By Chadd Cripe
© 2011 Idaho Statesman
Boise State football coach Chris Petersen said it’s “extremely” important that Boise State offer athletes the additional $2,000 per year stipend approved by the NCAA. Each conference will decide whether to allow its schools to offer the money. The six Bowl Championship Series conferences are expected to do so.
Boise State will need about $500,000 to pay the additional money to each of its scholarship athletes.
“Everybody gets that,” Petersen said of keeping up with the BCS leagues. “It can, and probably will, separate the haves from the have-nots. That would be a big thing in recruiting.”
Petersen said some players rely on their parents or federal grants for financial assistance but many of them can’t get help from either. Scholarships cover tuition and fees, books, room and board but not travel, clothing and entertainment.
“The scholarship check really is not enough,” he said.
The NCAA also has approved use of multi-year scholarships, with provisions for schools to cancel those agreements if there are off-the-field issues. Current scholarship agreements are for one year at a time.
Petersen doesn’t like that move. He said he doesn’t remove players from his team based on ability alone and doesn’t see any problems with the current model.
“What we have done is we’ve sat down and said, ‘Listen, you probably are not going to play here,’ ” Petersen said. “Ninety-nine out of 100, they want to play, so we’re on the same page there and we can help them go play somewhere else. If they say they love it here — if he’s a good guy and doing fine in school — that’s on us. Then he can stay.”
UNLV has switched back to sophomore Caleb Herring as the starting quarterback. Herring was benched in favor of junior college transfer Sean Reilly for the Oct. 15 game at Wyoming.
Herring practiced well last week and entered early in the Colorado State game on Saturday. He led the Rebels to a 38-35 victory. He was 9-of-13 for 90 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for the game-winning touchdown with 1:20 left.
Boise State’s opponents have been giving the Broncos’ schedule strength a boost in recent weeks. Their five non-conference opponents are a combined 18-2 in their leagues, with Tulsa (4-0 in Conference USA), Nevada (3-0 in WAC) and Toledo (4-0 in Mid-American) unbeaten.
The Broncos rank third among undefeated teams in total defense and scoring defense, behind Alabama and LSU. All three teams rank in the top 16 in both categories.
If you factor in the offenses each team has played, there is little separation between the defenses.
Alabama allows 180.5 yards per game, which is 163.0 yards per game below their opponents’ average in games against all other opponents.
Boise State allows 300.6 yards per game, which is 146.7 better than their opponents’ average.
And LSU allows 251.4, which is 137.6 yards better than the opponents’ average.
Stanford has a differential of 84.8 yards.
The other two unbeatens are ranked in the bottom third nationally in total defense — Houston (86th) and Oklahoma State (111th).
I went through my voting procedure last night just to keep my system consistent. Here’s how I likely would have voted in the AP poll on Sunday if I hadn’t been on furlough:
3 Boise State
4 Okla State
10 South Carolina
12 Virginia Tech
13 Kansas St
16 Arizona St
17 Michigan St.
21 Penn State
22 Georgia Tech
24 Southern Miss