Is it really a rivalry?

Sorry Jess… but I gotta do it… Stop reading now.

I have a question. More of an observation I suppose, but indulge me.

Last night I went to the Boise State vs. University of Idaho basketball game. It was pretty much a ‘game’ in name only. Idaho actually led 19-14 with just over 10 minutes left in the first half. Boise State then went on a 46 to 6 run lasting the rest of the first half and the first 6 minutes of the second half. And that was with Boise State missing 16 of their first 21 shots. This game could have been 108 to 40, but we ended with a final of 86-63.

That makes it twelve consecutive wins for Boise State basketball over the U of I. Their last win in the series was in 2001. In this time, it is safe to say that BSU has not been exactly lighting the basketball world on fire either. We have been a .500 team just about the whole time. But we still always seem to beat Idaho. Even the womens team (who also played Idaho last night) won 70-40.

I haven’t even gotten into football yet… the sport that really matters. There, Idaho has not beaten Boise State since winning by 1 in overtime in 1998, a string of 8 straight games. Some of those games include scores of 66-24, 64-7, and 70-35.

There are multiple classes of athletes who have come to BSU, played and graduated without ever losing to Idaho.

Granted, I lived through “The Streak” of 12 straight wins by Idaho in the 80’s & 90’s. Back then, that was a rivalry. Easily without question the biggest game every year was the Idaho game. Bar none, end of discussion. I remember being young and seeing ESPN or someone detailing the biggest rivalries in the country and listing Ohio State v. Michigan or Alabama v. Auburn. I could never understand how Boise State v. Idaho didn’t get into those lists! I mean, how could there be a bigger rivalry? Not in the mind of a 14 year old kid.

Now? Now you’ve got a 3-19 Idaho basketball team playing a .500 Bronco team in front of 4,000 fans. Ho-hum. There is still some venom left in the football meetings, but many of the newcomers to Boise in the past 10 years couldn’t give two shits about the Idaho game. They get geared up for Fresno or Hawaii.

Basically, what I’m wondering is can such a one sided series continue to be a rivalry? I mean, you can’t call “hammer vs. nail” a rivalry now can you? When one side always wins, the rivalry dies.

Now, would I trade some of the wins to get the rivalry back? Of course not. I could go on beating them every year for the rest of my life and I would be a very happy man. When Erickson came back, I was thinking that in a couple years, we could have a rivalry again! Well, he bailed out 10 months later and now who knows if it will ever come back.

Sorry Vandies… I long for the days when there was passion between us.