Back in 2007, the Boise State football team entered its bowl game after a two-loss regular season and led by a first-time starter at quarterback (same scenario as this year, except Taylor Tharp did not have a Joe Southwick mustache) and then proceeded to two-hand touch East Carolina's Chris Johnson and lose the Hawaii Bowl in rather deflating fashion. Instead of remembering that season as an incredibly well-played rebuilding year, I remember it as a letdown and use Taylor Tharp as the low-hanging fruit on my Boise State quarterback joke tree.
So how will the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl affect my view of the 2012 Boise State football team?
Though it seems like little is at stake this bowl season, perception most definitely is. I will probably perceive the Boise State season differently depending on what extent they do or do not lay an egg.
If the Broncos come out flat and uninspired and lose by a couple touchdowns, this will have obviously been the worst season in the past 10 years of Bronco football and Joe Southwick's failings as a Kellen Moore-type human being are squarely to blame. If the Broncos run the Huskies off the field in true buzzsaw fashion, this will have obviously been a season of spectacular overachievement that was thisclose to being BCS special. If it's a close game, I'll flip a coin and decide how I feel.
Point is, the outcome of next weekend's bowl game is going to decide a lot more than who will be out for revenge in next year's season opening rematch and how high Boise State might be ranked preseason. It's going to decide how I feel about Boise State football for the next eight months.
Will it be the same for you?