Bowl Season begins today! Can the Mountain West dominate?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  No, not the Holiday season, BOWL SEASON!  Beginning today the Mountain West Conference has a chance to show the country how good we really are.  So who will prevail and who will embarrass the conference?  Here is a look at each bowl game and my prediction:

New Orleans Bowl – Nevada vs. Louisiana (Dec. 20, 9:00am, ESPN)

This game brings us a match-up of two teams Boise State faced this year.  The Broncos dominated ULaLa 34-9 on the Blue and edged Reno 51-46 in Reno.  Despite the closer score against the Wolf Pack I actually feeel like the Ragin’ Cajuns are the better team and should be more comfortable playing a virtual home game. Cajuns 34 Reno 27

New Mexico Bowl – Utah State vs. UTEP (Dec. 20, 12:20pm, ESPN)

Despite being riddled with injuries this season the Aggies have still been able to put together a decent season, probably because they were returning the most starters in the history of college football with 57*.  UTEP is led by former Boise State offensive line coach Sean Kugler and is playing in its first bowl game since 2010, and has not won a Bowl game since 1967 (!).   Utah State 27 Miners 17

* I made this up

Las Vegas Bowl – Colorado State vs Utah (Dec. 20, 1:30pm, ABC)

The Purple bowl brings us the best team in the Mountain West Conference as determined by the media and coaches vs the best team in the Pac-12 as determined by delusional fans.  I can’t pick against the conference player of the year, and I can’t pick Utah in anything period.  Rams 28 Utes 27

Tater Bowl W. Michigan vs.  Air Force (Dec. 20, 3:45pm, ESPN)

I want to cheer for our fellow conference mates, but after this:

NOPE

Although I will be cheering for the other Broncos I think Air Force pulls this one out.  Falcons 35 Other Broncos 24

Poinsettia Bowl – Navy vs. San Diego State (Dec. 23, 7:30pm, ESPN)

This match-up brings us the Fighting Rocky Longs vs. the guys who will actually fight for our country.  This is another game where I want to cheer for our conference but just can’t.  Unfortunately I think this will be a blowout, and I am pretty sure Rocky Long feels the Navy has lost its mystique.  SDSU 45 Sailors 10

Hawaii Bowl – Rice vs. Cal State – Fresno (Dec. 24, 6:00pm, ESPN)

This is a dumpster fire of a bowl game if you ask me.  Fresno backs into a bowl with a losing record, and Rice is, well, Rice.  Both teams are just happy to be enjoying their island vacation and neither will come to play.  I will take Fresno and the under.  Bulldogs 21 Owls 10

Fiesta Bowl  – Boise State vs. Arizona (Dec 31, 2:00pm, ESPN)

Prediction coming soon!

 

 

 

My Favorite BSU Football Players & Why

I have been writing for Blue Turf Nation now for over three years. For some reason, it never really occurred to me to just write a quick list of my favorite players of all time from Boise State. So I figured why not now? Here is my list of favorite BSU players based on what I like as a fan.

brock_forsey1.) Brock Forsey – Brock was the first superstar player I ever really attached to as a fan. As a kid, Brock did it all, punt returns, caught the ball, ran for touchdowns. It was easy to be excited and love everything he did on the field. The guy never quit fighting for yards and ended up in the NFL when it was uncommon for Bronco players. There has been a lot of debate around who is the best RB to ever play at Boise State. But for me, no player will ever be regarded as highly as Brock Forsey.

 

quintin_mikel2.) Quintin Mikell – Another guy who made it into the NFL out of BSU when it wasn’t the “norm”. Mikell was a star player and fun to watch on “The Blue”. But he takes the #2 spot because after the Humanitarian Bowl, he came to the North Endzone where I was sitting with my Dad at the time and gave me a high-five. For a kid, that changes everything and you never forget your first moment like that. Really, looking back, Mikell doing that, probably made me the die-hard fan I am still to this day.

 

406299_169784373127556_169539846485342_237299_592153088_n3.) Kellen Moore – I really don’t have to elaborate on Kellen Moore. For most people he is #1 on their list. Kellen was and is special. He symbolized everything a Bronco should be. He was the blue-collar kid who dominated the world. He also wore the same number as I did growing up #11. Chances are, Kellen will hold the top spot for a QB on my list for the foreseeable future.

 

ian-johnson-nfl-draft4.) Ian Johnson – 2006 was an incredible year for all the reasons we will always remember. But I don’t think any RB has ever had a season at BSU like IJ did that year. People forget quickly how his sophomore season was like nothing we, or really anybody had ever seen before. Ian that year averaged 6.2 yards PER CARRY. Let me say that again, 6.2 yards PER CARRY. He ran for over 140 yards in 6 games, and over 150 in 4 of them. Not to mention he did it on a battered body that included a punctured lung at one point. People can remember the proposal, but I dare anybody to find a performance more impressive than what IJ did against Oregon State. That sophomore season makes him an easy #4 for me.

