The fawning, swooning, wanderlust of the national media is a little fun ... and a little terrifying.
I imagine that the reaction to the Broncos being everyone's prohibitive favorite to win the WAC and crash the BCS varies from Bronco fan to Bronco fan. Some fans probably like the attention. I fear it like the plague.
And yet it just keeps on coming. Read after the jump to see what the latest pundits are saying and why it freaks me out of my mind.
The latest to laud the Broncos' 2009 season-to-be is Lindy's preview magazine, which puts the Broncos at No. 13, two spots ahead of Oregon and one spot ahead of TCU, making the Broncos the highest ranked non-BCS school on Lindy's list. According to the Lindster,
We'll be talking about Boise State being BCS-bound if it beats visiting Oregon in the home opener. Nobody in the WAC is going to touch the Broncos.
I just shuddered a little bit.
It's not that I don't believe what Lindy says. The WAC as a whole is not very good, and the Broncos are probably the most likely team to bust the BCS if busting the BCS were to happen right now in June. But these are thoughts that I try to keep to myself. These thoughts are the ones I think in my most insidest of inside parts, right alongside my pent-up love of MTV reality programming. I barely know these thoughts exist. Why does every furloughed journalist with an obtuse Twitter account know, too?
... if you're looking for intrigue in the WAC in 2009, it won't be coming at the top of the conference. Look to the middle and you'll be in luck.
(StatSpeak uses formulas and standard deviations and a bunch of other junk that I have never heard of before to come to his conclusions. It's smart stuff, and if I ever decide to re-learn algebra, I might use some for stat analysis on this site during the season.)
Magazines I've heard of and bloggers I haven't - everyone is on the Broncos bandwagon. Does this not give anyone else the shakes?
I worry because it is in my nature to worry, both as a generally nervous person and as a wholly devoted Bronco fan (read the worry part in the Boise State Fanual if you haven't yet). The Broncos being the favorite is great for building anticipation for the upcoming season. But other than that? I'd take being the underdog any day.
It seems obvious to point out the Fresno State corollary, but I'm going to do it anyway. I fear the Broncos pulling a Bulldogs. Is this because I don't think Boise State has what it takes to fulfill expectations this year? Of course not. I would pick this team to win the Super Bowl if I were a newspaper columnist (note: this is why I'm not a newspaper columnist).
I just get freaked out of my mind in hearing Boise State take on the role that Fresno State so admirably accepts every offseason. The last time that the Broncos were solid favorites was after the Fiesta Bowl win, when they were competing at the top of the conference with Colt Brennan and Hawaii. Did that preseason hype turn out well for BSU? I can't remember; I've blocked out all memories involving Taylor Tharp.
The Fresno State fail part of this situation is one thing. But the part of it all that really gets me paranoid and overthinking is that Boise State is in a no-win situation. If the Broncos win the WAC and get to a BCS game, then everyone will pat themselves on the back and say, "See, I told you so, right here on page 49 of my magazine." If the Broncos fail to get to a BCS game or (the horror!) win the conference, the season will be an epic failure thanks to the expectations set upon the team from the very beginning.
The people in the know might think that the Broncos' season is a cakewalk after Oregon, but they didn't live and die on every play last year like we Bronco fans did. The Bowling Green game, the Southern Miss game, the SJSU game, the Nevada game - these were contests that could have ended up very badly for the Broncos if only a few things had gone differently.
And many of those same teams are back on the schedule this year, looking for revenge. Tulsa on the road won't be easy. Utah State and LaTech are improving. Going undefeated after Oregon is not a foregone conclusion, like everyone and their mother would want you to believe.
These are the things my mind gravitates toward every time I read about how popular the Broncos have become. I am a constant ball of fear, avoiding the Barnes & Noble magazine rack at any cost and actively denying the existence of the BroncoSports Twitter account. I'm a mess, and it's only getting worse.
Is it unnecessary anxiety? I hope so. Do I wish that the Broncos were no one's favorite and being completely written off by media nationwide? Kind of, yes.
In that case, where's Graham Watson when you need her?