POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 7, 2010
Boise State officially departs the Western Athletic Conference on June 30, 2011.
In reality, the Broncos left it — and the University of Hawaii football team — behind a long time before the kickoff of yesterday's 42-7 thumping of the Warriors in Bronco Stadium.
What we saw on our TVs yesterday was just the No. 2-ranked Broncos' way of reminding all concerned of the vast separation made between themselves and the rest of the WAC. It was a parting admonition of "you're not in our league, literally or figuratively" underlined by a school-record 737 yards of total offense on the Broncos' (8-0, 4-0 WAC) way out the door to the Mountain West Conference.
No arrogance, just a simple, efficient statement of fact backed up by 19 consecutive WAC victories. Most of them, like yesterday's, not even as close as the score might suggest.
Sort of like what the Wahine volleyball team has been telling the rest of the WAC in 90 minutes or less on a weekly basis.
For the 7-3 (5-1 WAC) Warriors, who had entered with conference championship aspirations, it was a 3-hour, 3-minute clinic in all facets of the game. Well, maybe everything except punting, since the Warriors did all of that with nine boots while the Broncos' punter was, well, who even knew where he was?
For all anybody knew he could have been part of the posse that hounded UH quarterback Bryant Moniz all day, sacking him seven times and holding the nation's top-ranked passing offense to a single-quarter-like 151 yards for the game.
There are two ways the Warriors should look at this game, short term and big picture. In the short haul they need to assess it and then use the upcoming open date to refresh and prepare to devour the remaining Twinkies — San Jose State (1-8), New Mexico State (2-7) and UNLV (1-8) — on their regular-season schedule.
Do that and they have a 10-win regular season and a second-place WAC finish to show for their efforts. Not to mention a shot at No. 11 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl come Christmas Eve.
Eleven wins would match the second-highest win total in school history, quite a turnaround from 2009 and not a shabby way to wrap up a season.
But it would be a shame if, after traveling 5,600 miles round trip for the week, the Warriors did not bring back something to inspire their long-range thinking, too. Which is where yesterday's game comes in. Or should.
Whether the Warriors remain in the WAC, embark on an independent course or hook up somewhere else, Boise State is an example to follow.
The Broncos, hardly blessed with a large population base to draw from, large cash reserves to dip into or hallowed tradition to sell, have made the most of everything available to them.
What's more, they've been innovators and, as much as has been humanly possible, perfectionists in what they do; all of it on display yesterday. Hard to believe that when they came into the WAC a decade ago, it was the Broncos playing catch-up with the Warriors.
There are lessons in that for the Warriors now. The kind that, if taken to heart and matched with a little luck, might even put them in the Broncos' league someday.
Reach Ferd Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.