 

p1.boise.zabransky5.) Jared Zabransky – A lot of people have mixed feelings about “Z”. I however hold him near and dear because he was born in Hermiston, Oregon. That alone would seem odd to matter if it wasn’t for the fact I was also born in Hermiston. My grandparents also go to church with his in Pendleton which is pretty cool. It is rare to have those kind of connections to a player so it really didn’t matter what Zabransky did or didn’t do on the field, because frankly he was always going to have a spot on my list.

 

Jay+Ajayi+UNLV+v+Boise+State+9WID3vGjQOTl6.) Jay Ajayi- For everything Brock and Ian did on the field Jay has pretty much done the same. Ajayi’s year this season has been incredible and you won’t find a more well rounded RB. I love the “Jay-Train” and the way Jay plays the game, he runs hard, and falls forward. If he has a massive day against Arizona, he might just climb my list.

 

Jeron-Johnson7.) Jeron Johnson - The guy just wrecked people on the field… I am tempted to just leave it at that because that is why I loved him. I have never seen a player at BSU hit the way Jeron hit guys. He put legitimate fear in opposing teams, and I am not sure Russell Hill ever was the same after this. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iPUuoEAVfg). If you love football, you loved every moment you watched Jeron Johnson on “The Blue”.

 

KW+FIESTA8.) Kyle Wilson – Kyle Wilson had a bus with a giant picture of himself on it that his family drove around to promote him. Just saying that sounds bad, but Wilson backed it up every single time he laced up the cleats. He was “swagger” personified and the best ball-hawking CB I have seen in recent years. I loved watching Wilson wag his finger after defending a pass, and the hit he laid on Andy Dalton on the Fiesta Bowl will never be forgotten.  It is actually hard for me to have Wilson this low to be honest.

 

6e5fa55af879c96bac1da8bea3349b162fabb6b59.) Dempsey Dees – I don’t remember watching Dempsey play at BSU honestly. (I was just too young) But I remember his stats, and the fact he averaged an interception every other game at one point. I also loved CB’s and thought it was awesome we had one who was that successful at BSU. For whatever reason, because of that, he was always one of my favorites despite having a foggy memory of the actual plays he made.

 

 

doug-martin-alex-ibiloye-2010-1-4-23-41-2010.) Doug Martin - Doug was just awesome to watch play football. I still have not seen a RB at BSU finish runs with the pure force and anger Doug did. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiiT6WHYAzo) Martin had a knack for making big plays and had the best nickname in BSU history. Honestly, Doug belongs on most BSU fans top 10 list.

 

Honorable Mentions:
Korey Hall – Daryn Colledge – Ryan Dinwiddie

So Bronco Nation, who is your top 10 favorite players?

Two Weeks Left

It started as innocent sarcasm in response to a two and a half minute segment on the Fiesta Bowl, but when Jeremy gets involved, well, it devolved to Truth As the Pundits and A Good Portion Of The Country Are Portraying It.

It’s a little maddening. It wouldn’t take much homework to learn even a tiny bit beyond the win loss column. scroll down ever so slightly in that google search there, bud. The Broncos are coming and Arizona might not have enough to stop them. Probably best to acknowledge it.

26-8-mile-papa-doc

Don’t Change Anything! Boise State fans all have their ways to help the Broncos win

When it comes to sports superstitions, I have to admit I am pretty bad.  I have them for all of my teams.  When any of them go on a hot streak I have to make sure nothing changes.

I received a New York Rangers shirt for Christmas last year, and when they made the playoffs I vowed not to wash it until they lost a series.  That shirt went from April 17th to June 17th without being washed.  Come to think of it I threw it into the back of the closet after the Kings won in OT on the 17th, so it actually didn’t get washed until October.  That smell coming from my closet that my wife was complaining about makes sense now.

Anyways, this is about the Broncos, and when it comes to Boise State, I am even worse. My day has to start with coffee in  one of my Boise State coffee mugs.  When I get dressed I must have my lucky Boise State underwear ( I know, TMI) and I try to match what the team is wearing that day.  If it is a road game I will usually wear orange or a white jersey.  If it is a home game, I  go with whatever color the team is wearing.  I realized towards the end of this season that my 1994 throwback jersey was bringing the most luck so  I wore that to the Utah State game, and after winning wore the exact same clothes to the MWC Championship game.  It worked!

For road games I need to have my man-cave set up the exact  same way.  I have  picture of Pokey Allen that I take off of the wall and put on the coffee table along with my lucky cowbell, and my replica hammer has to be out as well.

