From I-AA championships to Fiesta Bowl memories, Boise State has a storied history that everybody should know - especially Bronco fans.
Having reached unprecedented heights, the Broncos have attracted a massive fanbase, quite a few of whom had never heard of the team 10 years ago. So whether you have been a fan since Drisan pitched it to Jerard, or you can still remember Jim McMillan tearing it up, it's time to test your knowledge of Bronco history. Commit the following 100 facts to memory. And add your own in the comments.
OBNUG is proud to feature the work of reader BSU Guru as part of Building A Better Fan Week. Want to become a better Bronco fan? Well you're in luck. This week and next, OBNUG will be featuring a series of fan-related advice and coaching designed to make you a better fan and, therefore, a better person. You're welcome, society.
Lyle Smith Facts
1. And you thought that Coach Pete had an amazing start to his career with a 14-0 record. Lyle Smith started his career with a 28-0 record before leaving to serve in the military for the next two years.
2. In 1958, Smith led Boise Junior College to an undefeated 10-0 season. They crushed Tyler Junior College 22-0 in the championship game and took home the school's first national title.
3. Smith retired as head coach in 1968, and he became athletic director. In his 21 years as head coach, he was 153-25-6 (.831) and he won 16 out of 21 conference titles. He was replaced by Tony Knap, who was a teammate of his in college.
4. In 1982, Lyle Smith retired as athletic director and Gene Bleymaier was hired. In 33 years with Lyle Smith as head coach and athletic director, the Broncos never had a losing season.
5. The field was officially named for Smith during halftime of a 1980 game against Nevada.
6. Lyle Smith actually played center in college for the Idaho Vandals.
7. The first coach of Boise Junior College was Dusty Kline. In 1933, his first and only season as coach, he went 1-2-1 (.250).
8. Max Eiden was the second coach in Boise Junior College history. He wasn't much better than the first as he went 17-23-1 from 1934 to 1939.
9. 1946 was Henry Jacoby's last year as coach and the last time the Broncos would have a losing record for the next 40 years (they finished 2-4-2 that season). But something good did happen in '46. Jacoby hired a young assistant named Lyle Smith who would succeed him as head coach the very next year.
10. When Lyle Smith left for war in 1950, he left his assistant George Blankley as head coach. Blankley went 19-2 (.905) in Smith's two year absence, leading Boise Junior College to two bowl games.
11. Before the current Decade of Dominance, the Golden Era of Bronco Football had been the 1950s. Under coaches George Blankley and Lyle Smith, the Broncos went 85-10-2 (.876).
12. Tony Knap was hired in 1968 to lead Boise State into the Division II era. He had an incredible eight-year run going 71-19-1 (.780). Of course, they must have been way too successful for him, because he left for UNLV.
13. Tony Knap actually told the Boise media in 1975 that he wasn't going anywhere and then he took off for UNLV. Typical.
14. In 1983, after going 59-21-1 (.728) in seven years as head coach, Jim Criner began the long and storied tradition of Boise State coaches leaving for bigger and better programs. He became the head coach at Iowa State where he went 17-25-2 (.386) in four years.
15. Lyle Setencich was certainly not the greatest coach Boise State ever had. In his short, four-year Boise State career, from 1983 to 1986, he went 24-20 (.545), barely making it above .500 for his first three years. Then in 1986, Boise State had its first losing season in 40 years and Coach Setencich resigned. Hmmm...wonder why?
16. Skip Hall resigned in 1992 after the second losing season in 47 years. Have you noticed that after every losing season since Boise State became a four-year school, the coach leaves?
17. In 1996, the year Boise State moved up to Division 1-A, head coach (Ernest) Pokey Allen was forced to take a medical leave due to cancer. Sadly, he later died on December 31, 1996, at the age of 53 because of it.
18. Tom Mason became the interim head coach after Pokey Allen took a leave of absence in 1996. He went 1-10 the rest of the year.
19. In 1998, a young Oregon assistant named Dirk Koetter was hired to rebuild a program that had just suffered two consecutive losing seasons for the first time since having three consecutive losing seasons in 1936, 1937, and 1938.
