For the second consecutive year, Boise State has two former star football players in the two conference championship games. With an incredible upset over the heavily favored Indianapolis Colts, defensive lineman Kimo von Oelhoffen and the Pittsburgh Steelers join Jeb Putzier and the Denver Broncos in the American Football Conference Championship next Sunday at Denver.
Von Oelhoffen had 2 tackles including a sack of All-Pro quarterback Peyton Manning and the Steelers dodged bullet after bullet to pull the surprising win at Indianapolis. Putzier had 3 catches for 37 yards in the AFC Divisional Playoff win over two-time Super Bowl champion New England, including a clutch 25-yard grab on 3rd and long.
Von Oelhoffen and the Steelers also made the AFC Championship last season, and former Boise State star Quinten Mikell was in the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles. This is not only the first time that 2 former Broncos have made it to conference championship games in consecutive seasons, but it will be the first time that former Boise State players are in 2 consecutive Super Bowls. The latter fact is guaranteed because former Broncos are on both Denver and Pittsburgh, one of which will be in Super Bowl 40.
Former Boise State assistant football coach John Fox took the Carolina Panthers to the 2003 Super Bowl and, after an NFC South Division title this year, is in the NFC Championship game for the 2nd time in 3 years.
Here is the list of former Boise State players in the conference championship games (11) and the result:
1983--David Hughes, starting running back, Seattle Seahawks--lost to the Los Angeles Raiders 30-14 in the AFC Championship after beating the Raiders in 2 regular season games.
1984--Rick Woods, starting safety, Pittsburgh Steelers--lost to the Miami Dolphins 45-28 in the AFC Championship.
1986--Markus Koch, defensive lineman, Washington Redskins--lost to the New York Giants 17-0 in the NFC Championship.
1987--Koch, starting defensive lineman, Redskins--Defeated the Minnesota Vikings 17-10 in the NFC Championship, then Won Super Bowl XXII over the Denver Broncos 42-10.
1991--Koch, defensive lineman, Redskins--Defeated the Detroit Lions 41-10 in the NFC Championship then Won Super Bowl XXVI over the Buffalo Bills 37-24.
2001--Kimo von Oelhoffen, starting defensive lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers--lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship 24-17.
2004--Quintin Mikell, safety, Philadelphia Eagles--Defeated the Atlanta Falcons 27-10 in the NFC Championship, lost to the New England Patriots 24-21 in Super Bowl XXXIX.
2004--Von Oelhoffen, starting defensive lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers--lost to the New England Patriots 41-27.
2005--Jeb Putzier, tight end, Denver Broncos--???
2005--Von Oelhoffen, starting defensive lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers--???