Boise State excited to come to Washington; don't expect return trip by Huskies Print
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Friday, 07 September 2007 00:37
NCAAF Headline News

 SEATTLE (AP) -Problems like this are a yearly occurrence for Boise State athletic director Gene Bleymaier.
A team from a BCS conference gives Bleymaier a call, asking if the Broncos might be willing to play a road game and perhaps give Boise State a little more exposure that, after last year's Fiesta Bowl win, it probably doesn't need.
Bleymaier expresses an interest, then brings up the possibility of a return game played on the Broncos famous blue turf.
The response? Typically silence.
``It is an interesting situation to be in, because some schools won't play you because they think we're too good,'' Bleymaier said. ``Others won't because of stadium size or the fact they don't want to travel.''
The latest example of the situation Bleymaier and the Broncos regularly face comes Saturday when No. 22 Boise State will play at Washington. Despite being just 500 miles apart, it's the first time the two schools will meet.
Don't expect the Huskies to make the trip to Boise anytime soon. The Broncos were a schedule sub for Washington a few years ago, replacing Oklahoma, which comes to Seattle next year.
``They're top quality. They've done a great job,'' Washington athletic director Todd Turner said. ``Not that long ago they were a I-AA team. They're a quality football program and we're happy to be able to play them.''
But the idea of playing Boise State on the road doesn't fit with Turner's plans for Washington's schedule. Turner's goal is to play two non-conference home games each year, with one of those games being an agreed upon home-and-home series against the likes of Oklahoma, Notre Dame or Ohio State.
The other non-conference game would be a non-return game, often against teams from the Mountain West or Western Athletic conferences. Washington's last non-conference road game against a team from a non-BCS conference was in 1999 when the Huskies opened the season at Brigham Young. The Huskies will close this season at Hawaii.
``Could a team from one of those other conferences be a team we travel (to)?'' Turner said. ``It could, but it depends on what else happens in the schedule.''
Bleymaier has enjoyed some success with his Pacific Northwest neighbors. Washington State and Oregon State have both played in Boise as part of a home-and-home series, and Oregon is scheduled to play there in 2009, although there are preliminary discussions of playing that game in China.
But the only other teams from BCS conferences to play in Boise were Iowa State and Boston College, both in bowl games, while the Broncos have played at the likes of Wisconsin, South Carolina, Arkansas, UCLA, Georgia and now Washington.
``We're all looking for home games or at least a home-and-home game and those are just so hard to get because there are so few openings,'' Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. ``When there are, everyone wants you to play at their place.''
Bleymaier is hopeful teams will be more receptive to playing in Boise, through a combination of increased respect for the program and enhancements to the 30,000-seat Bronco Stadium. A new press box, suites and club seats are being added for the 2008 season. From there, the school is looking into a variety of seating upgrades that could increase capacity by up to 10,000 fans.
No matter what changes are made, Bleymaier's job will still be challenging.
``I know it's a difficult chore and glad I'm not the one that has to do it,'' Petersen said.
 

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