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Never fear: Boise State's number of returning starters isn't as bad as it looks

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The number of Boise State returning starters in 2012 isn't that bad really. It's just a flesh wound!

Preview magazines and Internet stories are going to proclaim that the Boise State football team will return the fewest starters in the country next season: six. Boise State reporters and Bronco Nation will say that BSU returns 11. Who's right? Bronco fans, duh! (And the other guys, I guess.)

Turns out, there is more than one way to interpret Boise State's number of returning starters in 2012. First, let's take a look at the widely reported six-person total. Those six are:

Now before you start losing sleep over that list, things aren't that bad. Boise State has loads more experience coming back, and depending on how you define "returning starter," the number six is really more like an 11. Here's how I would count things:

On top of that, the Broncos will have a sixth-year running back who started early in his career (D.J. Harper), a No. 1 tight end who has been No. 2 for two years, and a pair of linebackers who were co-starters for much of the past two seasons.

Sure, it's no 2010 offseason when Boise State returned 20 starters, but it's not the end of the world, either ... no matter what you may read.

Your turn

How are you feeling about Boise State's returning starters? Is that stat blown out of proportion? Is 11 enough for you to sleep at night? Share your thoughts in the comments.