Thumping by Ole Miss continues new Boise State tradition: Losing as often as you win

Posted: 08/29/2014 in college football
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Looks like they have a new football tradition at Boise State.

Instead of winning all the time, it is called losing anytime the Broncos play anyone decent.

Boise State wilted badly in its 2014 season-opening contest, allowing 28 fourth-quarter points as Mississippi recorded a 35-13 victory in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic in Atlanta (see stellar game recap here –

That gives the Broncos six losses since the beginning of the 2013 season. To provide proper context, consider this: Boise State lost five total games in a five-season span from 2008-12.

Repeat: Five.

The Broncos had a future College Hall of Famer in quarterback Kellen Moore during the first four of those years and former coach Chris Petersen was still highly motivated in making sure Boise State was top-notch.

That’s in contrast to last season’s “Coach Pete,” who was in talks with USC about its opening midway through the season and then highly interested in Washington’s gig once Steve Sarkisian was hired as the Trojans’ coach.

I pointed out how Petersen was outcoached and outprepared after one Boise State loss and some dude on Twitter felt bold enough to tell me that wasn’t true. Kind of laughable as I am the one living in Boise who gets to see and hear what’s going on and there was clearly a lack of fire in Coach Pete’s mannerisms and actions most of last season.

Those facts also are why it is a good thing that Bryan Harsin is now the head coach of the Broncos. The former Boise State offensive coordinator can provide a fresh look at how things have been done and put his own stamp on the program.

He inherits a team with nowhere near the talent of some those recent powerhouse squads – running back Doug Martin, receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis, defensive ends Tyrone Crawford and Demarcus Lawrence, linebacker Shea McClellin, and cornerbacks Kyle Wilson and Jamar Taylor were among the standouts taken high in the NFL Draft – and it will take a while to rebuild the talent level.

The good thing for Boise State is that is still toils in the Mountain West, a weak football conference that is one of the sports’ have-not leagues. So the schedule will eventually turn weak and opponents like New Mexico and Wyoming will prove to be the easy walk-over wins that fans in Boise are accustomed to seeing.

Ole Miss was easily the toughest team on the 2014 schedule. A mid-September road game at Connecticut and a late-October home game against Brigham Young are the toughest nonconference games left on the docket.

There is plenty of time for Harsin to get his team in gear and win a lot of games. But there is also just as good a chance that the Broncos win only eight games again this season.

Assuming a bowl game, that would make back-to-back five-loss seasons. Or twice as many defeats in a two-year span as that five-year period in which Boise State went 61-5.

Perhaps going 8-6 over 14-game spans is the new future for the Broncos. If so, it will be interesting to see how their fans act. They didn’t handle things so well when they were thumped 38-6 by Washington last season.

You learn a lot about a team’s fan base when things aren’t going so well. Especially in Boise.

  1. Mavic19 says:

    I just want to say that, even though we got handled in the fourth quarter, I was impressed with quite a few things. I didn’t have high expectations coming into this game. There were too many variables: A brand new coaching staff. A young team. A new offense. Playing in that damn humid Georgia climate. Playing against a top 20 team that recently had one of the best recruiting classes. The list goes on. All I wanted to see was something new from BSU and how well our players would perform.

    And perform they did. For three quarters I watched our defense work their butts off against the significantly larger Ole Miss offense. Those boys played hard and with a lot of heart. They earned the respect of Ole Miss. But come 4th quarter, they got gassed. A situation of the mind being willing but the body not being able to follow through. We took some damn hard hits that made me cringe. And yet, we still got up and gave it our best. Were there mistakes? Yup. Plenty. Even a mistake by Coach Harsin himself.

    But, that being said, I liked what I saw. I saw a fire in our boys that I didn’t see last year. I saw a lot more creativity in the offense (instead of the same ol ‘run up the middle’ over and over from Coach Prince). I have no doubt that if we play with that much heart throughout the rest of the season we will be conference champs.

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