Mid-week, prime-time slot, on ESPN. This is exactly where BSU made it’s name back before Boise State was a national brand.
Before the hook-and-ladders, before the Statue of Liberties, before Ian Johnson got down on one knee and proposed. There was Boise State, playing on a Thursday night, dropping 50 points, and putting the nation on notice.
This is what Boise needs to do tonight, and it’s exactly what the rest of the Mountain West should be cheering for.
Now obviously I am not suggesting that New Mexico fans should be cheering for the Broncos, stay true to your Lobos, Albuquerque. But every other fandom should be.
The Mountain West needs respect, and to garner respect from the nation-at-large, you need to have a couple teams that people would be genuinely afraid to match up against come bowl season.
This year, one of those teams is evident, it’s San Diego State. The Aztecs just went down to Tempe, and showed Sparky who the boss was last Saturday. They’re doing their part.
And Boise had a chance to do theirs last Saturday as well, on the road against Washington State. Unfortunately for Boise, and the Mountain West, they couldn’t seal the deal.
For years Boise was the program carrying the flag for the Mountain West. Begging, pleading, wishing they had a true peer to challenge them. A true equal to match up with so the rest of the college football world didn't think they were just beating up on the little sisters of the poor.
Now they are in the position of being that team. Being the team where people say “maybe they can give San Diego State a challenge”. And they’re perfectly built for it.
This Boise team is young, but explosive at times. They have their faults, but you can see the talent, you can feel the potential. And if they can get momentum going in the right direction for them they’ll be the perfect test for SDSU.
But to get that momentum, they need to do what they did before people knew who they were. They need to trot out on that blue field, and drop the absolute hammer on New Mexico.
They need to make it clear there are two bullies in the Mountain West. That this conference is more than a one-trick pony this year. They need to go out, and make it undeniably evident that they are a clear step above the average Mountain West program.
Boise needs this. San Diego State needs this. The Mountain West conference needs this. The conference is better when Boise State is better, plain and simple.
So, even though it may leave a bitter taste in your mouth for a few hours, tonight when Boise State and New Mexico square off, you should probably be cheering for the boys from Boise.