20. In four seasons at Colorado, Dan Hawkins has gone 16-33 for a .327 winning percentage while Coach Pete has become the first coach to ever win the Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year award twice.
21. Remember the last time Coach Pete lost a home game? That's right. He never has. He is 26-0 as a head coach at home.
22. The huge story line of next year's Ole Miss game: Houston Nutt taking on his former team. Let's see, one year, 5-6 record, and I doubt he knew half the player's names before taking off for Arkansas.
23. There have been 15 coaches in Boise State history. One-third of them have made Boise State their official pit stop on the road to coaching glory at bigger programs.
Look how bad these WAC teams are Facts
24. The last time the Broncos lost a WAC game at home was - never. They are 36-0 all time against the WAC at Bronco Stadium.
25. In the Broncos' nine years in the WAC, they have lost to only four teams, Louisiana Tech, Rice, Fresno State, and Hawaii. Too bad losing to La Tech cost them at least a share of the WAC title, losing to Fresno State cost them the outright WAC title, and losing to Hawaii cost them the WAC title altogether. They couldn't have picked worse WAC games to lose had they tried.
26. Boise State has played Nevada 36 times making them the second most played opponent in Boise State history (the first being Idaho of course). The Broncos have a 24-12 record against them.
27. The most points Boise State has ever allowed in a game is 67 to Nevada in 2007. Don't you usually lose if you allow 67 points?
28. Boise State beat San Jose State 77-14 in a game at Bronco Stadium on October 25, 2003. The 77 points is a Boise State record.
29. The Broncos have an incredible WAC record of 68-4. When this season is over, Boise State will have spent exactly one decade in the WAC.
Boise Junior College Facts
30. Boise Junior College began playing football in 1933, the same year the University of Michigan won its sixth National Title.
31. The 1930's were not a good decade for Boise Junior College. From 1933, their first year, to 1939, the Broncos went 18-25-2 (.400). Obviously their "storied history" didn't actually start until Lyle Smith showed up.
32. The Boise Junior College athletic program was suspended from 1942 to 1945 because of World War II.
33. The Broncos went 9-0 in both 1947 and 1948 but failed to receive a bowl invitation either season. Where have I heard that one before?
34. In 1949, after finishing three straight undefeated regular seasons, the Broncos were finally invited to a bowl game, the appropriately named Potato Bowl, which they won 25-7 against Taft Junior College. I don't know, does anyone else see symbolism in this?
35. In 1950, Boise Junior College was invited to compete in the Junior Rose Bowl, the grandnephew of them all, after an undefeated 9-0 season. This game was effectively the Junior College National Championship. Sadly, the Broncos were crushed 33-13 by Long Beach City College, ending an amazing 40-game winning streak.
Division II Facts
36. In 1968, Boise Junior College officially become Boise State College. They wouldn't gain university status until 1974.
37. In 1968 and 1969, Boise State College was an Independent in Division II
38. Boise State College moved up to Division II in 1968 but did not join the Big Sky Conference until 1970.
39. The only jersey number Boise State has ever retired is Jim McMillan's number 12. McMillan was a three-year starter from 1972 to 1974, going 27-9 and winning two Big Sky titles.
40. The Broncos won five out of eight Big Sky titles during the latter half of the seventies. Also, they won three consecutive titles from 1973 through 1975.
Boise State wins a lot Facts
41. Boise State's record since becoming a four-year school in 1968 is 354-144-2 (.708).
42. Boise State's record since joining Division 1A is 135-41 (.767). That is the best winning percentage of all time.
43. The Broncos' last regular season loss was November 23, 2007, against the University of Hawaii. Think about that for a second, that was nearly three years ago.
44. In Boise State's 42 years as a four-year institution, they have won 10 or more games 17 times.
45. Boise State has a total of 15 conference championships, 6 in the Big Sky, 2 in the Big West, and 7 in the WAC.
46. The Broncos have only had five losing seasons since they became a four-year institution.
Bronco Stadium Facts
47. In 1950, the first Bronco Stadium was built, and it seated 10,000 people. That was like half the city of Boise at that point.
48. In 1970, a new Bronco Stadium was was built, and it seated 14,500 people. In the first game there, the domination began as Boise State destroyed Chico State 49-14.
