By Chadd Cripe
The debate over whether the Boise State football team should be able to play for the BCS National Championship Game has reached the cover of Sports Illustrated.
The Broncos are the cover story this week — the first time they have appeared on the national cover of the sports magazine. The Broncos were featured on a regional cover for SI's college football preview in August.
The photo is of the Broncos taking the field before Saturday's game against Oregon State. Defensive players are at the forefront — particularly linebacker Byron Hout, defensive tackle Billy Winn (who is the only player with his helmet off), defensive tackle Chase Baker, linebacker Aaron Tevis and cornerback Josh Borgman. Borgman is from Centennial High.
Sports Illustrated writer Austin Murphy spent much of last week in Boise to report and write the story. Two SI photographers shot the game Saturday.
The story focuses on what needs to happen for Boise State to play for the national championship — and the Broncos' insistence on staying out of the debate.
This week's issue hits newsstands Wednesday.
The SI cover is the third major first for the program stemming from Saturday's game, which the Broncos won 37-24. ESPN's "College GameDay" originated from the blue turf for the first time and the contest was the first Boise State regular-season game to air nationally on network television (ABC).
Boise State has sold its 4,000 tickets to the Nov. 26 game at Nevada, ticket manager Anita Guerricabeitia said.
Nevada only has a couple hundred $60 tickets left to sell, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. They can be purchased by calling 775-348-PACK.
Both teams will be favored to win all of their games until then.
The Big East Conference is interested in adding TCU, the New York Post reports. That would be a brutal blow to the Mountain West, which add Boise State next year but already has lost Utah and BYU.