Boise State Football: 11 Things the Broncos Do Very Well
Boise State has been a constant topic of conversation in college football because of its recent success and defiance of the BCS.
The Broncos have been one of the top non-BCS teams in the latter half of the past decade and have found themselves in two BCS bowls (both wins) and the subject of national attention.
However, despite their impressive record, the Broncos haven't received full respect from the college football community because of their easy schedule. But even if you don't think they should be given a chance to play for a title, there is no denying that they are an excellent team.
Check out the 11 things that the Broncos do very well.
While the defense is always fairly solid, Boise State is known for its impressive, high-powered offense.
The Broncos are a very pass-heavy team that rely on accurate quarterbacks and talented wide receivers. The offense routinely puts up 60 points (mind you, against lesser competition) and puts the team in a position to win no matter what the score is.
Defense might win championships, but offense can certainly get you there, and Boise has mastered the art of the passing game.
Finding Hidden Talent
One amazement about Boise State is that talent that it finds, despite its relatively small appeal.
Many of the Broncos' players could be starters at BCS conference schools, but were overlooked by those teams and snatched up by Boise.
Quarterback Kellen Moore is one of the top Heisman candidates for next season and wide receiver Titus Young was drafted in the second round by the Lions.
Boise will never have the talent that Ohio State, Florida, Alabama, or Texas will have, but if it continues to find hidden talent, it will continue to thrive in college football.
Next Man in
For such a small school, Boise State has an uncanny ability to reload, not rebuild.
Even after its top players graduate, the Broncos seem to find more talent each year. For example, Boise's success was supposed to drop off after winning the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Instead, the Broncos just found more talent.
Reloading is one of the most important parts of college sports, and since Boise has proven it can do it, the Broncos may be relevant for many years to come.
Coaching Up Players
While Boise does find a considerable amount of talent, much of its success is do to players who develop during their time in school.
Head coach Chris Petersen does a great job of finding players that have potential; players that he can coach up and make better over four years.
Having talent is one thing, but making players better during their time in school is more important, and that's where Boise succeeds.
Finding the Right Players
While a number of the college football programs around the country focus on finding the best athletes, the Broncos do a good job of finding players who fit into their system.
Boise likes to recruit coachable players who have talent but can also learn from their coaches. It's those types of players who help the Broncos succeed, even if they have less natural ability than others.
Boise's playbook is centered around a generic passing offense, but it has become known for its trick plays.
In the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, the Broncos used two trick plays--the hook and ladder and the Statue of Liberty play—to knock off the Sooners, which helped first make their presence known.
In the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, the Broncos struck again, this time with a fake punt that changed the game's momentum and ultimately helped them escape with a win.
Win on the Big Stage
While Boise may not have to play tough opponents week in and week out, it has done a tremendous job of winning on the big stage.
Whenever the Broncos play a high-caliber opponent they are on national, prime-time TV. And every time, they impress.
From both Fiesta Bowls to the game at Virginia Tech, Boise has proved that it can win the big games and play with anyone on any given day.
That may be different than playing a "murderer's row" schedule, but it is a tough feat nonetheless.
While Boise State certainly has a right to play with the "big boys" its fans can sometimes go too far in its support.
The Bronco fans have a perception around college football as whiners. They denounce other undefeated teams, yet provide no evidence why their schedule is tougher.
The fans say that their team could beat anyone in the country, yet the Broncos rarely have more than one tough regular season game per year.
Whether it is right or wrong, Boise has to live with this perception. The best way to shake it? Keep on winning.
Although the fans might not go about it the best way, Boise has inspired change in the bowl system.
More and more people are rallying against the BCS these days and now the Mountain West (the Broncos' new conference) may even receive consideration for an automatic BCS bid in the future.
Boise has started a revolution of sorts against "the establishment" in college football. And while it may have angered some people in the process, it has received many other supporters in its fight against the BCS.
Picking Up New Fans
Shockingly, in merely a decade, Boise State has become a national name.
Fans all across the country have become fascinated by the Broncos' Cinderella-like rise and have become supporters of the team.
Boise State apparel can be found all across the country, and the Broncos have started traveling better to bowl games.
Even if its success drops off a little bit in the Mountain West, Boise has found a new fan base that stretches farther and larger than any of its conference foes.
Regardless of your opinion of the Broncos--whether they are lucky, whiners, or genuinely good--it's hard to dismiss the fact that they find a way to win.
This year's Virginia Tech game was a perfect example. Even when it looked like the Hokies had all of the momentum, the Broncos fought back and won the game.
In the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, when it looked like Oklahoma was going to pull out a win against the underdog Broncos, Boise found a way to win.
In the 2010 Fiesta Bow, when it looked like TCU may finally overtake Boise as the top non-BCS team, the Broncos found a way to win.
Yes, some of it might be luck and some of it might be due to an easy schedule. But regardless of what others say, the Broncos keep winning. And in sports, that's all that really matters.