After registering for my first semester at Boise State University in the fall of 2007, I immediately knew that I was getting into something special.
My schedule was as follows:
MWF 8:30-9:15 - Communications 191: Effectively Audible at the Line
TTh 10:30-11:45 – History 111: 1980 I-AA National Championship Team
TTh 1:00-2:15 – Engineering 100: The Boise State Offense
MWF 11:00-11:45 – Religion 090: Bronco Football
Football has always been more than a game here. It is a culture and tradition that has been passed down year after year and continues to spread like wildfire.
"The only reason I came (to Boise State) was to get free tickets (to the games)," says freshman student Brad Hunter of Twin Falls, Idaho. "I had no idea that I would have to wake up so early and stand in such long lines to get them, though," he continued, "I probably should have thought that through."
The feeling is echoed across campus. Students know that this year, much like 2007, can be something special.
The Broncos have earned their highest regular season ranking in program history and continue to be in BCS National Championship conversations. Expectations are higher than ever.
After being jumped last week by USC—whose bye was apparently much more impressive than the Broncos'—it is understood that Boise is seemingly forgotten about when they don't play.
Tonight, 8 EST on ESPNHD, they have the chance to show a national audience that they belong.
On a Wednesday night, where nothing else is going on in the world of sports, poll voters and national media can turn their undivided attention to Boise State's multi-faceted offense and tenacious D.
When Boise State walks into H.A. Chapman Stadium in Tulsa, they will be playing for far more than just another win.
Fair or not—and I notably argue with the latter—the Broncos, with a blowout win, can make their case for not only a BCS bowl game, but a national championship appearance. Fail to cover the nine-point spread, though, and they give voters an excuse to drop them in the polls.
The task won't be an easy one.
The Golden Hurricane may not be a BCS-caliber team, but they have started the season 4-1 and won their only other home game 56-3. Tulsa's offense can put up a lot of points, and the defense has only allowed more than 10 points one time this season.
Boise State students recognize what's at stake, and the dining hall in the Student Union Building—where the ESPN broadcast will be shown on two large projection screens and dinner will be served—will surely be at maximum occupancy.
After all, we're students. We never pass up a free meal.