The Broncos have opened the last three seasons with monumental wins over some powerhouse opponents.
In 2009 it was the defeat of Oregon on the Blue. Of course, that win was overshadowed by the punch heard round the college football world.
In 2010 it was the come from behind victory on the road before a hostile Virginia Tech dominated crowd at Fedex Field. This was a game that few had given the Broncos a chance of winning, but those same voices were silenced in a story book finish as Kellen Moore led Boise State to one of the biggest wins in school history.
In 2011 it was of course the thoroughly convincing win over the Georgia Bulldogs, which again, was a game many were claiming the Broncos would drop. However, the Broncos cruised to victory in the Georgia Dome showing the nation that they could handle a team from the SEC.
Fast forward one season and the same critical and nay-saying banter will no doubt be cast about. You will probably hear the criticism and analysis as the opener draws closer.
The words of pundits and self-appointed pollsters will echo from radio and television broadcasts everywhere. Printed criticisms pointing out that the Broncos have lost too many players to keep up with a Michigan State will leap from the pages of publications and websites scattered about the land.
Michigan State will be heralded as a team that should be a force in the B1G—as well they should be.
But, if coach Chris Petersen and his players have anything to say about it, and they will, then the critics and doubters may once again have to eat some humble pie.
Which brings us to bold prediction number one. The Broncos will once again shock the nation in a big-time season opener.
Yes, the Broncos lost most of their starting line up from 2011.
Yes, they will have to replace their leading rusher from one year ago, Doug Martin, and their amazing four-year starting quarterback, Kellen Moore.
Yes, they will have to replace the entire defensive line that had spent the last couple of seasons shutting down every running offense that they faced.
However, if we have learned anything about the Boise State Broncos over the last decade, it is that you never want to count them out. Not only that, but the Broncos have been masterful in the Chris Petersen era of winning games they have considerable time to prepare for.
There are three reasons that make this "bold prediction" plausible.
1. Reloading Rather than Rebuilding
The Broncos looked good in the spring, and they appear to be equipped to reload rather than have to rebuild. There are many key players on both sides of the ball that appear poised to make serious noise in 2012.
2. A New Offensive Coordinator
Robert Prince has come on board in 2012. He brings a shot in the arm for an offense ready to transform from a pocket passing quarterback attack to a mobile threat behind center. His approach should be more like the kind of offensive Bronco fans have come accustom to as compared to a somewhat conservative approach last season.
3. The Element of Surprise
The Broncos in 2012 are an unknown. As secret as Chris Petersen likes to keep things, you can expect him to keep his cards close to his chest as the season opener approaches.
The offense the Broncos present to the Spartans will be brand new. You can expect it to consist of more mobility at quarterback and more diversity and aggressiveness. We saw some of that already in the spring game, but as players lock down positions and gel as a unit, you can expect that to increase.
The Spartans will have a hard time preparing for an offense they have never seen. There will certainly be guess work in trying to determine how to approach the Broncos, but it will be just that—guess work.
Michigan State will have a good defense in 2012, but if you don't know how to prepare for your opponent, it makes it difficult to shut down any team that can execute. The Broncos are known for execution.