Boise State Football: Best and Worst of the Broncos' Offseason
Whatever happened to a boring offseason for college football fans? The offseason was once a time when diehard fans would do all they could to survive the silence leading up to the season.
It is normally a time when those same fans scour every news source for a word about their beloved team, but they usually only find a thin layer of useless and meaningless information with no major importance.
Boy, how times have changed.
The Boise State Broncos are one of the many college football teams that now seem to have nearly as much news going on during the down months as they do during the season. This year was no exception.
With numerous stories involving the Broncos popping up everywhere, the fans have been steadily involved in the matters of all things Boise State. Some of the stories were great news for Boise State and its fanbase, but then again, some not so much.
Let's look back at what has been a very busy offseason for the Broncos and try to separate the good from the bad.
The Best: Record Number of Broncos Get Selected
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What an incredible day for the Boise State football program. The 2012 NFL draft was a record for the Broncos. In total, six players from BSU were picked by NFL teams.
Of course, the six selections included two first-round picks. Shea McClellin was taken 19th by the Chicago Bears, and Doug Martin was picked by Tampa Bay as the 31st pick of the draft.
Tyrone Crawford found a home with the Dallas Cowboys in the third round followed by his team mates George Iloka to the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth, Billy Winn to the Cleveland Browns in the sixth and Nate Potter to the Arizona Cardinals via the seventh round.
All in all, it was a great day for former Broncos, current Broncos, the program and the fans.
The Worst: Kellen Moore Not Drafted
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The only thing that took away from the incredible 2012 draft for Bronco fans was that their beloved quarterback was not selected.
Many Bronco fans were upset or, at the very least, felt really bad for Kellen Moore. They had heard the criticism that Moore was too small or didn't have enough arm strength to play in the NFL, but most fans were certain some team would take a chance on him—they didn't.
Still, it may have been a blessing in disguise for Moore. Because he wasn't selected by an NFL team, he and his agent were able to look for the best situation for him in the NFL.
The Detroit Lions signed Moore as a free agent, and it looks like a good fit for the overlooked QB. They only had two quarterbacks on their roster, and the coaches seem ready to give him a chance.
Who knows how it will all turn out? But, even though fans were sad not to see Moore picked in the late rounds, it could have benefited him greatly.
The Best: Heading East from the Mountain West
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Perhaps it was destiny that the Broncos would be heading east. After all, they are known for the use of the "Statue of Liberty."
Some fans have been skeptical about the move to the new Big East Conference, but overall, it appears to be a very good thing for the Broncos. Better competition, more exposure, a better recruiting footprint and more money await Boise State as a member of the Big East.
Boise State had already committed to the conference last December, but still hadn't officially gave notice to leave the Mountain West. Well, that notification finally came, and the Broncos beat the deadline by the wide margin of 120 minutes.
The whole process was intriguing; it gave the Broncos a lot of publicity and kept fans interested.
The MWC in its finest form would have been an excellent conference. But, after the departures of TCU, Utah and BYU and the way the conference treated the Broncos, the decision to go east seems to be the best situation available for Boise State.
The Worst: What About the Olympic Sports?
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The only major concern for the Broncos right now in regards to conference affiliation is where will they place their Olympic sports?
The Broncos had originally planned to send their other sports back to the WAC for competition. This would be a good fit and give the Broncos a realistic chance to win championships and gain NCAA basketball tournament appearances.
However, that all fell apart when the WAC did. So, the leadership at Boise State went to the Big West for a solution. That solution, however, has not been reached as of yet.
It does appear that progress is being made, but it will no doubt cost the Broncos a pretty penny to place the Olympic sports in the BIg West. Still, with the increase in revenue from the Big East, and perhaps assistance from the new football conference, the Broncos should easily be able to afford it.
If it does happen, it will be funny to think that the Broncos will be members of the Big East and the Big West.
Overall, this has to be stressful for the non-football athletes and coaches on campus. The Big East will be great for BSU football, but the other sports need stability as well.
It will be interesting to see if the Big West will accept the Broncos. If they do, crisis avoided, but if they don't, the Broncos may be forced to compete in a anorexic WAC.
The Best: Excellent Recruits Making Verbal Commitments for 2013
Boise State has to be happy with all the verbal commitments from 2013 recruits so far. The players that have given their verbals are excellent, and it should prove to be an amazing class.
As it stands right now, the Broncos have nine such verbal commitments.
Andrew Tercek, an offensive guard out of San Antonio, TX. He is 6'3" and 285 lbs. He is considered a 4-star recruit by ESPN.com.
Ryan Finley, a quarterback from Phoenix, Arizona, wide receiver Jack Austin from Chino Hills, California, Alec Dhaenens, a tight end from Fruitland, Idaho, Tanner Vallejo, an inside linebacker from Grass Valley, California, Eli McCullough, an offensive tackle from Meridian, Idaho, Joey Martarano, an outside linebacker from Fruitland, Idaho and Matt Boesen, an athlete out of Torrance, California are all listed as three-star recruits on ESPN.com.
Finally, last but not least, Durrant Miles, an outside linebacker out of South Jordan, Utah is also pledging his commitment to be a Bronco.
At this pace, the 2013 season could be one of the best in Bronco history.
The Worst: Verbal Decommitment
Conspiracy theorists might say the Oregon Ducks did this on purpose. But why in the world would Oregon want to get any kind of revenge against Boise State? Well, besides the two dominating victories the Broncos had against the Ducks.
Chris Seisay had come to Boise and gave his verbal commitment. That is, however, until the Oregon Ducks offered the American Canyon, California athlete a scholarship. He then quickly changed direction and pledged his loyalty to Oregon. It was no conspiracy; just a kid who got a little too excited when visiting the Broncos.
