I remember being clearly excited for one game when I came to the University of Nevada in 2008. No, it wasn’t UNLV. It was Boise State. The Wolf Pack and Broncos face off (maybe for the last time) tomorrow and I couldn’t be more pumped. This is a real college football rivalry, one that I’ve had the pleasure to not only watch, but cover as well.

What makes this game special? Sure, beating UNLV is fun, but frankly, their fans don’t care. They accept their bad. Not BSU fans. They think their team is a cut above everyone else. And when they fall, oh man, it is fun to watch. Each year prior to last season’s meeting, the game almost had the same script. Broncos jump out early. Nevada rallies in the second half. It then became a thrilling question of whether the Broncos could hold on or if the Wolf Pack could mount the comeback. The game’s lost a little luster. Kellen Moore and Colin Kaepernick are gone. No highly ranked teams. But the game still has a lot of meaning. How sweet it would be to shut the Broncos fans up. Let’s face it, Broncos fans don’t like us. And we don’t like them. When we face each other, especially with how well Boise’s fans travel, it’s the quintessential college football atmosphere. This is why I was excited for college athletics. Games like these are the ones we can tell our children about.

When I covered the 2010 football season, this game was the only one I wished I could cheer. Inside, I was screaming. I wished I could yell in anger as BSU set up what appeared to be the game-winning field goal. Then sat in shock as Kyle Brotzman missed not one, but two field goals. Then of course, there’s the satisfaction in seeing all the BSU fans walking away in disappointment. All the while I wanted to jump, scream and shout. Instead, I sat as calmly and collected as I could be. That’s just it though. It was then I realized, if the Wolf Pack only wins one game a season, I want that win to be against Boise. Who cares about UNLV? Their fans don’t care as much about the game as we do. BSU fans care. And they care a lot. That’s why this game is special. That’s why this game was at the end of the season, not UNLV like most other in-state rivalries. That’s what we’ll miss the most if BSU doesn’t come back.

For the record, here’s my prediction.

Nevada: 37

Boise: 31

Go Pack.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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