ESPNU will televise Boise State’s annual rivalry game with Idaho on Nov. 14 from Bronco Stadium, the Broncos announced Wednesday morning.
Kickoff has been moved to 1:30 p.m. It was originally slated to kickoff at 1 p.m. and be televised by KTVB.
UPDATE: No, the game will not be shown on KTVB. ESPN has an option in its television contract with the WAC that allows it to select additional games for its family of networks. ESPN exercised that option for this game.
ESPNU is on channel 301 on CableOne, channel 614 on Direct TV and channel 148 on Dish Network.
It is the first time Boise State will be shown on ESPNU.
The Broncos now have seven nationally televised games this season, matching a record for the program (2004, 2006). Boise State’s games with Oregon, Fresno State and Tulsa were on ESPN.
Beginning with the Nov. 6 game against Louisiana Tech (ESPN), four consecutive games will be nationally televised — Idaho on Nov. 14 (ESPNU), Utah State on Nov. 20 (ESPN2) and Nevada on Nov. 27 (ESPN2).
What could it mean?
It is another indication that ESPN is seriously considering hosting its weekly College GameDay broadcast from Bronco Stadium on Nov. 14.
Though not a rule, the network likes to be able to promote a game on one of its networks — ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU — during the Saturday morning show.
Boise State (7-0) is ranked No. 7 in the latest BCS rankings and quarterback Kellen Moore is getting attention in the Heisman Trophy race. Idaho (6-2) is enjoying its best season in a decade and coach Robb Akey has gotten recognition as a potential national coach of the year candidate.
College GameDay has never appeared at a WAC venue, commissioner Karl Benson said.
ESPN is not likely to announce its decision until Monday, Nov. 9 as the network wants to see what happens with other games around the nation, particularly Iowa vs. Ohio State.
Other prospects for that weekend include: Florida-South Carolina, Notre Dame-Pittsburgh and Utah-TCU.
H-Bowl wants Vandals
While the Humanitarian Bowl searches for a conference partner for 2010 and beyond — click here
to see my story in Wednesday’s editions of the Idaho Statesman that discusses the H-Bowl’s pursuit of an agreement with the Mid-American Conference — officials are trying to land Idaho for the 2009 game.
“For a lot of reasons, we like Idaho,” H-Bowl executive director Kevin McDonald said. “You have a fan base who haven’t had a lot to cheer about. It’s exciting to have a team in your bowl who is excited to be at a bowl and play here in Boise, where a lot of their fans are.”
Idaho (6-2) has not appeared in a bowl game since the 1998 Humanitarian Bowl.
The Vandals are bowl eligible, but not yet guaranteed a spot in the postseason. The WAC has three bowl tie-ins (Humanitarian, New Mexico and Hawaii) and, potentially, four bowl eligible teams — Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada and Idaho.
Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State each have three wins and could reach six victories, though each face a difficult stretch. Louisiana Tech plays Idaho, Boise State, LSU and Fresno State among its final five games. New Mexico State plays Ohio State, Nevada and Boise State among its final five games.
If Boise State does not make it to the BCS (or if the league does not find an opening in another bowl, such as the Poinsettia), then one of the four teams could stay home.
“Boise State is the biggest home run we can hit, financially. Idaho would be the second,” McDonald said.
But the game will have to sweat out the rest of the regular season before landing the Vandals.
The Mountain West is scheduled to provide the opponent. But if TCU were to make the BCS, it's possible the league would not have enough bowl eligible teams to satisfy the H-Bowl, which has the fifth pick from the league.
Akey, Petersen among top candidates for coach of the year
Idaho coach Robb Akey and Boise State coach Chris Petersen are among 20 coaches on the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award watch list.
The award is the only college football coach award voted on after all bowl games are played.
• Fox Sports is also touting Petersen as one of 10 candidates for coach of the year. Click here to see their list.
From the Twitter feed: —
From @KTVB: You won't see the BSU/UI on free TV anymore... instead you'll have to find a TV with ESPNU to watch it.
From @murphsturph: Boo Hoo. #givemeabreak
From @murphsturph: Are #BSUFootball fans whining about Idaho game being on ESPNU the same ones complaining about what a poor job @KTVB does? #canthaveitall
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." You can click here to purchase the book.