Hype over the Broncos' Season of Destiny has been mostly focused on the Labor Day clash with Virginia Tech and the home visit of Oregon State. After those two games, what tough ones do the Broncos have left?
Join me after the jump for a discussion of what games might be BSU's toughest non-BCS matchups, and leave your thoughts and vote in the poll to share your opinion. Is it Nevada? Fresno? Idaho 2.0? Let's discuss.
Boise State's 2010 schedule
The Broncos' non-conference schedule is set in stone with a September 18 date at Wyoming and an October 9 game against Toledo. The WAC schedule will be announced later this spring (last year's came out on April 1). Home-and-away games seen below are alternated from last year's schedule.
- @ Wyoming
- vs. Toledo
- vs. Fresno State
- vs. Hawaii
- vs. Utah State
- vs. Louisiana Tech
- @ Idaho
- @ Nevada
- @ San Jose State
- @ New Mexico State
The easy ones
@ San Jose State
@ New Mexico State
Two years ago, a trip to San Jose would have been trouble for the Broncos. Not anymore. For whatever reason, the Spartans are on the slow, steady FCS decline and there are few indications that this trip to Sparta will be tough (unless they play it at 9:00 a.m. on a Saturday, which they are likely to do).
I don't even know where to begin with New Mexico State. What's the over/under on how many people show up to this one? 5,000? 6,000 on a free tapas night?
Boise State kind of lucked out by scoring two if its four conference away games against these two. The fix is in, right Fresno fans?
Ah, the excitement of double-jointed necks. (via www.utrockets.com)
The tougher ones
vs. Louisiana Tech
Hawaii is a tough one to pick because the warriors almost always find a way to be competitive over the course of the season but not necessarily against the Broncos and not maybe ever against the Broncos in Boise. I'd be much more likely to label this one competitive if it were played on the islands.
LaTech is breaking in a new head coach, and even the last one had his troubles bringing the Bulldogs to Boise. The good news for LT is that there is an 80 percent chance that Taylor Bennett will not be their starting QB in this one.
The only thing I know about Toledo is that they took Fresno State to double overtime in a 55-54 loss a couple years ago. Boise State is not Fresno State. Thank GOODNESS.
Note to future QBs: This is not the proper form for throwing a football. (via images.athlonsports.com)
The competitive ones
vs. Fresno State
vs. Utah State
Wyoming is a Mountain West team, so by college football law, I am required to label them no worse than "feisty." But hey, they beat Fresno State in a bowl game last year. (Note: Boise State is not Fresno State. Thank GOODNESS.)
The Vandals will either build on the success of last season with another bowl-eligible year, or they will fall flat on their face. Personally, I am going with the face falling, but I know there are plenty of people who think the Vandal resurgence is for real. These people were also fans of Crystal Pepsi.
Mmm, soda water. (via www.colourlovers.com)
A road trip to Nevada will always make the list for Bronco "Games to Watch" so long as Chris Ault is there and Nevada continues to run up the score against bad defenses. The game will be Colin Kaepernick's last chance to beat the Broncos during his Nevada career, so there's that added motivation. Fourth time's a charm?
Fresno State was annihilated by the Broncos the last time the two teams met in Boise. Perhaps with the confidence of last year's shootout and the infusion of new talent and a member of the Carr family, the Bulldogs might put up more of a fight. And if not, we'll at least be treated to the Pat Hill face.
Were it not for the Vandals, USU would have been the WAC's surprise team last year as they found a way to become relevant again in the conference. Conventional wisdom would say that the Aggies don't belong in this group of competitive games. I beg to differ. Diondre Borel will be a better quarterback than Colin Kaepernick by the time his career is over. I have already ghostwritten a Graham Watson article stating such.
My ranking of Boise State's toughest games in 2010
I'll go in reverse order to create suspense and to stick it to the Nintento DS Brain Age quiz that said I was 46 years old (no offense, 46-year-old readers):
10. New Mexico State
9. San Jose State
7. Louisiana Tech
4. Fresno State
1. Utah State
That's right, friends. Get ready for seven months worth of "Boise State CANNOT afford to overlook Utah State" stories from me. They're happening. I've already written the rough drafts.
Of course, picking Utah State is going way out on a limb, but if all the cards fall right (cards including run defense and pass protection), I could be on to something. The more likely pick is obviously going to be Nevada and Fresno State, but I have a feeling that Wyoming will be a tougher draw than people think, too.
After Virginia Tech and Oregon State, what will be Boise State's toughest game this season? Is Wyoming all it's cracked up to be? Will Kaepernick's last stand be anything to worry about? Am I insane in thinking Utah State is good? Share your thoughts in the comments, and vote in the poll.