Saying good-bye is never an easy thing to do.
The Boise State Broncos football team has had to say it a lot this year. They waved good-bye to receiving a bid to play in a New Year’s day bowl game with two losses before November. Players have said good-bye to records that have stood for years. (See: Sperbeck Thomas and Rypien, Brett). And for some players, they will be saying good-bye to the blue turf come this Friday.
Twenty-one seniors are currently on this Boise State roster. Some have played their last game on the blue already, as is the case with Tackle Rees Odhiambo, who is out with an injury. Others, such as Antoine Turner, unfortunately missed their senior season with an eligibility issue.
Players like Darian Thompson and Tyler Horn, and (hopefully) Shane Williams-Rhodes and Donte Deayon (fingers crossed) will be stepping onto the blue turf for what is most likely their final time.
Players that have dealt with coaching changes, late games, a five-loss season, games played in below freezing temperatures, a Fiesta Bowl victory, and this season’s unexpected conference losses.
And this stuff all occurred on the field. It doesn’t even factor in life situations over the years that fans may or may not have even heard about.
Friday’s game against Air Force will likely be the final time for fans to applaud these players at Albertsons Stadium. So cheer loud and cheer often for these players.
Of course, perhaps the universe has one more home game in store for this class of seniors and this team. Perhaps the magic is not yet gone.
Admit it. When Boise State’s comeback last Saturday fell four yards short, you thought the Broncos bag of magic pixie dust had finally been emptied.
It’s entirely possible that Boise State returns to the blue turf after Friday’s game one last time this season. Certain scenarios and pundits have the Broncos playing here on December 22nd in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
That doesn’t get you excited enough? How about the very slim chance that Boise State still holds in hosting the Mountain West Title game?
Boise State needs to, ahem, take care of business by winning its final two games. The same proposition that lay before them prior to the New Mexico game. They also need the Lobos to lose one of their final two games (home contests with Colorado State and Air Force).
If those things happen, Boise State would most likely face the San Diego State Aztecs in the title game. An Aztecs team that could very well be undefeated in conference play and still have to travel to Boise State because of rules set in place by the Mountain West Conference.
Based on these current rankings, since neither team would probably be ranked in the top 25, Boise State would be the higher ranked team. Thus earning the right to host the MWC title game.
San Diego State might very well be 9-3 overall and undefeated in conference play by the time November ends. Their reward could be a trip to Boise State. A lot has to happen for that event to occur, but I’m sure Aztec coach Rocky Long would be welcomed back to the city of Boise with open arms.
Boise State will need to eliminate dropped passes, execute a whole lot better, and stop giving up big plays in order to hold up their end of the bargain. From there, time will only tell if the Broncos have a little bit of magic left in the bag.
Either way, Friday night is Senior Night. Time to applaud and thank these 21 players for their hard work and dedication to the Boise State program for the past two to five years. A time to celebrate their accomplishments. One last chance to see your favorite players in action.
Then, we’ll let the “what-ifs” and “maybes” take care of themselves. In the words of immortal Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
Welcome to my land of eternal optimism, Bronco Nation.