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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Blue blood boiling in Boise

By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Columnist

It is more than two months before the start of the college football season and you get the feeling folks in Boise have already had it up to about, well, the top of Bronco Stadium with all the speculation about who might emerge as the Bowl Championship Series Cinderella of 2007.

We would say the "next Boise State" but that phrase apparently jabs a raw nerve among the Bronco faithful as you will soon read. In the home of the blue turf they are seeing red over such talk.

Hard not to blame, them, really. The Broncos, at 13-0, were more than college football's only unbeaten team of 2006. They were a feel-good story for the decade, topped off by the star running back proposing to his girlfriend, a cheerleader, on the field. They could make a movie about it. And, somebody wants to.

So, you can understand why they might want to bask in that well-earned glow a while longer. At least until somebody unseats them. And, why they might regard anybody projected to follow in their cleats as presumptuous. The University of Hawai'i, apparently, at the top of the list.

That people, not to mention a number of magazines, tout the Warriors as being the next, well, you-know-who, has not gone over well in Boise. Idaho Statesman columnist Brian Murphy wrote: "Much of the talk is coming from the Hawaiian Islands, where the Warriors are everybody's favorite (to be) 'this year's Boise State.'

"At least when they're not trying to figure out why football players whine that they don't have soap in the locker room; why superstar quarterback Colt Brennan has to pay for parking on campus and why they schedule softer than a roll of triple-ply. The favorite to be 'this year's Boise State' plays Division I-AA Northern Colorado and Charleston Southern, which should do wonders from their strength of schedule."

Murphy writes: "By barely breaking a sweat in those two cakewalks, the Warriors should be able to cut down on the amount of soap they need in the locker room. And Brennan should be out of those games by halftime, leaving plenty of time to feed the meters in the second half."

Murphy adds: "I can't remember as much dysfunction with last year's Boise State. But, hey, every sequel needs a new plot line."

All of which should serve as something of a challenge for the Warriors. As if the mere appearance of Boise on the schedule after five consecutive losses isn't one already. An inspiration, if you will, to make that Nov. 23 game more meaningful.

If the Warriors can get through the first 10 games on the schedule unscathed, then there will be a lot to look forward to. Beat the Broncos, something few have done over the past five years of Boise domination of the WAC, then there will be plenty to talk about.

As Boise State has shown, Cinderellas might be presumed in summer but they aren't crowned until January.

Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8044.