I’m not big on sports commentary. The talking heads usually give all the nods to the traditional powerhouses and share fairly obvious ‘insights’ about upcoming games. Unfortunately, however accurate my perception of sports commentary might be, I bought the recent analysis of last night’s college football matchup. I wanted the Boise State Broncos to beat the Virginia Tech Hokies, but I was sure that an ACC “powerhouse” ranked #10 in the nation would awaken Boise State to the stark reality that it cannot compete with “the big boys.” In other words, my faith in the oft unappreciated WAC sc hool wavered in the face of talking heads predicting defeat for Boise in its “biggest game as a program.”
My hopes for Boise State were real, my expectations were all wrong. Boise State showed up to play. The didn’t just show up to dazzle with trickery (not that they ever did–as if somehow beating Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl was the sole result of daring coaching and lucky execution), theyshowed up to play Boise State football: solid, prepared, well-executed, talented, physical, exciting, high-powered football. Like a veteran, disciplined team, they capitalized on VA Tech miscues and turnovers, and they fought back from behind when VA Tech–the talented team that they are–roared back to take the lead in the second half.
Hopefully, though Boise State’s schedule isn’t very “strong” because they aren’t a member of a traditional powerhouse conference–like the Big 10 or SEC–the Broncos will be recognized for their elite, distinctive program. They aren’t some “cinderella” who, needing a little magic, can only enchant us on rare occasions with sneaky plays. No, Boise State has demonstrated, once again, that it can play with the “big boys.” The question, it seems to me, is whether the big boys can play with Boise State. Go Broncos!