Welcome to the official 'dead zone' of sports in America. The NBA and NFL finals are over, leaving most of us yearning for the start of training camps for NFL and college football players. (Yes, Major League Baseball, NASCAR, INDY Car, and F1 seasons are actively underway.)

However, the most popular sport in America is professional football. There is no amateur football at the adult level in America. College football continues its collision course toward professionalism. Rivalries have been replaced by television ratings and big money. Can programs like Boise State or the Idaho Vandals survive in the world of name-your-price college football?

Historically, June and July were the months where coaches and support staff could rest. Today, the college football season never ends. The University of Idaho, despite having a great year last year, faced the harsh reality of losing most of its star players to more prominent schools with bigger wallets. This is a stark reminder of smaller college football programs' challenges in a professional environment.

Boise State lost its starting quarterback to an SEC school but kept talented Heisman contender Ashton Jeanty thanks to a large financial donation to the player. College football is all about revenue thanks to Name, Image, Likeness, and the Transfer Portal. Players, not schools, now call the shots.

Both the Broncos and the Vandals must perform on the field to continue operating. Idaho decided to step down from FBS to FCS because it couldn't compete in the financial arms race.

Most Idahoans look forward to Boise State's new season regardless of where they went to school. This season, the team will look to win both on and off the field. Fans can't play on the gridiron, but their efforts and financial support are more critical than the on-field product.

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