There’s just something missing in this so-called most important sporting event of the year in the state of Idaho, known otherwise as the annual football game between Boise State and the University of Idaho.

Boise State (9-0) is undefeated and Idaho (7-3) is having its best season of the decade so it figures that die-hard fans of both schools are excited. But it sure appears to be a pretty tame rivalry in the big scope of things.

If you live in the midwest, south or east and have no affiliation to either school and have been eagerly awaiting this game and have had Nov. 14 circled on your calendar for months, please let me know.

This is a nice game for the good people in the state of Idaho but put it this way — Oklahoma vs. Texas, USC vs. UCLA, Alabama vs. Auburn, Florida vs. Georgia, Ohio State vs. Michigan, Army vs. Navy, Oregon vs. Oregon State and Stanford vs. California aren’t going to have to worry about Boise State-Idaho pushing their way into the upper-echelon of college football rivalries anytime soon.

Boise State-Idaho is the type of game you find on ESPNU — I understand a good number of Boise residents don’t get that station — and not ABC, CBS or even ESPN regular.

Boise State-Idaho also is usually a rout.

With the Broncos having dispatched Idaho 10 consecutive times, it’s clear two things need to occur to crank this rivalry up a notch:

First, it needs a real name. When you hear “Civil War” game, you immediately know the reference is to the annual Oregon-Oregon State game. Heck, you even recognize Washington and Washington State are playing when you hear “Apple Cup.”  Likewise when you hear “Bedlam” — the name of the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State series.

No, I don’t have any good suggestions. The “Biggest Little Game in America” moniker belongs to Division III schools Amherst and Williams so that’s out.

At least there’s no “Potato Bowl” tag on the game.

The other thing that needs to happen is an Idaho victory. Boise State’s 10 consecutive victories have been by an average of more than 32 points per game. There’s a reason why Las Vegas oddsmakers originally made the Broncos 28-point favorites and the line actually increased.

Basically, if this Idaho squad — well-coached by Robb Akey — can’t play a close game with Boise State, then what Vandals’ squad actually will?

But knock off Boise State on Saturday and wreck the Broncos’ pursuit of playing in a BCS bowl and this Idaho squad will go down in history. Beat the powerful Broncos and end the string of routs and it becomes clear that Idaho’s fine 2009 season is legitimate.

See Idaho beat Chris Petersen-coached Boise State and watch this rivalry heat up. ESPN might even make sure it’s one of its exclusive Friday night telecasts next season.

Then a few people not living in the state of Idaho might find reason to care about this regional rivalry.


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