didn't have our government...

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

What if?

They'd both be looking for jobs.......

Let me see if I get this..........

Murphy writes another "brillant" column.....wrong.
Murphy is able to look in the mirror afterward........unbelievable.
Murphy finally takes the hint, and moves back to North Carolina.......Priceless !

When did you get dentures fitted anyway?

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

Chris Peterson...

is by far a top 5 football mind in all of college football. Boise State, the dept of education, and the whole state of Idaho is very lucky to have him. I have not seen a classier coach in all of college football. He always says the right thing, keeps his kids focused, graduates them ahead of schedule, never publicizes his discipline and believes in the process. Just what BSU needs at a time like this as they are ushering from a cute, trendy team to a continuous national contender. You always hope for the best bowl for you're team, but no matter what we have a coach in place and a system in place that is a hell of lot of fun to watch and be a part of. Coach Hawkins was pining for a new job, and had worn out his welcome here. If peterson had gone, the program would have took a serious step back and Colorado would be a serious contender right now. Good job bleymaier, good job kustra, and a wonderful job to Coach Peterson and his staff.

Blue Orange

See kid above!! Coach Petersen!! Clean up your act he's not Dutch He's English they spell it with and -en.


Clean up your own act. It's "with an -en", not "with and -en". Be sure your own writing is correct if you're going to call out others.


It was about coaches name not his grammer in his post. And like he said Big F'n Deal.


Ranked one spot above Boise, Kinda Funny!

Then you'd be writing dumb, speculative stories about others.

We don't have a Fantasy Football League on this site.

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

Win or Lose? The community

Win or Lose? The community will still support the team? I've never seen such a fair weathered fan base. As soon as the Broncos start having problems and begin having losing seasons...the fans are outta there! The dump will be overloaded with Bronco flags that once flew proudly on the sides of cars....guarantee it.


they've had just five losing seasons since 1946, I don't think this is really going to be a problem. It's not like they're Idaho.


Dan Hawkins has won more games against BCS teams than Chris Peterson. Hawk is viewed as a failure because he plays good teams and loses while Pete is viewed as a success because he plays weak team and wins.

I think that this reflects of how weak the WAC is and what BSU may be if they played in a strong, major conference like the Big Twelve.

It's not...

... how many wins versus BCS automatic qualifying (AQ) teams. It's what win percentage he has against them. Chris Petersen is now 4-1 vs BCS AQ teams, with all 4 victories coming over teams that were ranked at the end of the season (3 of the 4 were also ranked at the time the games were played). That's an 80% win percentage versus BCS AQs, with all of the wins coming against very good BCS AQ teams. By anyone's measure, that is a very good record.


comes from out of the woodwork to hate once again on the Broncos. It sure was nice having his big, ignorant mouth shut for a few weeks after the Oregon game.

Hawk is viewed as a failure because he can't beat Montana State, Toledo or a horrible Colorado State team that can't even beat Idaho. It's not the losses against the good teams that's doing him in, it's the bad losses to bad teams. As far as his powerful BCS big-time Big 12 team they would likely finish fourth in the WAC. They're not athletic, not smart, and not well-coached.

bronco kid

that was a Division 1-AA title in 1980. BSU over EKU in a game listed in "The 50 best finishes of all time" or something similar. BSU drove the length of the field and scored as time expired. We beat Grambling in the playoffs to get there. We faced the same silliness then. My neighbor still owes me $20 because he said we had no chance to beat Grambling.

I think...

the article was fine. While there are no black and white answers to the question, What if? it is fun to speculate and theorize, especially about events that very well could have happened. In this case it also demonstrates what it takes to make a program like BSU's and to maintain a program. It also demonstrates the considerations that have to go into such a program. It's a legitimate question: would there have been a Fiesta Bowl and all that followed if Petersen had gone elsewhere? There is absolutely no reason to dog Mr. Murphy about this article and write it off as stupid and non-sensical. It's done in sports all the time: What if Babe Ruth had stayed with the Red Sox, etc.

What if...

What if you actually covered real upcoming games instead of what might have been or speculation about a championship game? You're right, tomellen, this kind of stuff is written about all the time...perhaps that's why I don't have much patience for a lot of sports coverage. I'm afraid I don't find it any more interesting in print than I do when I hear these "what if" debates at the local pub. At least there I get a beer.

They do...

cover real upcoming games. Well, at least if it's a BSU football game. There isn't much more they could do to expand the BSU football coverage, unless they started printing pieces about each player's favorite foods, color, hobbies, hair color, etc. An occasional piece like this article is not that painful. However, I do agree that it would be a big shot in the arm for local youth athletes to be covered in the local paper, so they could use the space to cover 5th and 6th grade basketball, volleyball, soccer, etc. as well as junior varsity activities, karate classes/competitions, etc. I'm sure that would go over much better. I think what struck a nerve with this article was BSU fans having to face how close they may have been to going in a whole other direction as a football program and the actual thought that the Fiesta Bowl may have never happened and BSU may not be the darlings of the mid-majors and seen as a perrenial BCS buster.


There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...

The mid-east (they call it the mid-west) aren't what they think

I just remember an OKC columnist writing "Boise freaking State" before the bowl game; what arrogance. I pounded him with "Okie freaking Dokes" and "Boomer freaking Sooners" for months.

What if Galacticus killed himself before meeting Silver Surfer?

What if Chester ran off with Miss Kitty?
What if the one-armed man killed The Fugitive?
What if John Denver were still alive?
What is Detroit were paradise?
What if Hitler had won?
What if Kurt Cobain had kicked drugs?
What if Richie Valens' plane hadn't crashed?
What if we were drinking that free Bubble-Up and eating that Rainbow Stew?

I guess we'd all have ESP and could bug each other without the internet, wouldn't we?

Nosehair trimming would also be eliminated, hoorah.

There is no life in is a mirror site on god's server. You were dreaming but it is over. Go to your residence and await our commands and THEN we will restore control...