There are also a lot fans who are superstitious about what the team is wearing.  After the Broncos wore their orange helmets in both the Ole Miss and Air Force losses there are many fan who hope we never see them again.  Of course, luck can change.  After some bad losses wearing orange pants in 2005, the bad juju was cleansed from them with the undefeated Fiesta Bowl season of 2006. Now after winning two Fiesta Bowls with blue helmets, white jerseys, and orange pants, most fans are hoping to see the same combination on December 31st.

What are some of the rest of Bronco Nation’s rituals?  I asked on Twitter yesterday and got quite a few answers:

 

Our contributor Heath added that when he watches games on TV he wears the same jerseys the team is wearing.  With all of the different jerseys we have worn the past few years he must have quite a collection.

I also received an email from Blue Turf Nation reader Wally Hames, who has a specific game day ritual:

“When watching BSU play, I always have to be sitting in my recliner,  nap pillow on my stomach, vertically, and the remote has to be laying horizontal facing left.  I don’t know why…it just works.”

I am guessing one of those things were just a bit off for our two losses this year!

Do you have any crazy rituals?  Let us know on twitter or leave a comment!

I will go ahead and leave this awesome Soul Train video here for all of you as well!

 

 

 

The Ultimate Boise State Fan Holiday Gift Guide – 2014

It’s almost bowl season, which means that the holidays are coming fast as well. We all know from that last sentence what I feel is truly important this time of year, but some people get messed up priorities and start buying their friends and family silly things like soap/lotion/body wash baskets, ceramic figurines, or scented candles. We can do better, Bronco Nation!

(Disclaimer: We at Blue Turf Nation are receiving no kickbacks or merch for this. However, we probably wouldn’t argue… just saying. Call me if you have that hookup, Nike!)

So, here’s The Ultimate Boise State Fan Holiday Gift Guide for 2014, broken out by fan type.

The Little Ones First – For The Kiddos

White #2 Matt Miller Jersey - $40

Kids love dressing like their heroes, so why not give the gift of Matt Miller’s jersey? Can knock out football, superhero, and cowboy all in one fell swoop!

Boise State Broncos Fox Sports Robot 2.0 – $29.99

Yay, action figures. Also, it’s the Fox Robot so breaking it is kind of the least big deal ever. Win-win!

Boise State Football (literally!) Onesie and Hat – $26

This is adorable. Someone please buy this and send me pictures of your uterus-flippingly cute kid in this getup.

Boise State Toy Train – $17.90

C’mon. It’s a wooden toy train, painted in blue and orange and the Bronco logo. A kid’s very own J-Train, baby! Choo-Choo!

Kinda weird cartoon Buster framed poster – $42.99

This looks like a typical Amazon knockoff poster, but who knows. The logo is a little off, the words blue turf are just shoved on there without context, and Buster looks strange as a cartoon but it is a unique looking piece.

College Dreamin’ – Young Adult

Boise State Shockwave – $24.99 (sale)

Oh, hey. A speaker to work with a phone or mp3 player in the only appropriate color scheme. Neat. I bet T-Swift sounds even better through this. That is what the kids are listening to these days, right?

Boise State Player Knit Hat – $28.00

There isn’t much that’s better than wearing the same stuff as the players. This beanie has been keeping the Broncos warm on the sidelines since the weather got cold and looking good doing it.

Boise State Stealth Backpack – $44.95

Sure, a backpack is boring. But add a Bronco logo and all of a sudden it becomes…well, still a backpack but one that will likely get used a ton.

Boise State Broncos Reflex Portable Travel Couch – $106.57

Just hear me out. I know this one seems like a reach, but I would’ve loved this thing as a teenager. Friend sleeping over? Hey, Bronco couch! Dorm room needs some extra seats? Hey, lookie here! Even has cupholders. There are so many options for today’s young adventure seeker with this thing! Sledding, floating the river, camping, tailgating, partying, trying to ride it down a flight of stairs…no, wait. Forget I brought any of that up. Of course, dear reader, your wonderful, responsible young adult would never be involved in such unsafe shenanigans. Hey, look! Bronco couch!

Broncoistas – For The Ladies

Boise State Rah-Rah Necklace – $16.16

There is lots of Bronco jewelry out there, usually covered in plastic and bling. This piece is not the usual “Bronco head with two blue and two orange fake jewels glued on” and therefore is awesome.

Knit Hoodie Infinity Scarf - $29.95

It’s a scarf! A gorgeous blue one! With a hood, and a prominent Bronco logo on the side! This is the perfect statement piece for those 8 pm kickoffs. May the recipient of this gift’s ears and neck never be cold again.

