I'm not here to provide solid answers on this one...this is a general wondering—but I've got theories. Obviously, we don't want to lose to any team, but by golly I REALLY don't want to lose to BYU again. Boise State has mercifully atoned for last season's loss at Fresno, and Reno hasn't been able to duplicate their 2010 feat since that fateful Friday. Even the Air Force loss, though still haunting us...just didn't get my blood boiling—it felt like a fluke.
Last season's BYU tilt was downright painful. Boise State didn't look like the team that had pwned the state of Utah for the better part of a decade. We looked overmatched...something that just one year earlier had not been the case. This season, BYU has a different aura. They were supposed to come to Boise undefeated, not reeling. They were supposed to have rolled through the part of the schedule against teams from their former conference. They were supposed to be propping up a Taysom Hill for Heisman campaign. In short, they were supposed to firmly establish that they'd passed Boise State and show that last year's 17-point win was no fluke. Well, things change.
Boise State, despite their puzzling loss at Air Force, have just one other loss on their rearview, and that was to the 3rd ranked team in the country. BYU has one more loss than that in their last 3 tries. They'll enter Boise a wounded animal, and one the Broncos must defeat. This game went from a "nice to win" to a "need to win" for the Broncos and it has nothing to do with the conference race. In fact, this game is meaningless in the grand scheme of things...a rare later season tilt against a non-conference foe. But this is a perception game, in my opinion and one that nowadays the Broncos can ill afford to lose. After all, BYU is still a "mid-major" level team, despite what they may think. Boise State used to be at the top of that particular heap and it wasn't even all that close. Clearly, Boise State is striving to get back to that point and several teams would rather get there first. BYU is one.
A BYU means something...every year. This year, the stakes may actually be higher. Is BYU's 2nd string QB better than our starter? We need to prove otherwise. Will we get blown off the ball in straight up football? We'd better not. Perception has always been Boise State's enemy and it's time to get it where we want it again. Beat the Cougars. It means something.