Year one under Andy Avalos is in the books and it was a mixed bag to say the least. A lightning delay in the season opener against UCF, followed by a controversial loss against Oklahoma State was not how the campaign was supposed to start. While the defense began to improve steadily, the offense underperformed and the idea that Tim Plough’s offense wouldn’t look up at the scoreboard until they hit 50 came to fruition only once, thanks to UTEP. Going 3-3 at home is not the standard for Boise State, and Avalos recognizes that. It appears that Bryan Harsin left the program with cracks in the foundation and that there was a needed reset. The schedule was brutal as only two teams didn’t make a bowl game and six of their opponents reached ten wins or more.
With that being said, here is the 2022 schedule for the Boise State Broncos:
Date - Opponent - Time (MT)/Channel
- Bold = Home Game
- ** = Conference Game
Sept 3. - @ Oregon State - 8:30 on ESPN
** Sept 9. - @ New Mexico - 7:00 on CBSSN
Sept 17. - vs UT Martin (FCS) - 2:00 on Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Sept 23. - @ UTEP - 7:00 on CBSSN
** Sept 30. - vs San Diego State - 6:00 on Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
** Oct 8. - vs. Fresno State - TBD on FOX/FS1/FS2
** Oct 22. - @ Air Force - 5:00 on CBSSN
** Oct 29. - vs Colorado State - TBD on FOX/FS1/FS2
Nov 5. - vs BYU - TBD on FOX/FS1/FS2
** Nov 12. - @ Nevada - 8:30 on CBSSN
** Nov 19. - @ Wyoming - 5:00 on CBSSN
** Nov 26. - vs Utah State - 10:00 am on CBS
Dec 3. - Mountain West Championship Game
The nonconference slate is much easier than last year. The opener in Corvallis will be a litmus test for how far this team has come or how far they still have to go. New Mexico, UT-Martin, and UTEP should all be wins heading into conference play. Back to back home games against Mountain West contenders Fresno State and San Diego State in early October is a nice treat for Bronco fans before the weather becomes a nuisance.
Boise State is given a bye week at the halfway mark of the season, allowing an extra week to prepare for Air Force. I think it would have been nice to get the bye week after the Falcons to allow players to rest up from what is always a grind-it-out, knee-buckling matchup, but I digress.
The second half of the schedule is really up for interpretation. The changeover at Colorado State, Nevada, and Wyoming make those games harder to predict. Of course, the elephant in the room when it comes to this schedule is that this will be last time BYU and Boise State play one another in the foreseeable future. BYU’s move to the Big 12 has forced them to cut back exponentially on their future scheduling and it appears that the rivalry that the Cougars and Broncos have forged is on the chopping block. The Broncos get to finish the regular season at home for the first time since 2018. They will battle the reigning MWC champions, Utah State, on Senior Night.
Overall, this schedule feels ripe for a bounce-back performance for Andy Avalos and Boise State. They should get off to a 3-1/4-0 start to the season before settling in for the long haul. The Aztecs and Bulldogs are tough conference opponents, but we saw what happened last year. The Broncos shellacked Fresno State 40-14, but couldn’t adjust in the season finale and lost to San Diego State 27-16. We should know what this team is about when we arrive at the bye week. Games that are typically cause for concern are at Albertsons Stadium this year, except for Air Force. While the first half of the season will set the mood for the rest of the slate, the second half of the schedule is what will define this season as a success or failure.
Las Vegas has the over/under for Boise State at 9-9.5 wins, depending on which odds you look at. I will use the 9.5 and go with the under at 9-3. This will be a year of improvement, but not comfortability.
2022 could go a myriad of ways that is best summed up via a floor record and ceiling record.
Floor = 6-6
Ceiling = 10-2
Reasonable Expectation = 8-4
A repeat of last season...proves ominous for everyone involved.