BSU Full Zip Tunic Hoodie – $69.95

Don’t let the URL frighten you. Victoria’s Secret PINK campaign is a fully licensed partner of Boise State and isn’t the type of stuff that requires a half-nekkid girl in angel wings to model. This tunic zip hoodie does not use the usual BSU logos, and looks like the best thing ever with a pair of leggings and boots this winter.

“All About That State” T-Shirt – $26.95

A legit funny play on the Meghan Trainor song “All About That Bass,” this shirt is almost sure to amuse almost anybody with some pop culture chops. 

Boise State Western Boots – $327.99

If these are in your budget, they’re worth every penny. It would be nice if they would update the logo, but it’s not a deal breaker. If you know a Bronco inclined lady who can rock the hell outta a pair of cowgirl boots and you want to really treat her to an unforgettable gift…these are the way to go.

Dude Gear – For The Guys

Broncos Fiesta Bowl Hat (Charcoal) – $29.99

This hat is the answer to a question we didn’t even know we needed to ask. If its possible for a cap to be sexy, this one has pulled it off admirably. 

Glow In The Dark Boise State T-Shirt – $19.99

IT GLOWS IN THE DANG DARK!

The Nike Pro Combat Hyperwarm Fitted Shield Max – $85

There are guys who go to the stadium shirtless when it’s 9 degrees, and then those who need to bundle up a bit more. This Pro-Combat undershirt is the perfect layer to wear to add warmth but not bulk, and we all know how much better it makes life to not be walking around looking like Maggie Simpson in her starfish snowsuit at a tailgate party.

Boise State Broncos Pewter Ring – $74.95

It’s not quite as pretty as championship rings, but is still pretty dang sweet. 

Baki Clothing BSU Bamboo T-Shirt – $25

Throwback yet fresh, with the BSU logo and the raring horse from the mid-80’s? Yes, please.

Tailgating Fiends

The Coolest Cooler – $349

Yes, it’s a $350 cooler. It also has more options than the car I’m driving right now. It’s got fat tires to help wheel it with more stability through whatever terrain you happen to be around. It’s got tie downs and oodles of storage. An integrated cutting board. It’s got LED’s in the lid to help you see in the dark so you don’t end up with your brother-in-law’s cheap beer. It’s got USB ports to charge your phone. It’s got bluetooth speakers to play your tunes. Heck, it’s even got a blender! This thing is no joke and should be on every tailgaters wish list.

BSU Grill Set – $49.95

Pretty standard bbq tool set, but with a logo on it, and a bottle opener. YAYYYYY!

Sunscreen Flask – 2 for $10.95

Uhhh, yeah. Tailgating. That’s all this could ever be used for.

Steam Cleaning Grill Brush – $15.95

A clean grill is a happy grill. Other possible uses: messing with opposing fans by shooting steam at them, staying warm on cold nights, facial treatments to open up those pores.

“Redneck” Mason Jar Condiment Dispenser – $12.95

Redneck? Possibly. We’re Idahoan and that comes with the territory. However, these look super useful, especially once the gloves come out in the cold. Imagine a world where nobody fumbled with massive ketchup bottles and surprise mustard juice ever again!

Bowl Gear, The One Thing Everybody Wants, and Other Cool Stuff

2014 Mountain West Conference Champions T-Shirt – $22.99

Commemorate the first outright MWC championship with a t-shirt! Or wait until next fall and get it on clearance. I’m not here to rush anybody in to anything.

Orange “Broncos Love Fiestas” Hoodie – $44.99

This is going to be the piece of gear to have from Fiesta 3.0. 

Nike Women’s Fiesta Bound T-shirt – $26.00

Go Big Blue, indeed. Nike is doing good work for us this season.

BSU Tooled Leather Horse Skull – $350

Got a slightly morbid Bronco fan in your life? Here’s the perfect gift! It’s a hand painted horse skull, with a gorgeous leather piece affixed to the front bearing a tooled Boise State logo. Is this guy sanctioned by the university? Probably not! Is he awesome for putting this art out in the universe? Yes he is!

…and now to the big one that everybody wants:

Nike Anthracite Platinum All-Time Performance Hoodie (AKA Harsin’s Black Hoodie) – $75

On the entire internet, there are apparently only women’s size medium and large at this time. Protip: if you want this hoodie for someone special who are not those sizes and might also carry a y chromosome, you’re going to have to stalk The Bronco Shop, The Blue and Orange Store, and Dick’s Sporting Goods like it’s your job. They go extremely quickly. 

Treat the Broncos in your lives (or yourselves!) to something special this holiday season. Socks are great and all, and everybody loves homemade baked goods, but sometimes, the greatest gift is the one of gear. Or a horse skull. Whatever floats that particular boat.