Respect is something that is earned. One would think that the past seven years the Broncos entered and dominated the Western Athletic Conference—WAC—after departing successfully from the Big Sky they would have achieved that goal.
Yes, even going undefeated in 2006 and playing what many consider the best Bowl game in the history of college football in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against the perennial super power Oklahoma Sooners defeating them in overtime was not enough.
That was not enough because Boise State floundered the following year only winning 10 games and losing the Bowl game. Whoops! When you’re under the Microscope it doesn’t take much to get the media wagging their heads and their tongues.
A couple reasons the Broncos only won 10 regular season games and lost the Bowl event was the loss of junior slot receiver Vinny Perretta in the Washington game with a separated shoulder (that required surgery and ended his season).
Indeed the Broncos were still able to win the following nine games most of them blowouts, with exception of a couple and the Nevada game which was nearly a Boise State defeat on Holy Ground at Bronco stadium and viewed on ESPN2 for all to see.
For all intent and purpose the Nevada game was very much entitled for national attention as it went to four over times, scoring 17 touchdowns and a 69 to 67 finale. Still no respect!
That game and all the games of 2007 were played with perpetual backup and eventual starter due to senior Zabransky’s graduation and freshman Kellen Moore’s redshirting and Nick Lomax’s inability to beat out Taylor Tharp for starting quarterback honors.
No disrespect meant for Lomax, Tharp had a cannon for an arm with pretty descent vision. His only fault I could see was he was not cool under pressure. Tharp was never pressured when he was behind in points—only when the O-Line would cave in.
The three losses that would rob the Broncos of any possible respect were Washington, Hawaii (in Aloha stadium for the nationally ranked #13 Warrior’s) and the final loss of the season was once again back at Honolulu to face East Carolina in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (Broncos lost that game 41 to 38 without Jeremy Childs who was suspended for that game due to school violation).
In fact Boise State was down 38 to 14 beginning the third period and like Nevada it seemed the Broncos had another chance as the Broncos tied it up in the fourth quarter.
The last game of the year with their star running back Ian Johnson hobbled with a sprained foot and Childs left home it still took a pirates field goal with 34 seconds remaining on the game clock to defeat the not worthy Broncos.
However, the Broncos did not hang their heads, they came back the next season (08) with a freshman starting at quarterback (Kellen Moore), going undefeated and in so doing knocked off the always tough Oregon Ducks on the road at Autzen stadium in Eugene, Oregon.
The Broncos finished the season undefeated in 08 and earned the Poinsettia Bowl, a Bowl usually designed for Navy and others who have struggled—a pat on da back, if you will.
Albeit, at least the Broncos were in solid company as Texas Christian University – TCU who plays for the Mountain West Conference—MWC was matched up against them. TCU had a terrific team—played a super game and the Broncos lost that game by one point 17 to 16 in San Diego.
This year (09) Kellen returns the Broncos back to what many people are believing to be another undefeated year, that is if they get by the Ducks once again and this time at home in Bronco stadium. Still Pete Fiutak writer for the College Football News—CFN calls the Broncos over rated—where’s the respect? Still not earned?
Well lets see what tune the nay Sayers are singing after the Duck game and the Broncos take a much more experienced group of sophomores to possibly another BCS Bowl game. Bronco fans will be watching and that’s another story.
Article first published by Lace Banachek on 6/21/2009 at http://broncobluereview.blogspot.com/