49. Boise State is 215-49 (.814) at Bronco Stadium since it was built in 1970. Yep, complete and utter dominance.
50. In 1975, Bronco Stadium was expanded to seat 20,000 people.
51. In 1986, newish athletic director Gene Bleymaier decided that if he was going to spend three quarters of a millions dollars buying new AstroTurf, he was going to flip the metaphorical bird at college football and make it blue. It was a decision that would define his career. It was either going to be marketing genius, or a marketing disaster.
52. Boise State's loss to Boston College in the MPC Computer's Bowl was technically not a home loss since the Broncos were considered the visiting team and wore their white uniforms. Bonus fact: That was the first and only time that Boise State wore white uniforms on the Blue.
53. The Bronco Stadium attendance record is 34,137 last year for the game against Oregon. My question is, if the official capacity is 33,500, where did the other 637 people sit?
54. The Broncos' last loss at home ('cause remember, they were the visiting team in the 2005 Humanitarian Bowl) was a 41-20 loss to Washington State in 2001.
55. The Broncos' closest home win of the decade was not against Nevada in 2007. It was a 28-27 victory against BYU in 2004. Boise State's home winning streak was kept intact because BYU kicker Matt Payne missed a 38-yard field goal wide right at the end of the game.
Recent history you probably know Facts
' 14 touchdown catches last season were a school record. Just think how many more he could have had if he had not been injured.
57. On June 11, 2010, Boise State accepted an invitation to join the Mountain West Conference, their third conference since becoming a Division 1A school.
58. The Big West Conference stopped playing football after the 2000 season leaving Boise State without a conference. Good thing that WAC commissioner Karl Benson was a Boise State alumni.
59. In 2006, Ian Johnson rushed 1,714 yards and 25 touchdowns. The rest of his career he had 1,807 yards and 29 touchdowns. Take from that what you will.
60. The most points the Broncos have scored in a season is 602 in 2003. In fact, the point totals in each of the last nine seasons are all in the school's top 11.
61. People are always complaining that the Broncos always go undefeated. Well, fact of the matter is, the Broncos have gone undefeated only twice since they became a four-year institution and that was in 2006 and 2009.
Marty Tadman had 58 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 6 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns in 2006.
63. Boise State won the last two Big West Championships in 1999 and 2000 before moving to the WAC.
64. The first time Boise State ever played Utah was September 6, 1980, in a 28-7 victory. Utah at that time was in Division I-A and in the WAC. The victory was a monumental upset. Boise State holds a 4-2 lead in the all-time series against Utah, and the Utes haven't beat the Broncos since October 31, 1987.
65. The Broncos once had a cornerback named DaWuan Miller who only had one arm. More amazing, he was a key defender on the 1994 national runner-up team, and he made several interceptions.
66. In 1985, UC Davis came to play the Broncos on the Green. Boise State won 13-9 in what should have been a rather insignificant game had it not been for a certain quarterback named Chris Petersen meeting the Broncos for the first time.
67. Boise State's most lopsided victory ever was on September 13, 1986, against Humboldt State in Bronco Stadium. It was a 74-0 victory. Humboldt has yet to play the Broncos again.
68. In 1994, coached by Pokey Allen, the Broncos reached their second Division 1-AA national title game. This time however, it didn't go as well. The Broncos lost to a Jim Tressel-coached Youngstown State team 28-14.
69. Boise State's mascot is a Bronco because all the students back then lived on farms and rode horses. The colors are blue and orange because those same students wanted something different than their rivals.
70. Out of all the schools Boise State has ever played, they have never beaten 15 of them. I'm sure you can name at least one.
71. On that same note, out of all the schools Boise State has ever played, they have never lost to 44 of them. I'm absolutely positive that you can name at least two of them.
72. Boise State is 17-6 all time against the current members of the Mountain West Conference. 13-4 if you take Utah out.
73. The Broncos have shut out their opponents 25 times. Although, there was not a single shutout in the 1990s.
Know these facts but never repeat them Facts
74. Boise State has only been shut out twice in its history as a four-year school. The first was a 37-0 loss to the Idaho Vandals on November 17, 1984. The second and most recent was a 58-0 loss to Washington State on September 27, 1997.
