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Boise State's BCS Hopes Are Thriving in Only Their Sophomore Year

Lace BanachekAnalyst IDecember 4, 2009

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 3: Quarterback Kellen Moore #6 of the Boise State Broncos sets to throw a pass in the third quarter of the game against the Oregon Ducks at Bronco Stadium on September 3, 2009 in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 19-8. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

At the conclusion of last season, there were not many who imagined Boise State would be undefeated and ranked sixth in the BCS. For that matter, it seemed like the early polls were throwing the Broncos a bone putting them in the top twenty-five at all.

After all, Boise State graduated pretty much all of the team worth mentioning. Plus, there was Jeremy Childs who sought to jump ship in hope of landing in the NFL (he missed his landing). Albeit, there was still hope for Boise State as long as the Broncos sophomore quarterback was healthy.

Kellen Moore is indeed healthy, his touchdowns are up, interceptions down, has passed for over 3,000 yards, and is the number one quarterback in the nation with a passer rating of 168.7 (only Tony Pike from Cincinnati has the next highest rating at 162.2).

Indeed, Kellen Moore achieved all of that with a depleted offensive line, and a new set of receivers, which must be remembered that Ian Johnson, the Broncos all-everything running back, was also a favorite target of Moore’s out of the backfield—and he graduated as well.

It is not easy to come back quickly when a team graduates so much talent. The Broncos did not lose just offensive talent; they graduated pretty much everybody but their secondary off of last season's defensive unit. Thus, in some minds, Boise State would most likely give up the conference title as they had in 2007. It didn’t happen!

Boise State held on to the Governor's Cup one more time when they defeated Nevada Friday evening. The Wolf Pack had just came off an eight game winning streak and proved to be a formidable foe once again, losing to the Broncos 44 to 33.

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The Broncos' new defense is very young, but they will only be better next season. Boise State loses two cornerbacks Kyle Wilson and Garcia Day, a fullback/tight end Richie Brockel and reserve wide receiver Michael Choate.

Of these four, only Wilson and Brockel were first team starters. However, Boise State has had many injuries this season; Brockel (lost for the season) was among them. They will be missed, but the Broncos will have considerable depth at all positions (the redshirt scout team is jammed to the hilt).

Next season, the Broncos will be stronger and deeper than they have ever been, but not just in body count—there are numerous potential all-star caliber and select potential NFL candidates.

This season the Broncos surprised everyone, even many of their fans when they assembled such a powerful team in one year. There is no doubt that Boise State's final regular season game against New Mexico State will not be a terrific challenge. However, the challenge will be in replacing their number one receiver Austin Pettis who was hurt in last weeks game against the Wolf Pack.

Austin Pettis is an elusive receiver with strong hands and fingers like glue—he catches just about everything and is already missed. There is hope he may be back for the Bowl game, and this year that Bowl game appears to be a BCS Bowl.

The Broncos got the attention this year of the BCS and they have rewarded them kindly all season. It appears the Broncos need only to finish their NMSU game respectfully and for the University of Texas to beat Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game.

Barring that upset, Colt McCoy’s Texas team is headed for a national championship title game with the winner of Florida and Alabama.

There is talk of the Broncos going to the Sugar but it seems most likely that TCU will do that due to their higher ranking—the Broncos will head to the Fiesta Bowl to match up against Iowa or Penn State.

My opinion? Boise State will be primed for either one.

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