Back in mid August, it was reported the Idaho Vandals were going to take their football talents from the ghastly ill WAC to function under an independent status. Football independents, for those who do not know, are universities who disassociate their football programs from any conference. The way these programs survive is solely from television markets, revenue and fan base (cue to Notre Dame and BYU).
It becomes irksome when the supposed flagship university of Idaho cannot swallow their pride and drop down to an FCS (Division I AA) conference such as the Big Sky, in which they are currently moving all their Olympic sports to. It becomes frustrating, even as a Boise State student looking in from the outside, when Head Football Coach Robb Akey said “it’s a necessity to stay at that (FBS) level” for football and dropping down to an FCS conference wasn’t an option.
Akey’s credibility as a football coach namely rests with his record: 19-45 in six seasons with only one bowl appearance and an 0-2 start to the season. This is the coach who will lead the Vandal program into football independence for the commencing season. This is not Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly or BYU’s Bronco Mendenhall. This is a coach who has more than double the losses than wins and still has a head football coaching job.
It’s aside from the major point here. Let’s say Idaho does go through with their independent status for the next couple of seasons. Sure, Athletic Director Rob Spear can schedule all the powerhouse school games he wants. Watching his university get beat down for six figures comes with perks, I’m sure, but there is a major flaw here: what university will go, scratch that, will want to go all the way up to Moscow to play in the Kibbie Dome, Division I’s smallest home stadium?
All I’m saying is this: as a Gem State supporter, if Idaho does not want to throw its dignity out the window and potentially lose an entire football program because of inabilities to cover costs and make ends meet, drop down to FCS. I understand it’s a mudslinging contest between Boise State and U of I, but this is not a battle to be picked from a rival. This is a battle of common sense.