Sporting News magazine is always good for some unconditional Bronco love, and their 2010 college preview magazine is no different. Take a picture, Sporting News. It will last longer.
After the jump, follow along as I touch on some highlights of the 2010 magazine, have a good chuckle about's Nevada career, and look ahead to what the Broncos face this season.
Sporting News has good taste in non-BCS teams
How much does Sporting News love the Broncos? A little less than you do, but a whole lot more than Phil Steele does.
The Sporting News preview magazine picked Boise State as the No. 3 team in the country, the first non-BCS to make the Rose Bowl, the WAC's overqualified champion, and the most hyped non-BCS team since David Carr's Fresno punked the Sports Illustrated cover guy. But you knew that already because you read BroncoSports.com press releases.
You, of course, have picked them No. 2. Phil Steele, natch, has picked them No. 6. Sporting News is a $7.99 Snuggie of tempered expectations. Speaking of expectations:
"We've got to let our own expectations drive us and push us and hopefully make us the best we can possibly be," Chris Petersen says.
That is one of a couple of life-mantra Coach Pete-isms that the Sporting News writing team scribbled down in between tears of epiphany. The angle of the Boise State preview took a decided turn toward expectations - how no team has ever been in BSU's shoes, how the Broncos plan on dealing with the crushing weight of pre-printed national championship swag, how little Mark May cares. Of course, there was actual football talk, too.
The "rebuilt" offensive line took a turn in the spotlight. The Sporting News got its facts straight with the musical chairs line rotation of spring (it's Myers, Potter, Byrd, Lawrence, and Wright, unless it isn't), and the magazine singled out Brenel Myers as the next big thing, both literally and figuratively I assume.
The offense, according to Sporting News, will be solid; the defense, according to Nathan Enderle's bed wetting, will be spectacular. Basically take everything good that you know about the Broncos, stick it in a random paragraph generator, and you have the Sporting News story.
Sure beats a Gene Wojciechowski story.
Miscellaneous Bronco notes
Geraldo Hiwat and Aaron Burks got mentioned as a couple of Kellen Moore's new targets.
- Describing the graduation of Kyle Wilson, SN chose these words poorly: "...that loss isn't a major concern."
- I was 13 paragraphs into the preview before the defense was mentioned. Seems like good bulletin board material - if you're anything like me and enjoy putting paragraph counts on your bulletin board.
- Incoming WR recruit Matt Miller can apparently play "either side of the ball." Is he going to be an OLB after all?
Over-examining the Boise State depth chart
Sporting News went ahead and added a two-deep depth chart onto its Boise State preview, apparently forgetting the fact that I WILL RIP ANY PRESEASON DEPTH CHART TO SHREDS WITH MY OCD DEPTH CHART ABILITIES. Some kids want their superhero power to be flying. I want mine to be knowing preternaturally who will back up Austin Pettis.
Please do not read too much into any of this:
- Sporting News listed Michael Coughlin as Kellen Moore's backup, which can only mean one thing: Sporting News did not watch the spring game.
- On the RB depth chart, the only two names that show up are Jeremy Avery as RB1 and D.J. Harper as RB2. Doug Martin cannot be happy about that and 180-pound Toledo linebackers cannot be happy that Doug Martin is not happy.
- Out of 10 offensive linemen, former starter Matt Slater was not even mentioned. Is that a sign of depth or a sign that Slater's skill is reversing?
- Curious who your starting strongside linebacker is? You shouldn't be because that position does not exist in the Boise State defense. Nevertheless, Sporting News takes a stab by guessing Hunter White (not a linebacker anymore) and Dan Paul (pretty definitely a fullback).
- Winston Venable did not make the two-deep because the Sporting News refuses to acknowledge the nickelback position.
- It also refuses to acknowledge Byron Hout's move from defensive end to linebacker.
- And here is something that will keep you awake at night: Mitch Burroughs is listed as the primary backup to Titus Young. /fainting briefly
Of course. there is more to the Sporting News magazine than just a Boise State preview (which is still worth the price of admission because I in no way covered all that they say about BSU). There is the obligatory WAC preview, which must fall between reprinting the 2009 schedule and previewing NAIA teams on the pecking order of intern job responsibilities.
To no one's surprise, Nevada is listed as the conference's No. 2. Sporting News recognizes the Wolf Pack's lack of defense, notes that no one is too hot on Chris Ault anymore, and honors UNR with the white elephant gift of a Human Bowl appearance. But you want to know my favorite part? Sporting News has this Colin Kaepernick guy figured out.
Kaepernick, for all of his accolades, has gone winless in three bowls, four regular-season games against BCS teams, and three games against the eventual WAC champions. He increased his efficiency rating by seven points in 2009 but still ranked fourth in the WAC and completed just 58.9 percent of his passes.
You will be happy to know that this paragraph is now part of Kaepernick's official Wikipedia entry. (Note: Once I figure out how to do that.)
Third on SN's WAC rundown is Louisiana Tech for reasons that are not immediately clear to me. They have a new coach? They are installing a completely new offense? They are letting a former tight end challenge for the starting quarterback job this fall? Sonny Dykes and Tony Franklin must be some sort of football Volturi.
Fresno State is picked to finish fifth and play in something called the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Hawaii is expected to be worse than New Mexico State. San Jose State is terrible.
And then there's Idaho. Tell me something embarrassing, Sporting News.
Descending: Idaho. The Vandals were a major surprise with a bowl win in 2009. However, they allowed 43 more points than they scored and must rebuild a once-powerful offensive line.
Miscellaneous WAC notes
- Number one of SN's four fearless WAC forecasts goes like this:
Boise State may not fall, but they'll stumble in the WAC - likely in unexpected places such as Las Cruces or San Jose.
/checking atlas to see who plays in Las Cruces and San Jose.
Yeah, that's not going to happen.
- Tapping the recruiting powers of Rivals.com, SN ranks the WAC 2010 recruiting list as Fresno State 1, Hawaii 2, and Boise State 3.
- Quick: Name the best recruiter in the Western Athletic Conference. If you said Boise State tight ends coach Scott Huff, you were obviously cheating because there's no way you could have known that.
Boise State's non-conference opponents
- Virginia Tech. Ranked No. 12 nationally, SN predicts the Hokies will finish behind Miami in the ACC Coastal division and end up in the Champs Sports Bowl.
- Oregon State. The Beavers are No. 15 in the country and second in the Pac-10 behind Oregon, and Sporting News highlights the game against BSU as a huge one not just for OSU but also for the Pac-10.
Wyoming. The sixth-best Mountain West team according to SN, the Cowboys are not expected to make a bowl. But they are expected to get up for Boise State as Sporting News lists it as Wyoming's Game to Watch.
Toledo. Third in the MAC West, Toledo's biggest Game to Watch is against the Broncos, mostly because teams like Kent State are on the rest of the schedule.
Get your copy of the Sporting News on newsstands now
There is more good information than I have the time or capacity to share. Go down to your local Barnes and Noble, pick up the Sporting News college preview magazine, and take a half day. You'll be glad you did.
What do you think about Sporting News' take on the Broncos? Think that expectations is a fair theme for the 2010 team? Can you fathom any circumstance that will make the Broncos stumble in Las Cruces or San Jose? Share your thoughts in the comments.