The roar of the crowds. Music blaring through the loud speakers. The cadence of drums in the distance. That can mean only one thing: Boise State football is here.
Okay, maybe not quite. Last Friday’s scrimmage gave fans a small taste of what is now only eight days away.
After nearly eight months of predictions, projections, quarterback battles, and recruiting, football is set to return to the blue turf when the Boise State Broncos host the Washington Huskies on September 4.
All the off season talk and speculation can be put to rest. We can finally see what this season will hold for Boise State, throwing those preseason rankings out the window and seeing first hand how the Broncos hold up in an actual game.
If one is to look at the preseason rankings, the Boise State Broncos are ranked anywhere from No. 5 (Paul Myerberg, USA Today), to No. 16 (Sports Illustrated) to No. 23 (Associated Press). A wide range of thoughts, indeed.
What does it all mean? Absolutely nothing.[JasonAD]
Okay. Let’s re-frame that. Preseason rankings do mean something. It means that the Boise State football team continues to be respected. It means that between the players the Broncos have returning, an excellent coaching staff, and a successful program, Boise State has the tools needed to continue to garner national attention.
For 14 seasons in a row, the Broncos have been ranked in one of the major polls (AP/Coaches) during the preseason. All partly due to a winning tradition that has been evident in the same period of time.
This is an excellence that is expected of the Broncos and can lead to fans jumping ship if a season is deemed a failure, as some did after the disappointing 8-5 campaign in 2013.
Was it disappointing? Yes. Expectations lead to that. “Disappointing” seasons are bound to happen. Yet, there are plenty of programs that would glad take an 8-5 season (look at our friends to the north). The key is not letting one 8-win season be the start of a harrowing downfall.
When 10-win seasons become the norm, nothing less than that will be tolerated. No longer are the Boise State Broncos going to shock the world, unless it’s a berth in the College Football Playoffs. This is all that matters, right?
Quite the heavy load of expectations to shoulder.
Truth be told, expectations last year were tempered. Yes, Head Coach Bryan Harsin brought a new energy and new focus to the program. While many predictions for Boise State last year had them winning the Mountain West, a Fiesta Bowl berth was predicted by very few. Especially after a 3-2 start to the season.
Now, Boise State is once again receiving all sorts of preseason accolades and positive projections. Many pundits are predicting an undefeated season and another berth into one of the “New Year’s Six” bowl games. Not too bad for a team with a new starting backfield and unproven depth at wide receiver.
Are these people wrong for predicting an undefeated Boise State season? No. It’s all part of the fun. It’s quite possible that the Boise State program has the same aspirations and expectations. A team goal might likely include winning a Mountain West Championship. From there, a team can only control so much. We all know that.
Until that first game is played, fans only have a taste of what the 2015 season might hold. We know who is returning, who is new, and what teams we’re playing. Ignore the rankings (for now. We’ll talk again in November) and focus on one game at a time, like the players and coaching staff surely do.
Expectations are high for the 2015 Boise State Broncos. The mystique may be gone but that goes hand in hand with maintaining a winning tradition and continued excellence. Expect this excellence, support the Broncos but don’t believe the hype. Instead, let the hype build and channel that energy into the opening game with Washington..
Eight days. Then the real fun begins.