Been told numerous times by people in Boise, Idaho that the biggest sporting event of the year is when Boise State and the University of Idaho meet each other in football.

Even had one Treasure Valley sports fan tell me there’s nothing like the week when the Broncos and Vandals meet on the college football gridiron.

I know this isn’t going to impress college basketball fans on North Carolina’s Tobacco Road or college football fans in the SEC and Big Ten, but it is often referred to as a “rivalry.”

One thing even a lukewarm sports fan knows is the word rivalry represents a fierce competition that is played annually – or in the case of the Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees, over and over and over (show a different Sunday night game, ESPN. Just once).

But when fourth-ranked Boise State visits Idaho this Friday night at the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, Idaho, it could be the last time the two schools meet for a while. Boise State is moving into a better conference next season (the Mountain West) and is no longer interested in playing home-and-home with the Vandals, who will still be part of the Western Athletic Conference.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen is insisting that the contest only be played on the Boise State campus while Idaho coach Robb Akey is adamant that teams who are “rivals” play rotating home games. For now, the teams won’t play in 2011 or 2012 after playing for 40 consecutive seasons.

Saw some published comments from Petersen saying the game should only be played in Boise because the Broncos have the bigger stadium. That was quite comical because Boise State has done a lot of complaining recently about how BCS programs – you know, schools with stadiums twice or three times as large as Bronco Stadium – won’t play home-and-home series with Boise State.

Petersen apparently has forgotten that Boise State went 14-0 in 2009 and only sold out two of seven games in its 33,000-seat home stadium. One of those occasions was when they hosted Idaho.

Idaho fans have gotten riled up over Boise State’s stance and their emotions were inflamed during the summer when Boise State president Bob Kustra described the Vandals’ culture as “nasty” and “inebriated.”

Kustra was left with beer suds on his face little more than a month later when Boise State running backs coach Keith Bhonapha was arrested on a DUI charge.

Boise State installed a media ban this week leading up to the game, a tactic that only penalizes the media folks who are giving the school free publicity all season long. Nothing a football player has ever said on Monday or Tuesday has affected the outcome of a game played several days later.

No word on whether a muzzle was also placed on the university president.

As for the actual game, it should be pretty one-sided. Boise State rolled up a school-record 732 yards last Saturday against Hawaii and Idaho allowed 844 yards to Nevada. Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore passed for a career-high 507 yards last week and should be in line for another solid performance against the Vandals.


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