For Bronco fans it probably doesn't feel good to lose a recruit to Oregon, but it probably won't hurt in the long run. Boise State is never short in the wide receiver area, and that should continue.
It will be interesting to see how Seisay's career with the Ducks pans out. If he becomes a star, this decommitment could become more painful than it is now.
The Best: A College Football Playoff
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After years of hoping, wishing and praying for a college football playoff, the dream has become a reality.
In June of 2012, the announcement was made. The powers of college football agreed to a four-team playoff that will be incorporated into the current bowl system.
The details haven't all been released, and no one knows how it will all work out. But, it is a step in the right direction. At least the word "playoff" can be used in referring to college football.
The Worst: A College Football 'Playoff'
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The new college football "playoff" is a step in the right direction. However, some say that two steps forward mean three steps back.
As the details emerge about this new playoff, you have to wonder if it is just going to look like the old one. With the Big Ten and Pac-12 locking down the Rose Bowl, the ACC and now possibly Notre Dame locking up the Orange Bowl and the Big 12 and SEC pitting their champions against each other every year, one question remains.
Doesn't this new "playoff" actually look a lot like the old one that wasn't called a playoff?
No one seems to know the real answer to this question as of yet. Quite frankly, it will probably take a few years to see how it will all work out. However, in the meantime, will this playoff, that so many have waited for be nothing more than a repackaged BCS that is even more BCSier than before?
BCS supporters will cry, "there is no pleasing you" if there are those who complain because of very little chance of access. To that it can be said, "sure there is."
How about creating a real playoff. One with at least eight and possibly more teams involved? You have to believe the television money would be there to support such a system.
In any case, most college football fans, Bronco fans included, are taking a wait and see approach to this "new playoff."
The Best: NCAA Announced It Will Review Boise State Sanctions
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Boise State fans applauded the news that the NCAA said it would reconsider scholarship sanctions against the Broncos.
Boise State was facing reductions of three scholarships per season through 2014. However, with the decision to reconsider, it is likely that number will decrease.
How many scholarships will the Broncos get back? No one knows just yet. But, the fact that they will get back any of those scholarships is great news for Bronco Nation.
The Best or Maybe Worst: Nick Patti Interview with a Florida Television Station
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Nick Patti is a true freshman for the Broncos, but he doesn't seem camera-shy. Recently, Patti did an interview with Bright House Sports Network Channel 47 out of Orlando, Florida; in it, he discussed his role competing for the quarterback job at Boise State.
No word yet if Chris Petersen gave his seal of approval on this sit down or if this was something Patti did on his own. If it was the latter, we may have to move this interview to the "worst" column.
Either way, it was informative and gave us a glimpse at the confidence the young quarterback has.
Still, you have to wonder if it was the best thing to do. It is great that he is confident and excited to be competing for the starting job. However, the pressure he puts on himself by an interview like this has to be increased.
The expectations for Patti were already high, and many fans were hailing him as the next Kellen Moore. But, those comparison aren't fair, and no one should expect Nick Patti, Joe Southwick or any other Boise State quarterback to live up to the Kellen Moore comparisons.
Nick Patti will eventually get his shot at leading the Bronco offense. Is that this year as a true freshman? Let's trust coach Chris Petersen with that decision. But, when he does get his chance, it seems like confidence, and a competitive nature won't be an issue for Patti.
More of the Best: NCAA Academic Ratings
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It was announced in June of this year that the Boise State Broncos football program earned a rank of No. 2. No, not on the field, but in the classroom.
Boise State gained the second-highest multiple-year Academic Progress Rate score in all of the FBS. It tied with Duke University and trailed only Northwestern.
This has become a habit for Chris Petersen and his crew of Broncos. The Broncos had a similar ranking last year as well.
It is impressive how Chris Petersen makes it all come together. He should be commended for his commitment to excellence on the field and in the classroom.
Even More of the Best: Stadium Expansion and Football Offices
Image via: Boise State Athletic Department
Boise State began its first phase of stadium expansion in the offseason. This first step will build some very impressive football offices and training facilities.
It is all part of a brand new football complex, that when complete, will include 70,000 square feet of coaches offices, position meeting rooms, an academic and computer lab, a player lounge, football only weight room, recruiting lounge, athletic training facility and state of the art locker room.
The project will also increase the south end zone seating capacity and create expanded bleachers in the north end zone that will be further expanded in coming years.
When the 2013 season starts and the Broncos play their first game as a member of the Big East Conference, they will do so in style.
Still, More of the Best: Washington Huskies Game Moved Up for 2013
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It was announced recently that the Washington Huskies game versus the Boise State Broncos in 2013 will be moved up to August 31.
This will be the first game in Husky Stadium after a $250 million upgrade. This is good news, because rumors had circled around Bronco Nation that the Washington game was being cancelled. However, those rumors are obviously false, and Bronco fans are happy.
This will be the closest road opener for the Broncos since 2008 when the Broncos went in to Autzen Stadium and took a victory from the Ducks.
You can expect Bronco fans to do what they can to get tickets to see their beloved team take on the Huskies in 2013.
A Good Offseason for the Broncos Overall
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Overall, it has been a pretty good offseason for Boise State. It may have been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but then again, who doesn't love a good roller coaster?
The opening game against Michigan State this season should be very telling. Not that this one game will dictate the season, but it should give everyone a pretty good idea as to what challenges the Broncos might face or how good they might be.
No matter what transpires, you have to believe the Broncos will have a good season in 2012.
Boise State is competing in its last year as a member of the Mountain West Conference. In this last campaign, it has the talent and the coaching it takes to keep it in the run for a conference championship. You know Coach Petersen will make that a top priority in 2012.
No matter what happens this year, the Broncos and their fans will take it all in stride. As the old saying goes, "you take the good with the bad."