75. In 1997, Boise State finished with a 5-6 record. It actually should have been 4-7 but for an ineligible player forced Cal St.-Northridge to forfeit a 63-23 beatdown of the Broncos, so that loss went in the history books as a win.
76. The worst season in Boise State history came courtesy of the 1996 team, the year the Broncos moved up to Division 1A and the year that Coach Pokey Allen died. They went 2-10, which is their only double-digit loss season ever.
77. During the latter half of the eighties and in the early nineties, the Boise State football team was stuck in mediocrity. From Jim Criner's departure in 1983 to Skip Hall's resignation in 1992, the Broncos went 66-48 (.579) with no championships of any kind.
78. The highest that Boise State has ever been in the polls is No. 4, which they were at multiple times last season.
79. The Broncos entered the Top 25 for the first time ever on November 10, 2002, debuting at No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
80. Boise State is 6-4 in Division 1A bowl games. They started out 4-0 but have since gone winless in bowls not named Fiesta.
81. The Fiesta Bowl against TCU was the first non-championship game ever to match two undefeated teams.
82. The Broncos went 8-4 in 2001. Despite 28 bowl teams having a worse record than theirs, the Broncos did not get to go to one of the 25 bowl games.
83. The Broncos won their first Division 1A bowl game against Louisville 34-31 in the 1999 Humanitarian Bowl. Just in time, too, because they were just hours from Y2K...Oh, wait, never mind.
84. The Fiesta Bowl against TCU was Boise State's 500th game since becoming a four-year college in 1968.
85. Boise State played a game against Oklahoma in 2007. I can't seem to remember what happened though.
All hail the 1980 national champions Facts
86. The Four Horseman backfield of Joe Aliotti, David Hughes, Cedric Minter, and Terry Zahner led Boise State to the 1980 Division 1-AA National Championship. They won the Big Sky conference that year with a 10-3 record and went on to defeat Eastern Kentucky 31-29 in the National Title Game.
87. Contrary to popular belief, Ian Johnson does not hold the school's career rushing record. That record still belongs to Cedric Minter and his 4,475 career rushing yards.
88. The Broncos have their own version of the drive. Down 29-24 in the 1980 Division 1-AA National Championship against Eastern Kentucky, they were on their own 20 with a minute to play. Joe Allioti led Boise State down to the Eastern Kentucky 14. Facing a fourth and 10, Allioti found Duane Dloughy in the end zone and won the Division 1-AA National Title 31-29.
Jon Gott Facts
Idaho is terrible Facts
90. Boise State has played Idaho 39 times. Their record is 21-17-1. Idaho's last win against the Broncos was November 21, 1998, in a 36-35 overtime victory.
91. Idaho's all-time record is 434-541-26 (.434). Their 63-25 loss to Boise State was their 999th game.
92. The first time Boise State played Idaho was in 1971. The game, unsurprisingly, was a 42-14 blowout victory in Boise.
93. Jared Zabransky can throw a potato 80 yards. Anyone else think it's ironic that Zabransky grew up on a potato farm in Oregon?
94. In the 2000 Humanitarian Bowl, which was Bart Hendricks' last game, he passed for a touchdown, ran for two touchdowns, and caught a touchdown pass in a 38-23 win over UTEP.
95. Ryan Dinwiddie holds the schools records for passing yards (9,819) and passing touchdowns (82) - for now.
Kellen Moore's 39-3 touchdown to interception ratio is an NCAA record. Did you notice though that each of the three interceptions came against three of the easiest teams on the schedule - Miami (OH), UC Davis, and Louisiana Tech.
97.holds the record for most wins by a college quarterback with 45 - for now.
98. Jared Zabransky caught two passes in his career. One from Mark Onibokun for an eight yard gain and one from Jeff Carpenter for a negative three yard gain.
99. Kellen Moore was the first freshman to ever start a season as quarterback at Boise State. Now that Bronco coaches are seeing how well it worked, he probably won't be the last.
FACT # 100
Boise State is the greatest team ever. There's no denying that. It's a fact.