Boise State Football: Losing Chris Petersen Wouldn't Doom Broncos

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 04:  Head coach Chris Petersen of the Boise State Broncos celebrates after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs 17-10 during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 4, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It's the end of the year, so that means it's time for the Chris Petersen rumor machine to fire up.

Seemingly every season following the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, the Boise State coach is listed at the top of every college football team's list of potential replacements for the recently fired coach. And every year he remains with the Broncos.

Recently, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reported that the Cal Golden Bears could look to Petersen to fill the hole left by the fired Jeff Tedford. Pete Roussel of speculated that Arkansas will throw its name in the hat as well.

Petersen built upon the foundation that had been laid for him by Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins. They had gotten Boise State national recognition, but it was under Petersen that the school showed it belonged in the discussion about the best teams in the country.

The job he has done is nothing short of remarkable. Few could ever have believed that the city of Boise would become a destination for recruits and the site of a football powerhouse.

A source told Feldman that Cal and Oregon are the only two schools the seven-year coach would leave Boise for, so Bronco fans could be dealing with the very real possibility of losing their head coach.

It's a definite blow to the program, but it would far from debilitating.

Petersen, Hawkins and Koetter have done the grunt work to get Boise State where it is today. A new head coach would just have to continue the progress that has already been made.

The school is hard at work to build itself the requisites for a sustainable college football power. It's a school no longer dependent on the wizardry of a head coach to spin miracle after miracle.

Training facilities have been upgraded, Bronco Stadium has gotten an expansion and luxury suites have been added to get the boosters to open up their pocketbooks.

The road to the BCS has even gotten slightly easier with the news announced recently about the "Group of Five." Come 2014, the highest-rated team out of the Big East, Mountain West, Mid-American, Sun Belt Conferences and Conference USA are guaranteed a BCS bowl bid.

As a result, the school is looking to possibly looking to halt that move to the Big East in favor of staying in the Mountain West.

The blue turf has become synonymous with the Broncos and for so long was the first and only thing people thought of when it came to the team. Now there's something else synonymous with Boise State—winning.

It's doubtful that generations from now anyone will be able to mean as much to Boise State football as Petersen has, but that doesn't mean the school won't continue to succeed in his absence.