Breathe in the aroma, Bronco Nation.
Can you taste it? It’s the savory morsel of a Boise State football team that is 4-0 for the first time since 2011.
The Broncos are ranked 19th in both polls. A tick on the score sheet has been collected on the rightfully coined “revenge tour”. Friday night at New Mexico presents the next challenge.
Feels good, doesn’t it?
A buzz is slowly growing in the Treasure Valley. It’s too soon for a fever-pitch levels, but it’s there. For the most part, the passion is of the positive nature. In the dark recesses of the internet, though, there lurks a negativity surrounding this undefeated team. “Yeah, we won but…”
Are we, as fans, spoiled by the program’s consistency over the past sixteen years?
Yes. And if it can be believed, it is the good kind of spoiled.
The Broncos, with three Fiesta Bowl victories, two undefeated seasons and 180 wins since 2000 have earned their place. Much like the fans of programs at Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State–for example–Boise State fans have come to expect a certain level of play on the field.
Titles–of the Mountain West variety–are expected on a yearly basis. Anything else is unacceptable, plain and simple.
Are these real expectations? It’s fair to say yes, yes they are. The team sets out with the same goals, so why shouldn’t the fans?
The high-level of play over the years has brought these expectations to its current state of existence. Fans of other teams, say Colorado, can have those same hopes at the start of every season. They are tempered with reality, though, and might often see an eight-win season every couple of years as a true success.
Those years, based off the last sixteen, are seemingly behind the Broncos of Boise State.
The dreams of a national championship–unlike for Alabama fans–are mostly a dream for Boise State fans. It’s a good dream to have, but let’s face it, forces out of the team’s control may never allow that dream to happen.
Winning consistently has made it possible to nitpick every win. “Should the Broncos be winning by a bigger margin?” “Why aren’t they running up the score?” “What’s wrong with this team?”
Is it possible for a team to better than 4-0 through four games? Yes, it’s always possible for a team to be better on the field, but in the win-loss column? No. A win is a win is a win. The polls and conference championships state as much.
For years we have been spoiled with 49-7 games and perhaps we’ve come to expect every victory to be just that. If you need evidence, you can look our victories this season. Lackluster performances in the second-half of games and taking the foot off the pedal have proven that. Or a 21-10 home victory in which the Broncos were favored by nearly 20 points.
The reality of it is, college football is much more competitive that it was ten years ago. It’s not enough to simply compete against the other team. Teams are competing against a flawed poll system as well and, more so than ever, a very vocal and judging fan base.
On the field, 9-4 seasons are going to happen occasionally. There are teams out there that would take that type of success any day of the week. The ultra competitive college football season gives way to an “anything can happen” mentality from week to week. Look at North Dakota State’s victory, Troy’s near win against Clemson. Or look closer to home, with the University of Idaho’s victory of UNLV.
We are spoiled by the success of the Boise State football program. For the most part, that’s a good thing. Each week we know–and not just hope–the Broncos will be in the game. The fans don’t go into each game with the mentality of “hey, a win would be nice” or “hopefully we can keep it close”.
Each year we expect to win a title, whether it be for the Mountain West or perhaps that one day the Broncos enter the forbidden grounds of the FBS Championship Game.
Appreciate the winning tradition. We might be spoiled by our Boise State Broncos, but if there’s one thing we shouldn’t do is take that success for granted.
A win, by three or 40, is just that. Believe in that and we can continued to be spoiled for years to come.