College football coaches can be a stubborn bunch.
It's not a surprising observation, but with the release of the preseason coaches' poll this morning, it's becoming more and more obvious that as a group, college football coaches are afraid of change.
All offseason, we heard rumblings about how Boise State could be the best team in the country and how easily they could make their way to the BCS National Championship Game.
However, when the poll was released this morning, Boise was positioned at No. 5.
Now don't get it wrong, a preseason No. 5 ranking for a non-BCS school with a tradition that pales in comparison with the preseason No. 1 Alabama and most of the preseason top 25 is quite an accomplishment.
But the fact that two major programs that are undergoing very substantial changes—Texas and Florida—are ranked ahead of the Broncos only proves that the trek to the title game will be just as hard as it has ever been for Boise State.
The Longhorns and Gators are headed into 2010 with new, unproven quarterbacks and holes to fill all around the field. Boise State returns 20 of 22 starters from a team that went undefeated last season and won a BCS bowl.
Take away the names, take away the legacies, and you'd probably be inclined to vote Boise State as a better preseason team. However, there the Longhorns and Gators sit, right in front of the Broncos, blocking their way to the BCS National Championship Game.
What's to explain this discrepancy?
Maybe it's fear of changing the status quo that drives the coaches. Or maybe it's fear of the Broncos themselves.
Stories arose last offseason about how Boise State was having difficulty scheduling BCS conference opponents because they were scared they might lose to a non-BCS opponent, even at home.
Do the BCS conference coaches not want to see their fellow BCS schools fall to the ranks of a "lower-class" conference?
Either way, it looks like Boise State is not getting its just rewards for returning one of the most talented bunch of players in the nation.
So strike the thought that this will be an easier road for the Broncos. They'll have to prove just as much to a group of coaches (and eventually media members) that they deserve to be among the top as they have in seasons past.
If the Broncos can stay undefeated moving forward in the season, the same argument will arise as to whether an undefeated BCS conference school will deserve to be ranked ahead of an undefeated non-BCS school.
And right now, it looks like no matter what national opinion might be, the BCS school is going to win that argument every time.