Granted, I was writing early in the morning and working off of little sleep (gamedays do that to me - the night before and after make me incredibly restless) and since OBNUG has no edit button, I decided I need to write out some of the things I intended to put in the article but failed to do so. Items for discussion include Heisman issues, the All-New BCS rankings and computer love.
BSU Wins Big, But Kellen Loses Ground
Yup, like nobody who follows the Broncos couldn't see this one coming. The fact is, as long as the games are won by halftime, Kellen will have fewer opportunities to stay in the game and post the kind of monster numbers necessary to run away with the Heisman. Then again, what's best for the team may not be best for the individual. Again, that Vulcan-like logic of Coach Pete and the Broncos prevails when "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one)".
The prevailing philosophy has followed that Star Trek mantra to the letter this year, as opposed to other years where individual accomplishments seemed to take precedence over the good of the team. We all remember 2005, when Jared Zabransky received so much Heisman hype only to take himself out of the running five minutes into the season. What we forget is the 2007 season when Ian Johnson's long-shot Heisman talk surfaced and BSU just happened to have three losses. While the Z-talk has more weight, the IJ argument isn't nearly as apparent, since his hype was not so visibly distracting to the team and Ian's personality and leadership style didn't affect the program to the degree that Z's did.
Kellen Moore is a different breed altogether, since he has been drinking the Chris Petersen Team First-Flavored Kool-Aid almost from the get-go. As is apparent with this team, individual accomplishments come second to winning the game. Jeron Johnson wants to get over a hundred tackles, Ryan Winterswyk and Billy Winn want to sack the quarterback every time they can, and our very own Muscle Hamster wants to run like a freight train over DBs, but all realize they are cogs in a football machine built to win. So long as the team is up by over 30 at halftime, they will take a backseat and rest their bodies to ensure they stay healthy enough to fight in the hardest battles still to come.
The problem with our own little Igloo Cooler is that the university and the conference have done little to advertise his intangible qualities over his statistical ones. While Coach Pete and Kellen may be reluctant to advertise individuals, there is nothing stopping Boise State or the boosters from sending out press releases, setting up websites, starting advertising campaigns or just getting the word out on Kellen and changing the Heisman debate from one about stat grinding and posting gigantic Madden-type numbers to one about leadership ability and character. Kellen will not win the Heisman based on numbers alone, even if he doesn't throw another interception all season. The framework of the debate has to shift to highlight his strengths and away from his opponents' weaknesses, which is the arena his detractors will focus on the nullify his bid.
If we think about last year, the Boy Named Suh (I won't even dare to try and spell his first name) received his Heisman talk based not just eye-popping numbers, but his ability to lead Nebraska's defense over their opponents. Remember, last year Nebraska had a pretty anemic offense, so all their hopes and dreams became linked to their defensive might, and Suh was the linchpin of that unit.
For anyone in a position of power in the Bronco Alumni Association, the Athletic Department, or any sort of advertising firm with a love of Boise State Football, please heed my recommendations and get the word out on where the Heisman conversation needs to go.
Ranking Madness, Part Two
Since writing my original article, the AP, Coaches, and Harris Polls came out and came very close to my projections. I know the pulse of the voters, but since computers have no pulse, I had no idea they would show so much love to the Broncos. This may spur an outcry to the SEC, Big 12 and especially Big 10 partisans whose teams were ranked not just lower than the Broncos, but significantly lower in the overall standings. Boise State has a sizable margin over Oregon, who is followed by TCU, Nebraska, THEN Ohio State.
While we may be celebrating this early kinda-victory (the actual results are not out yet folks), we do have to remember that Skynet eventually attains self-awareness and will no doubt rank the Broncos lower once conference play becomes more intense. I am reminded that the polls are based on what HAS happened and not on what WILL OCCUR in the future. Most of the teams behind our own have yet to play their most difficult games, so we have to do what we always do and root for those we have just crushed and against anyone who poses a significant threat to our own championship aspirations. It sucks to have to root against anyone to ensure our precarious position, but like the Broncos, we have to play with what we have.
Looking Ahead (But Not Past Our Opponent)
Again, the Broncos will be heading out of town to San Jose to take on the Spartans in what appears to be a cakewalk, but I caution everybody to remember that San Jose has been known to give us headaches. That said, Boise State will win in a cakewalk. The Spartans have nothing the Broncos can't match. End of line.
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