Every season now, we ask ourselves “Is Boise State going to get their chance this year?”
Every time this happens, they either make a BCS bowl, or the past two seasons, watch their title hopes fade away with the miss of a field goal.
Because of this, many people root for Boise State simply because they love an underdog story. I know I did when they played powerhouse Oklahoma in that great Tostitos Fiesta Bowl win.
Every year, Boise State plays a tough out-of-conference game against a “Big Boy.” This year, they defeated 19th-ranked Georgia at the Georgia Dome. Last year, the Broncos defeated Virginia Tech in a virtual home game for the Hokies.
For the past couple of seasons, the Broncos have stepped up to the plate and handled the task, yet some still consider the Broncos as the little guys, much like a perennial underdog.
Due to the recent occurrences of this season and of seasons past, I am going to make a serious claim. The Boise State Broncos are no longer the underdogs; they are a respected program that's a force to be reckoned with.
Many people will disagree with me due to the WAC and Mountain West Conference being considered “cupcake conferences.” Many make the claim that a non-AQ team cannot withstand the rigors of playing a schedule of AQ teams. While this is a valid argument, this will be tested in the near future.
Since 2007, the Broncos are 4-2 in Bowl games and 2-0 in BCS games. In addition, with Chris Petersen as head coach, the Broncos have an impressive 73-6 record. This is an impressive statistic for any major college football programs.
In the past two years, aside from losses against Nevada and TCU from missed field goals, the Broncos have proven they can compete and play with the best. Last year, the Broncos defeated ACC foe Virginia Tech, who was ranked 10th at the time, in a virtual away game in Maryland.
Two weeks later they defeated 24th-ranked Oregon State. Later that year, they handled soon-to-be PAC-12 opponent 19th-ranked Utah, 26-3.
Any college football team that defeats three ranked opponents in a year garners much respect from anyone.
Let’s not forget, the year before, they defeated 16th-ranked Oregon and TCU in an undefeated season.
Most evidence to support this claim can be found in what happened this year.
Let's recap 2011.
Boise State defeated 19th-ranked Georgia to start the season off strong. They then went on a seven-game win streak to get to an impressive 8-0 record. Then disaster struck, they lost to unranked TCU. At the time, the Broncos were ranked fifth in the country. Normally, when a team loses to an unranked opponent while in the top 10, they usually fall from the top 10—especially when a team like Boise State is so disrespected. This however, was not the case.
Boise State fell to being ranked 10th. Any team that does not fall out of the top 10 commands much respect from the voters and from other coaches. In fact, they climbed up to being ranked seventh. To cap their season off, they dismantled Arizona State in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl—a team from an AQ conference—the Pac-12. Boise State had defeated another “big-time” school.
Boise State is no longer the little guy. The Broncos should be considered a team just like any other team in college football, if not a “big” program. No longer can Boise State fans state “BSU doesn’t get the respect they deserve!” If they did not get the respect they deserve, they would not have only fell to No. 10 after losing to an unranked team.
No longer can people exclaim “Boise State isn’t a contender because they haven’t beat anyone.” If this was the case, the Broncos would not have consistently beaten top-ranked teams, year in and year out, Nor would they have a perfect record in BCS Bowls.
It’s time to face it people, Boise State is just like any other major college football program.
I am not stating that Boise State does not receive the respect they deserve, because the respect is already there.