Kellen Moore deserves a better send off.
The Boise State quarterback, who has more victories as a starter than any college quarterback in history, will conclude his brilliant career Thursday night at the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas against Arizona State, a 6-6 team that has already had its coach fired.
What a waste.
In many ways there is no more damning indictment of the Bowl Championship Series and college football’s bloated bowl postseason than Moore and this group of Boise State seniors being relegated to a third-tier game.
Even mild-mannered coach Chris Peterson finally snapped at the BCS after his team’s latest snub. The Broncos were No. 8 in the final AP Top 25 for the regular season.
“Everybody is just very tired of the BCS,” Petersen told reporters in Idaho earlier this month. “I think that’s the bottom line. Everybody is frustrated. Everybody doesn’t really know what to do anymore. It doesn’t make sense to anybody. I don’t think anybody is happy anywhere.
“The whole thing needs to be changed, there’s no question about it,” he said. “ ... I think (change) is coming, I really do.”
Too late for this band of Broncos, though.
In four seasons as a starter, Moore has led Boise State to 49 victories and thrown 140 touchdown passes, second on the NCAA career list.
Of course, it’s not just Moore.
Fellow seniors such as second-team All-American tackle Nate Potter, third-team All-American safety George Iloka, defensive tackles Billy Winn and Chase Baker and running back Doug Martin have formed the foundation of team that has lost twice the last two seasons. Both times they were a last-second field goal away from earning BCS bids.
Instead, it’s been two straight postseason trips to Las Vegas.
There’s no denying Boise State’s gaudy record has been inflated by playing in conferences — the Western Athletic Conference, before coming to the Mountain West this season — with more than a few soft spots.
There is also no denying the Broncos have proved capable of beating good teams from power conferences. Just ask Oregon, Georgia and Virginia Tech.
The bowl seasons should have been another chance to see Boise State take on the heavyweights, to find out if the Broncos were truly worthy of being labeled national championship contenders.
Maybe Moore would have gotten buried by a good SEC defense. Maybe Winn and company would have gotten shredded by a Big 12 offense. The haters could have happily dismissed Boise State as a fraud.
Or maybe the Broncos would have cut a couple more of the so-called college football elite down to size and stuck it to the doubters.
Come to think of it, it’s not just Moore who deserved better, it’s all college football fans.
New Mexico Bowl
Wyoming (plus 7) vs. Temple — Player to watch: Owls RB Bernard Pierce ... TEMPLE 21-17.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Utah State (minus 2½) vs. Ohio — Aggies bowling for first time in 14 years ... UTAH STATE 33-24.
New Orleans Bowl
Louisiana-Lafayette (plus 5½) vs. San Diego State — Ragin’ Cajuns have short trip for first bowl since 1970 ... LA.-LAFAYETTE 35-28.
Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl
Marshall (plus 4½) vs. FIU — Player to watch: FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton ... FIU 28-21.
TCU (minus 10½) vs. Louisiana Tech — Horned Frogs deserve better, too ... TCU 38-24.
Boise State (minus 14) vs. Arizona State — Broncos don’t get bored ... BOISE STATE 42-21.
SATURDAY, DEC. 24
Nevada (plus 6) vs. Southern Mississippi — Last game of the Larry Fedora era at Southern Miss ... SOUTHERN MISS 41-21.
MONDAY, DEC. 26
North Carolina (plus 4½) vs. Missouri — Player to watch: North Carolina DE Quinton Coples ... MISSOURI 24-21.
TUESDAY, DEC. 27
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl
Western Michigan (plus 2½) vs. Purdue — Boilermakers last bowl was in same spot against MAC team in 2007 ... PURDUE 38-20.
North Carolina State (minus 2½) vs. Louisville — Wolf Pack finished up and down season with two straight victories ... LOUISVILLE 27-23
WEDNESDAY, DEC. 28
Air Force (plus 3) vs. Toledo — Player to watch: Toledo WR Eric Page ... TOLEDO 45-35.
Texas (minus 3) vs. California — Longhorns primed for big rebound in 2012 ... TEXAS 28-20.
THURSDAY, DEC. 29
Champs Sports Bowl
Florida State (minus 3) vs. Notre Dame — The winner is overrated going into next season ... NOTRE DAME 24-21.
Baylor (minus 9) vs. Washington — RG3’s going away party? ... BAYLOR 54-48
FRIDAY, DEC. 30
Armed Forces Bowl
Tulsa (pick’em) vs. BYU — Tulsa only loses to ranked teams ... TULSA 31-24
Rutgers (minus 2) vs. Iowa State — Player to watch: Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu ... IOWA STATE 28-24.
Music City Bowl
Mississippi State (minus 6½) vs. Wake Forest — Middling SEC team vs. middling ACC team. Advantage, SEC ... MISSISSIPPI STATE 31-14.
Oklahoma (minus 14) vs. Iowa — Sooners went from preseason No. 1 to playing on Dec. 30 ... OKLAHOMA 38-21.
Championship weekend record: 10-2 (straight); 6-6 (vs. spread).
Season record: 211-53 (straight); 127-112-1 (vs. spread).
Best bets: 9-4.
Upset specials (vs. spread): 7-6.