April 16, 2012; Boise, ID, USA; Boise State Broncos quarterback Nick Patti (8) during the spring game at Bronco Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-US PRESSWIRE
Those who love being wrong love making preseason Top 25s, and those with blogs love writing about them. (It is a symbiotic relationship.) The latest post-spring Top 25 belongs to the SB Nation BlogPoll, one of college football's best rankings because it is crowdsourced and not, say, Mark May-sourced. Boise State is at No. 22. It's not a spot Bronco fans are used to, but hey, it could be worse.
In fact, it is almost always worse for teams that lose a four-year starting quarterback, a first-round NFL running back, an entire defensive line, and coaches out the wazoo. Pollsters tend to ding you (or avoid you) for pushing the reset button on your team.
Yet the BlogPoll and other Top 25s throughout preseason pollsville have Boise State ranked. Athlon has the Broncos at No. 24. Andy Staples has them at No. 20. To what does Boise State owe this newfound perennial respect? Are these people even right? Where would you have Boise State?
First things first, the respect comes from having a football team that lives and breathes under the watchful eye of Chris Petersen. People think he's pretty great. Playing a soft Mountain West schedule certainly helps, too, as does the now commonly held belief that the Broncos have talent year-after-year to reload and not rebuild. This is not Fresno circa 2002 we're talking about.
Are the pollsters right in ranking the Broncos in the 20s? There is no right or wrong in preseason polling (unless you have Notre Dame in your Top Ten). Weighing the pluses and minuses of the 2012 Boise State football team, you can understand a drop from Top Ten to Top Twenty. Analysts could make a case for dropping the Broncos even lower, but then they'd only be adding fuel to the highly flammable chips already on Boise State's shoulders.
As for where I would rank the Broncos, that's difficult, not because I don't know where to rank them but because I'm not sure how to calculate the exchange rate on homerism. I think Boise State could justify a ranking in the high teens, No. 18 perhaps. Add a couple spots for my being horribly biased, and you wind up with a spot in the 20s. Seems about right.
Where do you think Boise State deserves to be in the preseason polls? What factors are keeping the Broncos in the Top 25? How do you see the rest of the polls shaking out this offseason? Share your thoughts in the comments.