The title, inspired by numerous conversations I have had over the last few weeks with Spartan fans and Wolverine fans alike, is a point of contention for me. When that general phrase is brought forth from the mouth of a Walverine, it is intended as a clear slight to the Spartans opening week opponent. “They aren’t good anymore.” “You should destroy them, and if you don’t you are losers.” This is the tenor of the comments I get from the average U of M fan, which I certainly do not find surprising in the least. It’s part of their nature to be misinformed. What concerns me more, is the casual regard with which a great number of Spartan fans are treating the forthcoming opener. There is an air of confidence, which should be there, but in addition there is a lack of concern for the opponent. Often within the course of conversation it is revealed to me be many that Boise State should be a tough match up(with a wink and a nudge), but still the Spartans will win handily. Try as I might, I can find no logic being applied within this school of thought. BREAKING: Boise State is pretty good, and has been for many years. This is not going to be a laugher, in my opinion.
Exhibits A & B: If you have not already done so(and shame on you if you haven’t)please take a gander at the previews made available yesterday by Jameson and DarthProphet wherein many excellent points are made about the state of both programs.
There honestly was nothing left out of those two posts, but as I am in a ranting mood I feel the need to build a tiny hut upon their broad foundations. For what has been likely far too long, Boise State has been treated as the cute little upstart by mainstream media. It’s always along the lines of “Yeah, they had a great season, but they don’t play anyone.” . Ahem. Really? Sure, we can all cast aspersions at the conference in which they play if we should like to. I won’t even attempt to sway anyone’s opinion on that matter as I don’t feel like typing a novella at the current time. However, it is interesting to me to take note of what has been accomplished by this team outside of continually defeating their much chided annual collection of foes. Just a few points to highlight in that regard:
Sept. 20, 2008: Defeated Oregon, on the road, by the score of 37-32.
Sept. 30, 2009: Defeated Oregon again, at home, 19-8.
Sept. 6, 2010: Defeated Virgina Tech at home, 33-30.
Sept. 3, 2011: Defeated Georgia, on the road, 35-21. Yep, the same Georgia team that MSU later defeated in the Outback Bowl but by a more narrow margin.
It is not my intent to state that we should all tremble in fear before the Broncos, nor I am trying to say I believe that MSU will lose this game. I only wish to convey that perhaps it isn’t such a wise idea to be so cocky about this game. Perhaps, I say, just maybe, that could be part of what lends itself to the pattern which you see above. Those are all good teams from major conferences that fell victim to the Broncos early in the season. Yes, Boise State is still good enough to come into town and walk back out with a victory. I doubt that the overconfidence which seems to have taken hold of many fans I know will have spread to the coaching staff or the team, and in that doubt I do find solace.
One last bit before closing. For all of those who say that Boise is nothing without Kellen Moore, go talk to Oklahoma:
I believe the defenses will play a large role in this tilt, so along that tack I am going to predict a final score that may seem on the low end to many. MSU 24, BSU 17. I hope I am wrong and this turns into a landslide victory for the Spartans, but in truth I have that hope for every game.