“Rocky Talk-Boise State Week”
I didn’t mean to spill the grease and start an oil fire, but I asked the question, and he answered.
I-Hacksaw…he-Aztecs coach Rocky Long.
The question as his press conference was the intense rivalry game coming up between San Diego State and Boise State.
They are the top two teams in the Mountain West Conference, and have dominated this league as late.
The Aztecs may have passed Boise State by because they’ve beaten them a couple of times, and won on the blue turf in Idaho.
“Boise isn’t our emotional rival. We haven’t played them though” he said in quick response. “I consider Fresno State our real rival”.
Yes they’ve met just 4-times in their history, and SDSU has beaten them twice. But these two teams have combined to win or tie for the league title, four times in the last five years, so they are dominant.
I know the old “Oil Can rivalry trophy’ involves SDSU-Fresno, and dates back to 1933, but not since the days of Trent Dilfer, his big wide receiver group and NFL type running backs, has Fresno State mattered much on the San Diego State radar.
But Boise is different. They became the flag carrier in the newly formed Mountain West Conference, when Brigham Young bailed out of the old WAC, to go independent.
Yes, the Aztecs have won 27-of their last 30-games, but Boise has rolled to. The Broncos are (26-8) in the conference since 2013, second only to you know who, SDSU.
So Saturday’s game is very important. An Aztecs win keeps them in the unbeaten ranks, and in the running to be the top Group of 5-school for the Fiesta Bowl.
Boise got good real quick..got a bit arrogant too.
Followers around the nation probably think Mountain West and think only Boise State. All those Fiesta Bowl wins probably have lots to do with it. A (13-0) season in the Chris Peterson era has a lot to do with it. Also being in the top 15 in the polls for a chunk of time helps too.
Now they have have dropped down the ladder, as Rocky Long has dragged his program to the top. But that is why Saturday carries significance.
You beat them, you knock them out of the Mountain West race. You beat then, you stay on track to go do what they used to do, go unbeaten. You get a W and you can be where they made a name for themselves, the Fiesta Bowl.
The Boise game is big for the Aztecs. Maybe bigger than the old line-Lavell Edwards rivalry in BYU days, and surely bigger than Fresno State.
Good old ball-coach Rocky Long, stirring the embers of a rivalry that could blossom into a full blown fire on Saturday night.