Football on the Fringe Season Previews were ranked, then delivered in random order.
Boise State comes into the year as one of the most talked about teams in America- 14-0 last year after beating TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, ranked #5 in the Coaches Poll (AP poll is expected tomorrow), and a huge season opener against #6 Virginia Tech as the centerpiece of Week 1.
To further support the anticipation, Boise State is coming back loaded. 9 offensive starters including star QB Kellen Moore- still only a junior- and four running backs that each had at least one 100 yard game last year. The defense is similarly stacked- 10 starters are back on that side.
9/6/2010 vs. Virginia Tech
9/18/2010 at Wyoming
9/25/2010 Oregon State
10/2/2010 at New Mexico State
10/16/2010 at San Jose State
10/26/2010 Louisiana Tech
11/12/2010 at Idaho
11/19/2010 Fresno State
11/26/2010 at Nevada
12/4/2010 Utah State
This is as good a schedule as Boise could reasonably be expected to put together. The season practically rides on the Monday night showdown with Virginia Tech- win that and there shouldn’t be anyone left to stop the Broncos. But if they want to be in the BCS Championship Game, the reality is that they’re going to have to blow the snot out of every team in the WAC. It’s a completely unfair expectation, and not very sporting, but I saw what happened last year when Tulsa and La Tech gave the Broncos tough games- the media had a fit about how unimpressed they were with BSU and they lost votes. If you’re reading this, you know Nevada is going to be good this year, and that Idaho and Fresno State should be tough games, but you and I don’t have poll votes.
Chris Peterson has been at Boise State since 2001, and head coach since 2006. His team has lost four games since he took over. Four. His name does come up every year in conjunction with BCS jobs, but all signs point to Peterson being happy and comfortable with what he has there in Boise. The impending move to the Mountain West (at least as of right this very second) should keep things interesting there for a while, but it also seems like eventually someone’s going to come at Peterson with an ungodly pile of cash and a very difficult decision.
The WAC Coaches & Media both picked Boise State to win the league, and as noted the USA Today Coaches Poll has Boise #5. Alabama (1) and Florida (3) will play during the regular season, which means that Boise needs losses from Ohio State and Texas (or the winner of Bama vs. UF) to move up into the top two. Behind them lurks Virginia Tech and TCU, but if Boise State takes care of business they should stay clear of both.
Boise State should go undefeated. They have the talent to beat Virginia Tech, perhaps convincingly. They’ll need to if they want a crack at the title game, because their schedule strength is going to be a problem in the national media, despite the track record. It seems very realistic that the top four could all pick up a loss this year, so a 12-0 Boise State should have a chance, but only if they are head & shoulders above everybody else on their schedule.
Boise State Connections
Bronco Country – Scout message board
Idaho Statesman – Local coverage of the Broncos