Boise State will play in Hawaii Bowl
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Ferd Lewis
Boise State is coming to the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl, but the looming question is: Will Chris Petersen still be the head coach when the Broncos get here?
The 10-2 Broncos, runner-up to Hawai'i in the Western Athletic Conference, have accepted a bid to play East Carolina in the Dec. 23 game at Aloha Stadium, officials announced yesterday.
But after going 23-2 in two seasons as head coach, there is mounting speculation Petersen might not be around to coach against East Carolina's Skip Holtz, son of Lou Holtz.
The Los Angeles Times has reported Petersen is the first choice of the UCLA administration to replace Bruins' head coach Karl Dorrell, who is expected to be fired this week. The Times said UCLA athletic department representatives have already contacted Petersen.
Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier did not return calls to The Advertiser.
Boise State was chosen to represent the WAC in the Hawai'i Bowl after UH was paired against Georgia yesterday for the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl. The Broncos played in the Fiesta Bowl in January.
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said "back-to-back WAC BCS appearances validate the WAC's standing in the postseason."
East Carolina, which went 7-5 (6-2 in conference), will be the final Conference USA representative to the Hawai'i Bowl under the current contract. The Pac-10 will be represented in 2008 and 2009.
"This obviously will be a trip of a lifetime for many of us and a reward, especially for our seniors who have provided the program with leadership and stability during their career," Skip Holtz said. "I'm looking forward to seeing all of us experience a different culture, one which I'm confident will provide many wonderful memories. Yet, with that said, it will also put us in a position to reach one of our goals this season, which is a bowl championship."
Boise sports information director Max Corbet said, "We will be facing a great opponent in East Carolina, and I know the Bronco players and coaches look forward to representing Boise State University, the city of Boise and the state of Idaho in this outstanding postseason game."
The question is whether Petersen will be with them.
Tickets are available at Aloha Stadium or through the Hawai'i Bowl office at 523-3688.
Reach Ferd Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.