The arguments from the elite are always the same. The schedule is too weak, Virginia Tech is overrated, they run too many trick plays, and even the blue turf has the college football elite turning their noses in the air. So how can a team from Boise, Idaho, a team looking to become the first ever 1-AA champion, and 1-A champion be allowed to play with the Alabamas, Auburns, Oklahomas, and Oregons of the world?
This Team Has Proven They Can Play With Anybody
Everybody knows about the 2007 and last years Fiesta Bowl but let’s list teams that Boise has beaten over the past 5 years you may not know about.
1. Oregon- Twice. Including holding the high-flying Ducks to just 8 points on the Smurf Turf.
2. Oregon State- Twice as well. OSU is consistently a 9 win team who is good for an upset or 2 every year. Ask Pete Carroll.
3. Utah- Won in the high altitude of Salt Lake City as well. A very tough environment (ask Dave Wannstedt). However, Utah never agreed to travel to the Smurf Turf. Can we say, respect?
This may not be a who’s who of college football, but compared to the out of conference schedule of the University of Florida under Urban Meyer then Boise is very comparable if not more challenging.
They have Talent
I know I know, everybody loves to fall in love with the recruiting rankings that come out every February. The Phil Steele’s and Street and Smith’s give college football diehards dreams of crystal footballs dancing in their heads (including me). However, the harsh reality is, these are never best precursors to predicting a program’s success. However, one program you never find in the annual top 25 list is Boise St. Which brings me to my next common misperception about the thr Broncos, this team has LEGIT talent.
Over the past couple years, many other Broncos have found themselves sprinkled across different NFL rosters. Starters like Quintin Mikell for the Eagles, Darryn Colledge for the Packers, Legadu Naane for the Chargers, Kyle Wilson for the Jets, Korey Hall for the Packers, and even a Pro Bowler in Ryan Clady for the Denver Broncos. As Boise has been able to raise it’s profile they have been able to attract in better players and this team has them. Quarterback Kellen Moore figures to be in the Chad Pennington mold. About 6’2″, smart, accurate, and very sharp. He only has 4 picks over the past 2 years! And here’s a dirty secret: he can put zip on the ball too. Guys like him always find a way to stick in the NFL for 10-12 years. The receivers around Moore are also explosive. His favorite target, Austin Pettis, is big at 6’3″ and has reliable hands. Some NFL team will roll the dice on him and his counterpart, Titus Young, although he stands at only 5’11” is highly capable of burning defenders and making big returns on special teams. Let’s not forget that Boise consistently sends Offensive Linemen to the NFL and the small but shifty runningback Jeremy Avery will be given to make a team as a 3rd down back. Boise has as much NFL talent on both sides of the ball as any BCS contender.
They Play Good Defense
Boise State will never be confused as an SEC defense but that’s still no reason to overlook them. As I mentioned earlier, they held Oregon, to 8 points last year at home! Home schmome, that’s an accomplishment! This year Boise ranks second in the nation in ppg at 12.3, including 2 shutouts. Last season in Boise’s 2 toughest contests, the defense yielded a combined 18 points in wins over Oregon and TCU. Two offenses that finished in the top 10 last year.
The Final Verdict
Although Boise St. is not as decorated and doesn’t play in a power conference does not discount them as to being a legit player for College Football’s ultimate prize. Often times, it is said that Boise would lose at least 2 or 3 games playing in the SEC. Which is funny because of the last 4 SEC teams to win a national championship only one (Alabama last year) went without a defeat. LSU even lost 2 games en route to a title in 2007. So if losing 2 games in the SEC is the fate Boise would be doomed, then Boise St. is on par with the other powerhouses. Let’s treat them like it.