People's Champion: The case for Boise State's NFL draft class of 2012

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Shea McClellin (R) of Boise State holds up a jersey as he stands on stage after he was selected #19 overall by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The fourth and final candidate of the 2012 People's Champion was left up to you, the people, and you people submitted a great idea to nominate the future football stars of Boise State's 2012 NFL Draft class. (For the purposes of this story and to benefit future civilizations whose archaeologists find this website and consider it fact, Kellen Moore will be lumped in with the Boise State draftees because, duh, he should have been drafted.)

This year's class of Boise State pros did something that few people thought BSU players could do: get drafted in bunches. The Broncos had six players selected in the draft, including two who were picked in the first round, which was two more than Miami, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Ohio State. Message board haters are going to have to find a new burn for why Boise State is small potatoes.

In a sense, the 2012 NFL Draft class did a service to Boise State similar to what the Broncos' Fiesta Bowl wins and Top Ten flirting have done in the past. The Draft added legitimacy to the program. Why people are basing legitimacy of a college football team on how many of its players play football well outside of college is beyond me. But it happens. And now Boise State can use it at show-and-tell as yet another way the Broncos compete against bigger, badder schools.

At this point, it's not like Boise State's draft class even has to perform well in the NFL for a People's Champion nomination to be worth it. The six Bronco draftees plus Moore gave Boise State loads of positive press around the NFL Draft. They were on TVs and in newspapers and all over the Internet, blogs, and Bleacher Reports. Their draft stock expanded the Boise State pipeline and gave NFL scouts a reason to book a standing reservation at Boise Holiday Inn Express every spring.

You can't put a price on the contributions of the 2012 draft class to Boise State's past validity, its present Q rating, and its future NFL pipeline. But you can give them this year's People's Champion award.

ed's note: The Idaho State Board of Education is one of four nominees for this year's Bronco Nation People's Champion. A new hero will be crowned on Friday. Vote below, and express your love in the comments.

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