With football season back in the air, it has me reminiscing. I remember a time, not so long ago, when a strong argument could be made that Boise State had the best NCAA football program, or at the very least, was the most under-valued Division I team.
Those days may be long gone.
Back in the Coach Hawkins era, the Broncos were WAC champions four times in a row, and they set a record 31-game WAC winning streak. By the end of Hawkins’s five years, the Broncos were the undisputed kings of our conference. But this success only set up an even more impressive performance from Chris Petersen.
After Peterson moved from offensive coordinator to head coach, the Broncos had two undefeated seasons, three undefeated regular seasons, and two memorable appearances in the Fiesta Bowl. At their peak in 2010, they were ranked number 2 in the nation in the Associated Press and Coaches polls.
The Broncos during the Petersen area were nearly unbeatable, going 50-3 over four years—especially with Kellen Moore pulling the trigger, becoming the top-winning quarterback in college football history.
After Petersen accomplished all that he could here and moved to Washington, the Boise State star began to fade under Bryan Harsin. While the team rallied around Harsin to win the first-ever Mountain West Conference title (going 12-2 for the season), it was already apparent that some of the magic had left with Petersen. This will be the first season since 2001 that Boise State fails to make an appearance in the top 25 early in the season.
When Boise State was mopping up conference titles and staying undefeated, we could talk seriously about a shot for a national title. We can’t be too confident any longer; as the Broncos lose on the blue now. Prior to 2015, Boise State had only lost at home twice over 61 games.
You don’t beat the Broncos on the Smurf Turf. It’s not supposed to happen. Yet last week…
After Virginia, Can Boise State Turn It Around at BYU?
Last year, the Cavaliers only won two games through the entire season. This year, they are off to a strong start after handing the Broncos a devastating loss at home last weekend.
Despite having Rypien back to lead the team and standout receiver Cedrick Wilson absolutely on fire, Boise State was unable to put points on the board. What was once consistently the highest-scoring team is now having trouble doing much of anything.
Boise’s complete lack of ground game (Virginia held Boise to a meager 30 yards rushing) meant that Virginia could devote extra attention to the passing game. BSU’s quarterbacks were sacked four times, coverage was tight, and there were a lot of dropped balls out there. Wilson, who still had a great night despite two dropped balls himself, was the only one who was able to beat the Cavaliers’ defense.
Boise’s own defense, which has been the only thing saving the team this season, simply got beat by Virginia. The Cavaliers were firing on all cylinders, keeping Bronco defenders at bay for most of the game.
Boise State also racked up a number of penalties any time their special teams were on the field, sacrificing field position every time they came out.
Boise State needs to make some changes if they don’t want to be the first Bronco team to have a losing season in twenty years. Does it seem unlikely? Look at it this way—Boise State is 5-5 in their last 10 games.
Hopefully, Boise State will be able to find their rhythm during their bye week before facing down BYU on October 6, 2017.
While BYU goes into this matchup with a 1-3 record, two of their losses were against top teams (number 13 LSU and number 10 WIS), and their loss against Utah was a relatively close match. However, so long as the Bronco defense can keep BYU quarterback T. Mangum in check (something their secondary should be able to do, fingers crossed), it’s hard to see how the Cougars could come out on top.
IF the Broncos just don’t beat themselves with dropped balls and unnecessary penalties, we can look forward to a hard-fought win at BYU. Otherwise, we will have the first losing record since 2001, when the Broncos started the season 2-3.
Everyone here at Modern Dental is pulling for a big W against BYU, and we’ll be watching the rest of the season avidly. Who do you see as one of the biggest hurdles Boise State will need to overcome this season? Check out their entire schedule of games, here, and don’t forget to support your BIG BLUE!
Boise State Football and the Sports Illustrated Effect
When a player appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated, their career tends to take a dip afterward. At first glance it might seem like superstition, but consider that an athlete only makes the cover of Sports Illustrated when they perform at their best. After their best, where do they have to go?
Nowhere but down.
After achieving what was essentially perfection (and reaching the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2010), there was nowhere to go but down. We became spellbound with a Boise team that was doing legendary things. We’ve since felt the wind go out of our sails when our beloved Broncos are anything less than perfect. But there are bright spots on the horizon!
Here in Boise, we absolutely love Bronco football. After our heartbreaking loss to Virginia, many were calling for drastic action. Before we go crazy, consider that coach Harsin still has a great overall record, and we may be comparing him to predecessors who coached the Broncos in a different context.
Our conference has become more competitive, something we should want even if it means that we don’t win every game now. The biggest argument against Boise State earning a national title shot during our glory days was that our conference wasn’t tough enough, so perfect seasons and scoring records didn’t mean as much.
With other teams in the Mountain West demonstrating that they have the chops to compete, Boise State will look all the better when they win on the Blue.
And while we’re talking about football, don’t forget to protect you and your children’s teeth like the Broncos do when participating in contact sports. Give us a call and see how we can help get protect your smile with a mouthguard, today.