By Jordan Lauterbach- College Sports Saturday- Saturdays at 11 a.m.
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas- 7 Boise State v. Arizona State
Kellen Moore walked into expectations in ways that a Boise State quarterback hadn’t before. It was Moore’s redshirt freshman year that his team beat Oklahoma in miraculous fashion. You all remember it. After all, what College Football fan could forget? A host of trick plays, including the most famous two point conversion of all time, sealed perhaps the biggest post-season upset of all time.
That was all the work of Jarred Zabransky. No one would have envied the kid sitting on the sidelines, for which the reins to one of the nations’ more talked about programs would be handed to only a few months later. Who would have thought then that it would be Moore who would become the legend at the up and coming school in Idaho, not Zabransky?
Sure, Jarred has that year. That game. That play. He was the quarterback that started the Boise State legend. Moore was the quarterback that built it.
140 touchdowns, 14,374 passing yards, and only 26 interceptions later, Moore’s career ends on a Thursday night in Las Vegas, more than a week before the big boys play. It’s a bit depressing, isn’t it? Andrew Luck’s career will end with (perhaps) a BCS win. Tim Tebow’s ended with a romp in the Sugar Bowl. Matt Leinart’s ended playing for a national title.
Moore’s will end playing for a tire trophy.
But, in many ways, this is fitting. The fact of the matter is Moore and Boise State have always had an uphill battle. It comes with the territory when you play in a non-BCS conference. After all, shouldn’t teams with easier schedules and less competition be held to higher standard? This is, like it or not, also part of Moore’s legacy. He simply didn’t face enough good competition to bring his team to a national title or win a Heisman Trophy.
He never appeared to let that bother him. Moore typically played well, no matter who the opponent was. Whether it was Virginia Tech, TCU, or Louisiana Tech, a noticeable change in skill level was never evident.
If it wasn’t for a faulty kicking game, Moore might be leaving the college game undefeated.
This is why few worries should be paid to the quarterback’s and his team’s motivation going into a very early bowl (for a one loss team) against Arizona State.
The Sun Devils finished the year 6-6, losing five of their final six games. Opponents like Washington State and California put big numbers on the defense. A perhaps promising season turned into a calamity rather quickly. The Head coach lost his job, the team has presumably lost its confidence, and the program awaits a new beginning.
It is doubtful that that new beginning will come in the final game for a Boise State legend.
Time will tell whether Kellen Moore is remembered as a college football great or just another mid-major stat hound with the gaudy numbers to prove it. Will he be more Leinart or Colt Brennon?
That answer most likely depends on two factors:
1. How Boise State matures as a program following his departure and the Broncos ascension into a big time football conference.
2. Moore success in the NFL
Those answers may take years to come to fruition, but one can be sure that the newly married quarterback doesn’t care about either right now.
It’s all about Arizona State and hoisting that golden tire.
Isn’t that a lasting image to be proud of?
The Pick: Boise State
Bowl Mania Record: 2-3
Follow Jordan on Twitter @jlauterbach1