Editors note: This post is not to rile up anyone and I am not writing this just to get a reaction, but rather I find this Fort Worth Star-Telegram article worth a discussion.
Last night on the podcast Jacob and myself discussed the fact that the Boise St. Broncos are not quite as good as last years team. Our assumption was that Boise State is not quite as good as last year partly due to some games Boise State has not gone out in every game and dominated from the first snap. I know that is an unfair judgment, but there will be people who question Boise State as being worthy of their ranking because they struggled for a half against UNLV by only leading 21-14, but the final score was 48-21.
The slight struggles could be due to the an uptick in competition, it is not a huge jump from the WAC but it is still an improvement. However, looking at the Colorado State 63-13 win, 40-15 drubbing over Toledo or their 57-7 win over Fresno State, so it is hard to argue that Boise State is not a title contender.
Reading the Fort Worth Star-Telegram there was an article about saying that Boise State does not look like a national title contender (and the writer seems bitter as well, his comments will be at the end). Their main reasoning was for some struggles against UNLV and the closer than expected win over Air Force where Boise won by only 11 points and gave up 264 yards to Air Force on the ground. That Star-Telegram writer must not do a lot of research, because Air Force averages 310 yards on the ground so for Boise State to give up 264 yards is a good performance. Not many teams can shut down a run-option attack, and for it being the first time ever that Boise State played Air Force that is a decent number. Also, Air Force is always a tough out regardless of who they play, the Notre Dame game this year was an oddity.
Some people are going to the extreme to say Boise State is not a national title contender. However, I would bet almost anything that this Boise State offense would have put up at least one touchdown against either LSU or Alabama, and probably more. Also, I get the competition is not the same in the Mountain West as it is in the SEC, Big 12 or other BCS leagues, but none of those teams dominant like Boise State does.
Also, championship teams struggle against decent or even bad opponents; just look at Auburn last year they only beat Ole Miss 51-31 and had three-point wins over Clemson, Mississippi State and Kentucky. Kentucky and Clemson were both 6-7 teams last year and when Auburn sneaked by it was because they had the will to win or some ridiculous cliché. So that argument that Boise was not dominant is played out.
Also in the article is an exchange from the ESPNU college football podcast with Rod Gilmore and Joe Tessitore:
"I think it's going to be hard for Boise State to sell people this year -- that going undefeated with this team is going to trump a one-loss Alabama, a one-loss Oklahoma, a one-loss Oregon.
"I think that's a harder argument for Boise State this year, because not as much on the schedule and not as much dynamic play offensively."
Gilmore's partner Joe Tessitore echoed those feelings.
"It's not just that they've had an easier path," Tessitore said. "If this year's Boise team played last year's Boise team, last year's team would win by two possessions.
"To me, this Boise team is living off the accomplishments of last year's team."
Maybe I am blind because I am a fan of Boise State and while I do think the 2010 Boise State team was better as they had three players drafted with two of those being Titus Young and Austin Pettis who were the top two receivers on the 2010 Boise State team.
First off, Gilmore saying that Boise State's offense is not as dynamic is a stretch. Last year they finished with the No. 2 ranked total offense and this year they are sitting at No. 7, hardly a drop off. Then Tesstiore chimes in and says last years Boise State team would win by two possessions? That is also wacky, Boise State returned 14 starters -- seven on each side of the ball -- this years team will have at least the same three players taken in the 2012 NFL Draft than they did in last year. So, I don't get how last years team is so much better than this team.
Then this comment really irks me: "To me, this Boise team is living off the accomplishments of last year's team."
Um, HELLO! that is how college football is, right or wrong, that is how it is. There is a reason that Notre Dame gets ranked when they may not deserve to be so, or to why a team from last year that lost everybody but is still ranked just because of past tradition. So that comment is complete and total B.S., because every team that has any history gets the benefit of the doubt. Heck, TCU was over ranked to start the season at No. 14 when it probably was not deserved, but they were because of what Gary Patterson has done at TCU with the defense over the past decade.
Now here is a portion of the article from Star-Telegram writer Gil Lebreton, who by the way is making false statements:
Without a compelling Boise State team, in other words, voters are going to vote for the BCS matchup that they most want to see.
Boise's dwindling supporters may argue that America would love to see how quarterback Kellen Moore does against a great defense like LSU's.
But we've already seen that -- twice in the past three seasons. And TCU's No. 1-rated defense held Moore without a touchdown pass each time.
Unfortunately for the Horned Frogs, they don't have that kind of dominating defense this season. The Frogs were further skewered when newcomer Boise State whined, and the MWC moved Saturday's game to the blue turf.
Fine, whatever. Boise State will try to make its BCS statement Saturday.
It won't be enough, though, Cinderella. You can't fit in old shoes.
The first line is probably true, but dumb nonetheless, voters should vote for who deserves and not manufacture a matchup. Lebreton mentions that Kellen Moore did not throw a touchdown pass in the past two games against TCU, however he fails to mention that TCU and Boise State split and really the edge goes to Boise State since they won the Fiesta Bowl.
Then he spouts of on that Boise State whined to get their way to have the game moved from Fort Worth to Boise? The move, which I think was uncalled for, was made to help benefit the league. Here is actually how the game being moved was decided:
After carefully considering all sides of the issue, the MWC Board of Directors decided to implement the change in the 2011 football schedule as had been recommended by the athletics directors. TCU will now play at Boise State, while Boise State's contest with San Diego State will be played in San Diego. The Board felt the change was in the best interest of the Mountain West Conference and would help address current and future scheduling concerns created by the new set of circumstances which stemmed from another change in membership.
Nowhere does it say that Boise State whined about having to play in Fort Worth, it was the eight athletic directors who chose to make the move. Boise State was not able to move the game on their own. So, Lebreton get your facts straight and quit sounding bitter.