Some folks feel that with the graduation of Kellen Moore and Co. that the Broncos run at the Bowl Championship Series has gone on hiatus. One person who doesn't is BSU head coach Chris Petersen.
Flash back to post-2011 Maaco Bowl and the thrashing of Arizona State. One of the Bronco players was asked if, because of said graduation, BSU's winning ways were riding into the sunset. Petersen overheard the question and chimed in an emphatic "No."
So what will keep the BSU football program from fading away during a rebuilding phase? Here are some thoughts on the subject and reasons why BSU will be back in the BCS by 2015, if not before …
New contract in hand to show his value to Boise State and the football program, as well as his willingness to fit his program to the strengths of his players rather than fit his players into his program, make head coach Chris Petersen (and his staff) the focal point of the continued Bronco success story. Petersen is 73-6 as the head coach of the Broncos. His commitment to the program pays off with wins, and wins lead to bowl games.
Every team has a fanbase that expects its team to win, but BSU has a rich tradition, from junior college ranks to Div. 1-AA in the Big Sky on up to the Division I party to bank on. The Broncos have has success at every level, and going back through the years, anyone would be hard-pressed to find many sub-.500 seasons. Ten wins per season is a benchmark, and the faithful of the blue and orange expect that to be met.
Whether it is Mark May denigrating BSU and its strength of schedule on ESPN, or the way folks like Jon Gruden rave about the offensive playbook of the Broncos (an this links back to coaching), or even the regional Sports Illustrated covers, the bottom line is that Boise State has been a fixture in the national debate and spotlight for many years. That brings the school and team into homes and the minds of players who otherwise might not have heard of the team-which, in turn, opens up the avenues to new recruits.
Let's face it, by jumping into the Big East (and not to denigrate the caliber of the competition), the Broncos are in a conference where they can continue to win. If this was the PAC-12 or SEC, that might be an "iffy" proposition. There will still be those in the media that downplay the strength of schedule, but by being an member of the Big East, the Broncos may be a more attractive opponent for non-conference games.
Boise State has a certain mindset: It is used to winning. Those that returned from the experiences of the past four years understand that, as well as comprehend the effort and battles that must be endured to continue down that path. Even at the 2012 NFL combine, references were made to how well coached Bronco players were. They put in the effort in the weight room and realize the rewards on the field.
And if incoming players don't quite get it, they can ask players like D.J. Harper. He was there for the past five seasons, and so, should fully understand the commitment that is a hallmark of the BSU program.