football

From Undefeated to...22nd!

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BOISE- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the 2006 Boise State football team ended the year as the only undefeated team in Division-I football.
With its 5th consecutive WAC Championship.
With a win in the Fiesta Bowl, which many college football writers say is one of the greatest games they've ever seen.
Well it seems some of those same writers believe the Broncos have already reached their peak because the Sporting News' preseason top 25 has Boise State ranked 22nd.
At least it's better than not being ranked at all, right?
But is it? Prior to the start of the 2005 season, the Sporting News ranked the Broncos 20th (the AP Poll picked them 18th, the Coaches Poll 19th), the first time BSU had ever been ranked in a preseason poll.
The previous year, in 2004, Boise State put together an 11-1 record with its only loss coming to Louisville in the Liberty Bowl (44-40), which at the time was the biggest game in school history.
So here's my question: if the 2006 Boise State football team (which finished the year ranked 5th in the AP Poll, 6th in the Coaches Poll, and 8th in the BCS Standings) is better than the 2004 team, why isn't it ranked higher in the next year's pre-season poll?
I understand the 2007 Broncos lose 15 starters, but come on, how many consecutive years does Boise State have to win its conference before the country will realize it has no problem reloading every year?
Plus, BSU still has Coach Petersen, the 2006 Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year.
And runningback Ian Johnson, the nation's leading scorer last year with 25 touchdowns averaging 12.67 points per game.
And offensive tackle Ryan Clady, whom Sporting News picked as the second-best offensive tackle in the country and named him to its all-America first-team.
As far as I'm concerned, Boise State should at least be ranked in the top-15, maybe even the top-10 (maybe). But as we all know, rankings are not based solely on the previous season. But if you want to know if Boise State will be a factor this year, just ask Idaho. Or Nevada. Or Louisiana Tech. Or any other conference foe who will be facing the Broncos at some point this season.
On paper, it looks like Hawaii could give the Broncos their best WAC matchup this year.
But then again, on paper Boise State should have lost to Oklahoma.
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