I am as pragmatic a football fan as they come. I am honest in my opinions and give praise and criticism where due. When I heard that Coach Pete had decided to leave it felt like a kick to the groin and by most fans reckoning I was supposed to say "thank you." Here is the honest assessment.
The Good. Coach Peterson is a once in a lifetime type coach. He has done more for the program than any coach I have seen in my lifetime (went to my first game at Bronco Stadium in 72). He did this with class, dignity, honor and above all else, by winning games-lots of them. Make no mistake that is his first and most important job. BSU is the definitive BCS buster and will always be regarded as such. Pete's record stands for itself and the legacy he built in a small school with limited resources. He has not only our gratitude as fans, it has changed the very fabric of college football. He is deserving of the attention he has so seemingly avoided. The move is right for him and his family. Would that we could all be as professional in demeanor and practice. I wish him well and sincerely hoe that his new home embraces him as much as Boise did.
The bad. The program he inherited was on the rise and one that he had played a major role in creating. What he is leaving is a shadow of that program. The worst season of his career, his two worst losses, and a future that is less than bright. With Pete at the helm we felt somehow we were better than the sum of our parts. This is not just a team rebuilding (a myth in college football), it is now a program that must be re-infused with new ideas, talent and even a new foundation. We have lost multiple top prospects and more will undoubtedly leave from this decision. Leaving on top is one thing, but this feels somewhat like desertion.
The Ugly. This heralds in a new chapter in not only BSU football, but college football in general. The new system is far worse than the current BcS program. The likelihood of BSU ranking in the top 4 nationally is now all but impossible. Pete knows this. From this how will we be able to recruit and hire the best talent among coaches? BSU is a tremendous proving ground for coaches. They find the diamonds in the rough, cut and polish them only to watch them land on someone else's fingers. This is the crux of why this news hit so hard. The current system is failing every fan of every team that is not in the "darling" conferences. Coach Pete's leaving is proof of those flaws that we once held out as rumor.
In conclusion. Pete has won our hearts, and now broken them. He deserves this move and we will heal. Should we ever meet, I will shake his hand, thank him for what he did for my home town and the lives he affected. He is a great coach and a better man. I am too for watching him all these years.