Why Boise State Should Be Chomping at the Bit to Play Michigan State
The nerves are probably starting to kick a little stronger throughout Bronco Nation. After all, it’s just a smidgen over one month away from Boise State traveling to East Lansing to play the Michigan State Spartans.
Sure, here at B/R, we’ve picked a few games against the spread, but no one really knows which way the season will go the moment either a Spartan or Bronco puts a foot into the ball to kick off the 2012-13 season for both teams.
Michigan State may be another big opponent for Boise State to start the season with, and it is certain the Broncos and their coaching staff have a whole set of reasons and motivational speeches lined up for tackling the Spartans.
Still, given the perspective from the press box or bleachers, there are some reasons why Boise State should be eager to play the Spartans.
One Season Ago and a Common Opponent
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On opening day, Sept. 3, Boise State took on Georgia in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome and beat the Bulldogs, 35-21.
On Jan 2, 2012, in the Outback Bowl, it took overtime for Michigan State to beat Georgia, 33-30.
It could be argued that Georgia finally came together by the end of the season to give MSU all it could handle and that the opening-day game against Boise State caught the Bulldogs unprepared, but it probably would not hold much water.
There is something inherently wrong with a program if it cannot be prepared for its season opener.
Another AQ Opening Day Foe
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While not an opening day foe, the run against teams from AQ conferences began in the 2008 season, when Boise State traveled to Autzen Stadium to beat the Oregon Ducks, 37-32.
Boise State hosted Oregon in the season opener in 2009 and walked off the field with a 19-8 win.
In 2010, it was Virginia Tech at Fed Ex Field and a 33-30 win.
Then in 2011, Boise State went down to Georgia and handed the Bulldogs a 35-21 beating. Michigan State is the fourth straight AQ team BSU will open the season with, and the Broncos don’t want that streak to end at three games.
Re-Establishing the Program
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Not to belabor the point, but Boise State graduated a lot of seniors at the end of the 2011 season.
There were those that felt maybe BSU was in for a down year while it tried to rebuild.
The equation is simple: is it a program that makes for fine players, or are the players what make the program?
Consider that Kellen Moore was not wanted by many prior to enrolling at BSU and what he was able to do. Coaches identify talent, then plug it in where it can be beneficial to the team and the program's goals.
Certainly MSU has something to prove as well. No more Kirk Cousins, but still a solid pre-season ranking. A team feels some pressure to live up to that pre-season hype.
Not Many Ranked Teams on the Schedule
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This one is pretty much a no-brainer.
Boise State does not have a lot of ranked teams or teams capable of being ranked on the 2012 schedule. Michigan State has been picked by some as high as No. 10, so for the Broncos to set themselves up for prime post-season bowl consideration, they have to beat the higher-ranked teams and then hope that those defeated win out the rest of the way.
The Spartans are the first on the list and may be the biggest challenge of the season.