Petersen’s departure affects fate of 2 conferences

Steve Puterski

Steve Puterski

One move will change the landscape for at least one conference.

When former Boise State football coach Chris Petersen accepted the University of Washington job last week, Mountain West fans outside of Boise, Idaho, took a big sigh of relief.

All Petersen did was compile a 92-12 record, win two Fiesta Bowls and come within a field goal of lifting the Broncos to a possible national championship game appearance. What Petersen did at Boise State was nothing short of spectacular.

He played with the big boys of college football and won. Of course, Petersen and Boise State rocketed onto the scene with the greatest finish in bowl history beating Oklahoma, 43-42, after a hook-and-ladder play to tie the game, and the Statue of Liberty to win in overtime.

Now he takes the next step and joins the Pac-12. It is a conference on the rise, filled with top-notch coaches and is a juggernaut.

Petersen may already be one of the best coaches in the Pac-12 and will have better access to top recruits. It would be no surprise if he leads the Huskies to the Pac-12 title next season.

Of course, the rumblings across the nation are not in Petersen’s favor after Dirk Koetter struggled at Arizona State and Dan Hawkins crippled Colorado.

Koetter went 26-10 at Boise State from 1998-2000 and, according to the Idaho Statesman, will interview for the open position. Hawkins was 19-39 at CU from 2006-10.

Back in the Mountain West, the time is now to flip those Boise State recruits. For Nevada, it also means plucking those recruits and turning the tables on their longtime nemesis.

Wolf Pack coach Brian Polian has stated recruiting is key to upgrade the talent at Nevada. Now, as the coaching carousel amps up, is the time for the smooth-talking Polian to show why he was tabbed to lead Nevada.

Polian and company still have their obstacles to overcome, but the chance to regain Nevada’s footing as one of the premier programs may hang in the balance.

The staff must be aggressive and show recruits the Wolf Pack are not far from competing for a conference title. The addition of the new indoor facility is a bonus and shows Polian is committed to returning Nevada to one of the Mountain West’s best.

The first-year Pack coach has the admiration of the locker room, but winning is what Polian has demanded from himself and the staff. If the losing continues, the recruits will be gone, along with Polian.

Steve Puterski is the sports editor for the Lahontan Valley News and can be contacted at


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