Any Boise State fan can recite the list of ranked foes the Broncos have vanquished in recent season openers.
No. 16 Oregon at Bronco Stadium in 2009, a game more famous for its postgame punch than the Broncos dominant defensive effort.
No. 10 Virginia Tech in Landover, Md., in 2010, a come-from-behind victory engineered by Kellen Moore that sent the Hokies faithful streaming for the exits in stunned silence.
No. 19 Georgia at the Georgia Dome in 2011, a clinical undoing of the Bulldogs from the vaunted SEC that left the Atlanta stadium empty by the end of the third quarter.
Boise State is hoping to add another victim to that list Friday night at No. 13 Michigan State, with its world-class defense, in front of 75,000 Spartan fans.
This test, coach Chris Petersen said, is the toughest one yet.
Its a really, really good opponent, as good as any of those teams weve played in the past. Now were truly going into someones home court and then the fact that weve got some new guys, Petersen said.
At No. 24, Boise State carries its lowest ranking into the game since early in the 2008 season, with voters skeptical that the Broncos (50-3 in the past four seasons) can continue their winning ways without Moore at quarterback and with various other stars from those teams in the NFL.
These high-profile openers have become a signature for the Broncos program, a showcase on national television and a proving ground. Boise State is scheduled to open at Washington in 2013 and against Mississippi in the Georgia Dome in 2014.
We just want to be put on the main stage and play the best. Playing a team like Michigan State and Georgia and Virginia Tech, those are the top-tier teams we want to be compared with and we want to play, senior left guard Joe Kellogg said. Every time we have an opportunity, we try to seize it.
The Broncos have done that each of the past three seasons. Now theyll get another chance in, perhaps, the toughest game of all.
Its going to be really loud. The ground might be shaking. But its going to be exciting, senior linebacker Tommy Smith said. You live for these games.