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How will the 2009 Boise State football team be remembered?

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With recruiting and spring practice and Phil Steele preview magazines on the horizon, the 2010 Boise State football season will be here before we know it. Thank goodness. I feel like the Fiesta Bowl was played months ago.

But before 2010 gets here, let's take another look back at 2009 and put the Boise State football team in perspective. Will 2009 be remembered as the best Bronco team in school history? Share your thoughts after the jump.

Note: Don't forget to cast your vote for the second annual NUGie awards. Chase Baker would really appreciate it.

Oregon and TCU: Two of the best wins ever for Boise State football

The Broncos opened the season with THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME IN BRONCO STADIUM HISTORY - a statement of hyperbole that became fact thanks to the months-long lead-up to the Oregon game. Boise State delivered in a big way, which gives me the excuse to play the following video whenever I feel like it.

Beating TCU might have been the bigger achievement as the Horned Frogs were considered by many to be one of the three best teams in the country. Alone, the win over Oregon or the win over TCU would have been enough to cement the Broncos' place in school lore, but the fact that both wins happened in the same season? Unprecedented. If Boise State had finished 2-11 with wins over the Ducks and Horned Frogs, I would have been happy. (Note: That's not true. I would have

The Bronco defense is not what we thought it was

Boise State's defense rode high on the momentum from the Oregon win before suddenly and surprisingly making Fresno State's Ryan Mathews look like 1980's Walter Payton. The Broncos' tackling woes soon snowballed into allowing-big-plays woes, which led to a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type midseason rollercoaster ride. It was like Disneyland's Space Mountain except you never knew if you'd be listening to hard rock or the Black Eyed Peas.

Black-eyed-peasnew_medium

From left: Pensive, farsighted, mistrusting, and shouldery (via weblogs.dailypress.com)

Did you boo the greatest team in Boise State football history?

Not that anyone has forgotten or may ever forget, but Boise State did not play very well against UC Davis. Fans booed, the national media yawned, and much of Bronco Nation started asking hard questions like "How good is this team really" and "Did you hear they have a Bronco Snuggie - I need to get me one of those." It was bad times all around.

How much weight should individual performances receive?

From Austin Pettis' record-setting season to Kellen Moore's Heisman recognition, the 2009 Broncos featured some amazing individual performances. On one hand, you cannot have record-breaking players without a seriously good supporting cast. On the other hand, Taylor Tharp had a pretty good statistical season in 2007.

The comparison

When you have the conversation about greatest Bronco team of all time, three of the past four years are the ones that come up most often. Here is a comparison:

2009 2008 2006
Record 14-0 12-1 13-0
Average Margin of Victory 25 25 22
Total Offense (yards per game) 450 440 420
Total Defense (yards allowed per game) 300 308 284
Best win TCU (Fiesta)
at Oregon Oklahoma (Fiesta)
Points per game
42 37 39
Points per game allowed 17 12 17
TO Margin +21 +7 +11

Don't forget also that the Broncos played some very good years with Ryan Dinwiddie and won a I-AA championship. Should any of those teams be considered in the all-time great discussion?

Was the 2009 Boise State football team the greatest in BSU history?

I think it is safe to say that the 2009 Broncos had two of the greatest wins in school history, but overall the Broncos were not perfect. Where would you rank the 2009 team among other great Bronco football squads? Were the 2009 Broncos' imperfections any worse than the teams in 2006 and 2008? How will the 2009 team be remembered? Share your thoughts in the comments.