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Boise State loses 2 on defense; playoff expansion coming? Plus, Bronco women add CSI guard

Boise State loses 2 on defense; playoff expansion coming? Plus, Bronco women add CSI guard

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BSU football

An empty Albertsons Stadium echoed with fake fan cheers as Boise State played Utah State on Oct. 24 for the Broncos’ season opener. COVID-19 pandemic restrictions prevented fans from attending the game in person.

Two more players left the Boise State football team this week, bringing the total to five since the 2020 season ended.

That’s not counting the seniors who decided not to return for an extra year or quarterback Chase Cord, who opted to retire because of medical reasons.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Donovan Clark is no longer on the roster, a spokesperson for the team confirmed Thursday morning. Clark couldn’t immediately be reached to confirm that he intends to transfer.

Redshirt freshman defensive end Amari Williams announced on Twitter that he is transferring. He’s the third player to announce their intent to transfer since last December. Wide receiver Khyheem Waleed left for Arkansas State, and cornerback Marques Evans has not yet announced where he landed.

Clark is the second member of the Broncos’ 2020 class to leave the program, following offensive tackle Brandon Hernandez. Clark didn’t appear in any games last year.

The Broncos’ coaching staff has been busy adding cornerbacks to the roster, including Utah State transfer Jared Reed, who announced Wednesday that he’s joining the team.


The College Football Playoff may be expanding, which could be big news for teams in Group of Five conferences, such as the Mountain West.

The playoff could expand from four teams to 12 under a proposal the College Football Management Committee will consider next week during a meeting in Chicago in June 17-18. Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson was on the committee that drafted the proposal.

If the management committee endorses the 12-team model, it will go to the CFP Board of Managers for review on June 22 in Dallas. A final decision isn’t expected to be made until September, and the new format won’t go into affect until 2024 at the earliest.

The new system would include the six highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large bids, which would be determined by the CFP Selection Committee. The four highest-ranked conference champions would earn a first-round bye, while teams seeded No. 5 through No. 12 would play each other in the first round on the campus of the higher-seeded team.

The quarterfinals and semifinals will still be played as bowl games, as they are in the current system, while the championship will continue to be held at a neutral site.

The proposal states that no conference would qualify automatically and there would be no limit on the number of teams from a particular league. The three members of the subcommittee who joined Thompson in writing the proposal were Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey and Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick

If this system was in place last season, No. 8 Cincinnati (AAC) and No. 12 Coastal Carolina (Sun Belt) would have made the playoff.

Though an expanded playoff field won’t guarantee more opportunity for teams in the Group of Five leagues, it will improve the odds for teams like Boise State, Cincinnati, Memphis and UCF — all of which have earned New Year’s Six bowl bids since 2014.


The Northwest Nazarene baseball team’s historic run to the NCAA Division II Championships came to an end Wednesday in a 5-3 loss to defending national champion Tampa.

The Nighthawks finished the season 35-10, captured their second regular-season GNAC title and second GNAC tournament title, and became the first GNAC team to advance to the championship rounds in Cary, North Carolina.

Pitcher Spencer Schwehr (Borah High) got the start on Wednesday and went 5.2 innings, giving up just one run on three hits with three strikeouts.

The Nighthawks led 1-0 through five innings, but Tampa scored one run in the sixth and three in the seventh, and survived a ninth-inning rally, which ended with two NNU runners on base.


Kaitlin Burgess will join the Boise State women’s basketball program this fall after playing two seasons at the College of Southern Idaho.

This past season, the Auckland, New Zealand, native earned NJCAA All-America Third Team accolades as well as All-Region 18 First Team and Region 18 Tournament MVP honors.

“We are excited to have Kaitlin join the Broncos,” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said in a news release. “She was one of the top 3-point shooters in the country at CSI and will help us stretch opposing defenses. She is a high-character person and fits perfectly to the type of student-athlete we want representing Boise State.”

Burgess, a 5-foot-8 guard, will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Broncos.

She led CSI in scoring last season, averaging 13.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 47.6% from 3-point range on 4.3 attempts per game.


University of Idaho senior Zack Short finished sixth in the finals of the men’s shot put on Wednesday night at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

Short matched his career best with a toss of 64 feet, 8 inches, earning first team All-American honors.

Capital High graduate and current Washington State senior Sam Brixey collected second-team All-American status by finishing sixth in his heat — and 14th overall — in the men’s 110-meter hurdle prelims.

Washington State senior Paul Ryan (Logos High) qualified for the finals of the men’s 1,500 meters, clocking a time of 3 minutes, 39.12 seconds in Wednesday’s prelims. The 1,500 final is scheduled for Friday.


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