Air Quality Could Cause Big Changes to Boise State’s Road Match-Up Against Washington State
"I am the only one who can possibly get a cold when it's 99 degrees outside," I thought to myself as we rolled back into the Treasure Valley after spending Labor Day weekend in McCall.
Well, it turns out that my stuffy nose and sore throat isn't a cold after all. It's just my lungs rejecting the smoke trapped in the Treasure Valley. Thought it was bad on Tuesday? Well, buckle up for another "purple air quality" alert today (Wednesday.) As of 1:30 this afternoon, Boise's air quality index is 209. That's elevated us into the "very unhealthy" category.
On Tuesday, the AQI in Pullman, Washington (where the Boise State Broncos are scheduled to take on #20 Washington State on Saturday) was 191. If you don't want to do the math, that's just 9 points away from "very unhealthy" that Boise's experiencing. Those high numbers have led to some questions about Saturday's game.
According to the Idaho Statesman, the Mountain West Conference has a rule that says if the AQI at the host school is higher than 150, they won't hold the contest there. However, Washington State isn't a MWC member. They play in the Pac-12 which doesn't have a similar rule.
College football's governing body, the NCAA, suggests that athletes be watched carefully in AQIs of 150-199 and removed from outdoor fields at 200+. If the air quality doesn't improve by Saturday, Washington State will have to explore some other options for the game.
It would be easy to say "we're going to move it to the Kibbie Dome since it's indoors" (the U of I stadium is less than 10 miles from Pullman) but the Vandals are hosting UNLV at 5 p.m. that day. The game won't be wrapped up in time for the 8:30 p.m. match-up between the Broncos and Cougars.
A low pressure system is supposed to move over the West Coast on Thursday that might help push some of the smoke out of the area, so for now the Washington State athletic department isn't making any changes. They'll re-evaluate closer to the game.
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