Where does Boise State go from here?Thirteen years, and nothing conference but wins. Many games, all with hugs and smiles. And all of it came on that famous blue turf. There was a 35-game home winning streak, a decade without a single regular season loss at Bronco Stadium and 13 years of nothing but conference domination. And now the count is down to zero, just as the scoreboard clock read following Dan Goodale’s missed 39-yard field goal attempt on Saturday. The final score stands at TCU 36, Boise State 35, and there is nothing that can be done about that today. Boise State is now 72-3 on the blue since 2000. But the number that really stings Boise State today is one. One point. One loss. All those streaks and rankings and hopes crumbling on the blue turf, where they had been so dominant over the years. What is left today is the lingering effects of what’s next for the Broncos. One fan leaving Bronco Stadium Saturday summed it up pretty succinctly: “Well, our season’s over,” he said for all to hear. Because that is the world that Boise State lives in — one (loss) and done. The Broncos may have not lost a conference game on their home turf since Idaho’s Joel Thomas rumbled into the south end zone at Bronco Stadium for the winning two-point conversion in overtime on Nov. 21, 1998, but none of that matters today. They may have not lost a regular season game in Boise since Sept. 8, 2001 against Washington State, but it doesn’t matter now. And they may have not lost at all on their own turf since Boston College beat them in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl. Today, Boise State is 8-1 overall and its outside national championship hopes have faded. The Broncos are 3-1 in the Mountain West Conference and a conference title is likely out of the question. Chaos would likely have to take place for the Broncos to be back in the running for a BCS bowl bid. Boise State coach Chris Petersen simply said now is the time to pick up the pieces and see what kind of team he truly has. “We’ll see what these guys are made of,” Petersen said. “This is real-life football. You don’t win all of your games all of the time as much as we do around here. So, we’ll see.” For the past two seasons, Boise State’s BCS hopes have hinged on one game, one loss and one field goal attempt. And while Boise State is in a much different place than it was in 1998, as far as conference affiliation and national prestige, one point is still one point and one loss is still one loss to this team. That is why TCU accepted an invitation to join the Big East, then eventually landed in the Big 12. That is why Boise State is expected to join the Big East any day now. The move would be made for more money, sure. But it’s also for the ability to rebound from a loss and play for a conference championship that can lead to a BCS game. In conferences, such as the Big East, one point and one loss does not equal “season’s over.” In the WAC and Mountain West it does. Boise State will play its remaining three conference games and finish its season in San Diego or Las Vegas again, while teams they have defeated, such as Virginia Tech in 2010 and Georgia this season play for conference titles and a spot in BCS games. Boise State wants that option. But until they are offered and accept that inclusion, posting nothing but wins for 13 years in conference play, nor 10 years of home wins in the regular season don’t mean much when it matters most. There will still be occasions like Saturday, when fans file from the stadium, knowing there’s nothing more to play for.
Season Over? No, no. Not over. Not by a long shot. We still have to play New Mexico and San Diego. Both are quality teams. What people don't realize is that there are no candy-asses in the Mountain West Conference. We thought there would be, but there are a bunch of quality teams. We only beat Air Force by 11 points. That should have told the faithful what we are facing in this conference. Instead, we are talking about going to the Big East where we will get our hats handed to us in a big way. No, my friends, the Mountain West is where we belong and where we should stay for the foreseeable future. Hey, how would you like to be Idaho and have a 42-7 loss to BYU? THAT my friends would be a LOSS. Not a one point deficit after facing a very quality team...a very well coached team. Congratulations Gary Patterson, you are a classy coach and a classy man and you have a classy team.