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One of, if not the top returning college football player for 2011 is Boise State's Kellen Moore.
Moore, yet another 2010 Heisman finalist on this list, returns for his fourth year under center for Chris Petersen and the Boise State Broncos. It's been a successful three years with Moore taking the snaps thus far.
So successful, in fact, that if Moore can guide the Broncos to just eight wins this season (which seems like a foregone conclusion, as long as he stays healthy), Moore will become the winningest starting quarterback in FBS history.
Perhaps more importantly, the Boise State Nation will be looking to Moore for more than leadership on the field or the usual production of wins. This season is probably the last, best hope for Boise State to win a BCS Championship.
There has been so much talk over the past few seasons about whether or not a team like Boise State—that is to say, BCS non-AQ programs—belong in BCS games, much less the BCS Championship Game. Some outspoken critics, like Ohio State President, E. Gordon Gee (you know, the guy who hoped that Jim Tressel wasn't going to fire him) and ESPN's Craig James (the guy who whines about his kid not getting to play at Texas Tech, and sicks his PR firm on the head coach, leading to that coach's dismissal) contend that teams like Boise State don't deserve BCS berths because they don't play a tough enough schedule during the regular season.
Boise State has done everything one could expect of a team in their position to try and schedule top opponents, including travelling to play one-game series against programs like Virginia Tech and Georgia. And when teams like Boise State do make the big games, they frequently win (Boise State over Oklahoma, Utah over Alabama, TCU over Wisconsin).
There's been a lot of talk about Boise State losing Moore's top targets, Austin Pettis and Titus Young. While their receiving output will certainly need to be replaced in a hurry if Boise State hopes to return to the BCS this season, with Kellen Moore as the quarterback, you have to believe Chris Petersen has found someone, anyone to catch his freakishly accurate passes.
If Moore has some new favorite targets that can reliably haul in his passes, Moore will be on his way to the record books, and Boise State will be on its way to the BCS.