September 1, 2011
(Image: Copyright Bsuorangecrush. Click to enlarge for a massive pic)If you've ever been to Idaho, there are three things that stand out to you. First, it is a visibly stunning state. Mountains, the greenest fields I have ever seen, desert, 500 feet high sand dunes, beautiful lakes. Truly incredible. Second, the poverty there is abject. Plenty of trailers, shacks and the assorted living arrangements you would see in West Virginia or another third world country. As a bonus, they get 5 feet of snow a year. Third, Idahoans have a severe inferiority complex.
As someone once told me, "Idaho is the Mississippi of the West."
Raise your hand if you remember Boise State installing the Blue Turf. Keep them up if your first thought was "aww, how cute". Now, they pack in 34,000+ to Bronco Stadium. By the way, the picture above is from the night they set the attendance record against Oregon State at 34,137. For reference, that would have been broken in 1949 when Sanford was expanded to 36,000 seats.
I use all of this to preface this: Boise State isn't a joke. We can act disdainful, but their successes are real, even if they are against lesser opponents than what Georgia would play on 7-9 Saturdays a year. In many ways, they are the nouveau rich, but their money spends just the same as the old money does. They may play on blue turf, but they have won 38 of their last 40. They have a QB that will likely catch and pass David Greene (42 wins) and then Colt McCoy (45 wins) as the all time winningest college QB.
Oh, believe me, I'm going to make jokes about the trailers, the education system, hillbillies, being just behind Tennessee in 'educashun' spending, blue and orange, that horse, flat billed caps, drinking cheap beer, how few people actually care about football there and for thinking Oklahoma is the South. If the 4200 fans they are bringing want to know about SEC football, I am happy to oblige them. That doesn't change the fact that they should be the favorite to win.
So, Georgia has to win this for pride, for Greene, for the old money. But mostly for pride.