Commentary: Boise State football program might underperform for the next few years

Boise State football huddle
Photo by Claire Keener

A possibility as to why Boise State football is underperforming this season is because the team is trying to rebuild from the ground up. 

From trying to establish a winning and dominant culture to removing players who are not buying into the culture change, Boise State is doing everything they can to reimage the Boise State football program.

The Boise State football program has been keeping the fact that they are trying to rebuild under wraps, but with the recent news of senior receiver CT Thomas no longer being a part of the team, their plans are no longer in the shadows.

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the news broke of Thomas exiting the program. The news was surprising, as Thomas was expected to finish out this year after returning as a “super senior.” 

“I most definitely thank the fans for the support and won’t ever forget the bonds I built from my last couple of years being here,” Thomas said to the Idaho Press.

Thomas played well this season, having 10 catches for 85 yards in the span of six games. With how he was playing this season, the news came as a shock to the Boise State community.

While nothing has been confirmed about the reason behind Thomas leaving the team, an anonymous source told The Arbiter that Thomas was removed from the team due to “academic reasons.”

There is also speculation that Thomas arrived late to team meetings. These assumptions came after Avalos called out players in a postgame press conference for being late to team meetings three days prior to Thomas’s departure.

“If we handle things properly, are not late to meetings and stuff late in the week, then maybe we will have a better consistency,” Avalos said during a press conference following the Air Force game on Saturday, Oct. 16.

After piecing together this move by the Boise State football team, previous comments from head coach Andy Avalos and the statements from Athletic Director Jeremiah Dickey shutting down the possibility of Boise State changing conferences any time soon, it seems as though Boise State football is making moves to rebuild the culture of the team.

“What we want from our players more than anything is to be able to learn how to commit and be consistent with preparation,” Avalos said. “That starts with us by teaching them and making sure that we are our best. For us, those are the things that you learn when you come to Boise State. Those are the things that we are working to reestablish here. All the little things become big things. I know in due time we will reestablish this foundation and get back to doing things more consistently.”

Avalos has emphasized the importance of “reestablishing the foundation” of the Boise State football team ever since receiving the head coaching position back in January 2021. 

Now that the team is at 3-4 on the season, having the same amount of losses as their worst record since 2015 (9-4) and lost three straight home games for the first time since 1997, it makes sense for the team to be looking for a complete program rebuild.

The fact that Boise State football is rebuilding its program gives Dickey’s statements about staying in the Mountain West more context and makes the statement seem less questionable. 

Boise State football huddle
[The Boise State football team huddles during a home game]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

“I have consistently stated since arriving at Boise State that our institution is a proud member of the Mountain West, but we will always do our due diligence in regards to what is best for our department and university,” Dickey said in a released statement. “While our on-field successes and positive trajectory of the University have created opportunities for us, we remain committed to the Mountain West.”

With his statement about what conference Boise State will play for in the future, Dickey shut the door for Boise State entering conferences like the Big 12 or the AAC for the foreseeable future. This seemed odd because Boise State would be gaining more publicity by joining these conferences.

In the same released statement, Dickey also reiterated a message similar to Avalos by stating that Boise State is wanting to focus on reestablishing its athletic programs and committing to helping its coaches and student-athletes grow stronger.

With Boise State football’s attempts to rebuild now out in the open, the question of why they have been keeping their intentional rebuild a secret from everyone remains.

The answer to this is simple. Teams that try to rebuild lose out on some revenue that their team makes because fans tend to not want to show up to games when they know their team is not going to achieve anything that season. Fans also tend to not buy merchandise when they are fully aware that their team will underperform for the next few seasons. 

According to an article in the Idaho Statesman, the Boise State football team brings in half of the school’s revenue with around $24,000,000 per year, including $24,801,525 from their previous season. On average, $5,000,000 of the $24,000,000 that Boise State football brings in is from ticket sales.

If Boise State openly stated that they will not have a great season along with underwhelming future seasons due to rebuilding, then fans will most likely be less inclined to show up to games and buy merchandise. The lack of fan attendance and merchandise sales would lead to a significant decrease in revenue coming into the university. 

These moves may be the first of many moves that will lead to a rebuilding of the Boise State football program.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Rico

    Rebuilding in college football can only take a year. Looks like it is happening within a season though with the wins over ranked teams and the squad finding it’s identity through stingy defense and running the ball

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