Every off season feels like the longest one ever, but 2015 has been crazy.
Boise State didn’t go away last season, like some thought they would. In a shocking plot twist, the Broncos went 11 – 2 and won the Fiesta Bowl after Chris Petersen left for purpler pastures. Nationally, apparently some people are stunned. Boise State was supposed to sit down, shut up, lose 5+ games again, and fade into the obscurity of the Mountain West during the power conference era, when the haves widened the gap and left all the have-nots, out.
Except that isn’t what happened. It’s been an eventful 2015 so far, and Boise State appears to be keeping up. Yes, it’s with a much smaller margin of error, but this program is in battles (and winning some!) for recruits that wouldn’t have even returned a call three years ago. Cost of Attendance is handled, the content coming out of the football complex is much more polished than at any time before, and Bronco Nation is chomping at the bit for the biggest OOC game on The Blue since Oregon came for their eventful visit in 2009. Fall camp is in full swing, the stadium banners have been unveiled, Hars has taken a pie to the face, Yates has chastised everyone for talking up the defense, and we’re under a month to go until the start of something that could be really special.
Mystique is totally a thing still, Rocky. Whether you want it to be or not.
This is the best and worst time of year. The anticipation is intoxicating. Every team is 0-0 and hope is easy to come by. Go on the Internet and almost every fan base is being insufferable. Utah State is coming for Boise State, just like they are every season. With their 78 77 76 75 74 73 72 returning starters and one of them being perpetual Heisman candidate until that knee happens, Chuckie Keeton, well why wouldn’t the Broncos be running scared? Washington might be in trouble as far as skill positions, but they’re still in the Pac 12 and that automatically spots them two touchdowns and a few friendly calls from the officials. BYU’s fan base is secretly checking every interesting looking rock in Utah County for a prophecy to translate and convince the Coaches Poll voters to put them in the next top 25. Even Bronco Twitter is in on the action, making it a life goal to get blocked by Nevada’s resident humorless corndog connoisseur and the coach of the Wolf Pack, Brian Polian. Once he called us out during Media Days, he had to know he was flipping that troll switch, right?
Can’t forget the realignment rumors flowing as sure as the rivers of smack. The Big 12 is the destination this time, and as fun as the speculation is, it’s still a long shot for the Broncos to move out of the MWC anytime soon. Still, the idea of the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming out of Austin and Norman is incredibly soothing in this run up to kickoff.
Not quite as soothing as cuddling up with your best equine buddy in the living room, though.
What we know for sure right now isn’t much. We know the Broncos return a lot of experience and depth in every position but QB, RB, and CB, and the options there are solid if unproven. We know that the coaching staff didn’t have much of a drop off, even with losing former OC Mike Sanford to Notre Dame over the offseason. Harsin seems stunned when anyone asks about the transition, like its nuts to expect anything other than awesome out of Coach Drink. We know that Boise’s OOC schedule might just be enough to carry them into the playoff if the MWC shocks the world a couple times and doesn’t lose a bunch of games they shouldn’t.
The possibilities and questions are endless. We’ll spend the next few weeks thinking over the alternatives and talking about position battles and pouring over practice reports and player interviews trying to get a bit more understanding. All of it in a pointless attempt to predict the future performances of a bunch of young men that hold their own destiny, thankyouverymuch. We’re just along for the ride.