The Boise State University Broncos wrapped up their regular season against the South Carolina Gamecocks with a close 36-34 victory, and followed that up with a 45-0 shut out against the University of New Mexico.
So what did we learn in this experiment of placing BSU into a fantasy SEC schedule?
Absolutely nothing. But it was fun to write about this season.
Well, we did learn that 73 percent of you that thought BSU would make it to the SEC Championship Gamer were wrong. Other than that, determining the success of a program in a fictional schedule on paper makes about as much sense as letting a computer decide who plays for the national title instead of deciding it on the field.
Oh, wait, we do that don't we?
Strangely enough, this experiment was started this season after a column asking if Boise State could ever receive an invitation to the Southeastern Conference. Ironically, most of the comments said such a thing would be impossible because of the distance, yet at the end of the season we find the Broncos looking to transition to the Big East for the 2014 football season.
I hear even San Diego is on the East coast now!
At the end of the season my opinion of the Broncos is the same. Chris Petersen has continued what Dan Hawkins began in developing a quality program and training great football players that he often manages to find a way to get to play over their heads. The Broncos easily field a starting roster that on any given Saturday can play with anyone in the country.
The glaring weaknesses in this program will continue to be its depth.
After the starting roster of 4-star athletes is depleted, the drop off in talent level is significant. BSU has one of the lowest recruiting budgets in the country and with the move to the Big East the ante must be up'ed.
The other major complaint with this team has always been schedule-related.
Because of the talent of the starting lineup and the disciplined coaching and imaginative play-calling of Petersen, the Broncos have no problem lining up against the toughest competition for one game.
The question has always been whether or not Boise State could do this in a schedule of attrition. This question will now have an answer.
While the Big East schedule will not present the attrition of an SEC, BIG 10 or PAC-12 schedule, the new-look Big East will still be a much more difficult journey than the WAC or Boise's current MWC schedule presents. Furthermore, the Broncos will now have to travel across the country for many of their games.
Not an easy task.
And the school should be applauded for once again taking a step necessary to force its way into the ranks of the big boys. A move that I believe—if the program sees success in the Big East and if the schools basketball team continues its upswing—will ultimately lead the football team to one last and final move to the PAC-12.
That would improve BSU's financial situation significantly, which will work hand in hand in improving facilities and increasing the recruiting budget.
So get all your complaints out of your systems next year, Broncos fans, because starting in 2014 you get what you wanted, a tougher conference, a tougher schedule, an AQ bid and a chance to prove you can manage the attrition.
Be careful what you wish for, because sometimes you get it.
Boise State finishes the regular season with a 10-2 (7-2 SEC) SEC fantasy football record and will face Arizona State University in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas.
Schedule and updated results:
|FANTASY OPPONENT||DATE||SEC TRUE OPPONENT||BSU TRUE OPPONENT||BSU SCORE||SEC SCORE||FANTASY RESULT |
|GEORGIA||Sep.3||Boise State||Georgia||35||21||W 35-21 |
|AUBURN||Sep.24||Florida Atlantic||Tulsa||41||30||W 41-30|
|OLE MISS||Oct.1||Fresno State||Nevada||30||38||L 30-38|
|MISS STATE||Oct.8||UAB||Fresno State||57||21||W 57-21|
|AIR FORCE||Oct.22||-||Air Force||37||--||W 37-26|
|NEW MEXICO||Oct.29||-||Open date -UNM stats||45||OPEN||W 45-0|
|TENNESSEE||Nov.5||Middle Tenn.||UNLV||24||48||W 48-24|
|LSU||Nov.12||W. Kentucky||TCU||35||42||L 35-42|
|ALABAMA||Nov.19||Georgia Southern||SDSU||52||45||W 52-45|