Boosted expectations for Bachmeier

Hank Bachmeier’s to-do list at Boise State is well-documented, beginning with “don’t hang onto the ball too long” and “slide once in a while.”The Davey O’Brien Award Foundation thinks the sophomore quarterback will get it done, as he’s been named to the preseason watch list for that honor. Bachmeier is one of 30 QBs on the docket—the only other one from the Mountain West is Air Force’s Donald Hammond III. Bachmeier started all eight games he played last season but missed six due to injury. He went 7-1 as a starter and threw for 1,879 yards and nine touchdowns against six interceptions (two of them in the Las Vegas Bowl). Bachmeier’s career-high remains his debut, when he became the first true freshman quarterback to start a season in school history and threw for 407 yards at Florida State.


As Boise State players enter their third day of organized workouts as approved by the NCAA, attention turns to the stands at Albertsons Stadium. Late Monday night, Boise State sent an email to football season ticket holders (and followed up with a press release Tuesday) listing additional precautions and restrictions inside the facility this season—if the games are played. Tucked into the bulletpoints was this: “Beer and seltzers will be available for sale in the main concession areas of Albertsons Stadium.” And it comes with this asterisk: “When alcohol is sold, re-entry (to the stadium is) prohibited.” That means those who pour into the parking lot at halftime now have to stay there—or not go in the first place. Will there be more fans in the stands in the second half now? Might be hard to judge this season.


There appears to be a new frontrunner in the race to replace Jordan Love as quarterback at Utah State. Jason Shelley has transferred to USU from Utah, where he had been moved to safety after backing up Tyler Huntley. Junior Henry Colombi, who saw limited action against Boise State as Love’s backup last November, has been the odds-on favorite to start this year. Shelley will also be a junior, and he’s been cleared for immediate eligibility. He’s a 5-11, 200-pounder who played in 19 games the past two years, including five starts, throwing for 1,205 yards and rushing for 223. He was ranked as the 12th-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation by 247Sports in 2017 coming out of Lone Star High in Frisco, Texas.


Idaho is one of the schools taking a budget hit from the Pac-12’s conference-only decision for football this fall. The Vandals and Washington State had been scheduled to play the 93rd Battle of the Palouse on September 19—out the window with it goes a $550,000 payout. Idaho and WSU plan to play again in 2025, with the Vandals set to get $625,000. The neighbors last played in 2016, with the Cougars winning 56-6. The series, which dates back to 1894, stands at 72-17-3 in favor of Washington State.


Hawaii was frowning at the end of last week even before it found out that three games against Pac-12 teams this season won’t happen. According to Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “A bill crucial to the progress of the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District suffered an 11th-hour death at the state Legislature, which is sure to delay the project for at least a year and drive up already-escalating costs, lawmakers said (last) Thursday.” It boiled down to an error in the writing of the bill that created a loophole. The legislature didn’t have time to repair it before adjourning. It’s a maddening development for the Rainbow Warriors. The state had appropriated $350 million toward the project, and the stadium had been targeted for a September, 2023, debut.


Boise State gave what appears to be a final dagger to its recently-eliminated baseball and swimming and diving teams Tuesday. Despite the programs’ best efforts at raising funds and creatively budgeting for the future, university president Dr. Marlene Tromp said in a statement that there’s no going back. “Ultimately, in order to remain competitive at the highest level, we needed a realistic road map to a sustainable future,” Tromp said. “While I feel deeply for those who have been affected by this decision, it will not be reversed.” One of the most affected is Kase Ogata, the first local commit to the baseball program just before Christmas in 2017. The former Rocky Mountain star was one of the “Dirty Dozen” who re-started the program in the fall of 2018. Ogata has tweeted that he is transferring to Utah Valley.


The Idaho Steelheads have their first-ever Boise native in the fold. Forward Zach Walker has agreed to terms with the Steelheads after a four-year career at Boston College. Walker played in the Junior Steelheads organization from 2008-12 and was a member of the 2011-12 team that won the national junior championship. “I still call Idaho my roots,” said Walker. “I used to walk around selling Chuck-A-Pucks and remember watching Marty Flichel and Lance Galbraith.” The only other Idahoan to play for the Steelheads (not counting a cameo by Bart Hull) was Cody Lampl 10 years ago. He was from Pittsburgh but grew up in the Sun Valley area. Lampl is still playing—he’s been in Europe the past five seasons.

This Day In Sports…brought to you by MAZ-TECH AUTOMOTIVE…your car says, “Take me to Maz-Tech!”

July 15, 2005, 15 years ago today: Considered the greatest golfer of the 20th century, Jack Nicklaus takes a final bow as he crosses the Swilcan Bridge at St. Andrews. At the age of 65, Nicklaus wrapped up his final major with a birdie in the British Open, a tournament he won three times in his career. The Golden Bear won a record 18 majors overall, the first one coming in the 1960 U.S. Open, when he was a 20-year-old amateur. Nicklaus’ standard appears to be safe, as he remains three major titles ahead of Tiger Woods.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)

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