College Football Betting: BYU at Boise State

College Football Betting:  BYU at Boise State

Mountain Time Zone football battle featuring two of the most high profile teams in the region. At one point, BYU was the ‘undisputed alpha dog’ in Intermountain West football but for the past decade or so it’s been Boise State and Utah. This game is what I like to call a ‘stealth rivalry’–a rivalry in which the general public isn’t really aware of just how intense things are. Remember the Detroit Pistons and the role they played early in Michael Jordan’s career? They were the team that he had to battle to get past for the Bulls to ‘make it’ as the premier team in the NBA. Same deal with BYU for Boise State. You can make a compelling case that BYU ‘passed the torch’ to Boise State on October 30, 2003 when Boise State traveled to Provo and ripped Gary Crowton’s Cougars 50-12. That was the ‘beginning of the end’ for Crowton as head coach and validation that the Broncos were now the top team in the region.

It’s strange how good things often come from bad outcomes and such was the case with BYU. Crowton would be out after 2004 and Bronco Mendenhall would take over, eventually resurrecting the Cougar program. He’s moved on to Virginia taking his assistants with him but it’s evident that new BYU coach Kalani Sitake is in the same mold. It’s Sitake’s first run as a head coach–he’s the first Tongan head coach ever–and while there have been ‘rookie mistakes’ you certainly can’t fault the level of toughness and physicality he’s imparted on this team. A former fullback at BYU, just 41 years old and built like a Mack Truck it’s obvious that when he talks his players listen. More impressively, they respect him and want to play hard for him. He can learn the ‘X’s and O’s’ but this personality intangible is rare.

The public is focusing too much on the revenge motive (BYU won 35-24 in Provo last year as +2 dogs) which shows they’ve completely got this series mischaracterized. The Cougars faced one of the toughest first half schedules in football this year and had plenty of spots where most teams would turn in a lackluster effort. BYU did nothing but fight. Cougars are now 9-4 ATS L3 on the road, 9-5 ATS as a dog and have covered 10 straight as a road dog against opponents with a winning percentage over .750. Boise State has been overvalued at home in recent years (6-10 ATS L3). BYU getting a touchdown is the play.