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Boise State's Petersen leaves for Washington

Updated: 
December 6, 2013 - 11:18pm

SEATTLE — After all the other schools that called over the years and were sent away, it was Washington that finally hooked Chris Petersen.

Petersen will be the Huskies’ football coach, making the decision to leave Boise State after eight seasons as the Broncos head coach.

Petersen was offered the job Thursday night during a meeting with Washington athletic director Scott Woodward in Boise. After a night of sleep, Petersen called Friday morning to accept the position before meeting with his Boise State team.

He’s leaving after an unprecedented run of success at Boise State: five conference titles, 92 victories, two Fiesta Bowl wins and credit for putting the Broncos on a national stage for more than just its blue turf field and trick plays.

“Coach Petersen’s success and record are extraordinary, but even more impressive is the man himself,” Woodward said in a statement released by the school. “His integrity, work ethic and character make him an outstanding fit and leader of our student-athletes at UW. We are thrilled and proud to call Coach Petersen a Husky.”

Petersen replaces Steve Sarkisian, who went 34-29 in five seasons at Washington before leaving earlier this week to take the job at USC. Petersen was 92-12 in his eight seasons at Boise State. But he’s coming off the worst regular season in his tenure with the Broncos after going 8-4, including a 38-6 loss at Washington in the season opener.

That Washington was able to pry Petersen away is surprising after so many other schools tried unsuccessfully before. He’s been linked to jobs all over the country but primarily West Coast jobs at USC, UCLA and Stanford. Every time he said ‘No thanks,’ until now.

“It’s time for him to take it to the next level,” said Seattle Seahawks safety Jeron Johnson, who played for Petersen at Boise State.

Petersen took over for Dan Hawkins in 2006 and turned Boise State into the darling of the BCS. Whether it was the audacious trick plays that led to Boise State’s BCS upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, or the staggering run of victories with Kellen Moore at quarterback, Petersen was the one directing the Broncos’ rise.

The Broncos won five conference championships under Petersen and won 12 games in every season between 2008 and 2011. The Broncos got as high as No. 2 in the AP Top 25 in 2010 and might have found themselves playing in another BCS game if not for an overtime loss at Nevada in the next-to-last game of the regular season.

But the Broncos seemed to plateau this season. The year started with the blowout loss at Washington, the worst defeat of Petersen’s career. Boise State lost three more times on the road at Fresno State, at BYU and at San Diego State, and a loss in a bowl game would leave the Broncos with five defeats for the first time since 1998, when they were in their third season at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.

“I know Bronco Nation joins me in thanking Chris Petersen for all he did to advance Boise State’s football program over the past 13 years,” Boise State President Bob Kustra said. “He is not only a great coach but a great person and an asset to the community. We were lucky to have him at Boise State and Washington is lucky to get him.”

MAC championship

Bowling Green 47,

No. 16 Northern Illinois 27

DETROIT — Matt Johnson threw four of his career-high five touchdown passes in the first half and Bowling Green routed Northern Illinois on Friday night for the Mid-American Conference title, ending the Huskies’ shot at playing in a marquee bowl game.

The Northern Illinois (12-1) loss improves the chances of Baylor or Oregon being an at-large team in a BCS bowl game.

Jordan Lynch ran for 126 yards and two TDs for the Huskies to break his own single-season record for yards rushing by a quarterback in major college football, but he didn’t take advantage of an opportunity to impress Heisman Trophy voters.

The Falcons (10-3) won a MAC title for the first time since 1992 — just months after Johnson was born.

Lynch was 21 of 40 for 219 yards with a TD and two interceptions, including one in the fourth quarter that set up Johnson’s fifth TD that put Bowling Green up 40-20.

Auburn gives Malzahn contract extension

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn has given football coach Gus Malzahn a new six-year contract worth $3.85 million annually.

Athletic director Jay Jacobs announced the first-year coach’s new deal Friday, the eve of the third-ranked Tigers’ game against No. 5 Missouri for the Southeastern Conference championship in Atlanta.

Malzahn has led Auburn to an 11-1 season after taking over a team that won three games and lost all eight SEC contests in 2012.

Jacobs said, “we want coach Malzahn to be at Auburn for a long time.”

Auburn hired Malzahn last December and gave him a five-year contract worth $2.3 million annually. The new deal includes a $250,000 raise each year.

Source: Notre Dame to Pinstripe Bowl

A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press that Notre Dame plans to accept a bid to the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not become official, says Notre Dame officials have informed bowl organizers that the Fighting Irish will play in the Dec. 28 game in New York against a team from the American Athletic Conference.

CBS.com first reported Notre Dame’s decision.

The Fighting Irish were left without a pre-arranged bowl destination this season. Notre Dame’s final choice came down to the Hawaii Bowl or the Pinstripe Bowl.

The Fighting Irish (8-4) will play either Houston (8-4) or Rutgers (5-6). Rutgers must beat USF today to become bowl-eligible.

By wire sources