The last five times that the Boise State football team lost a game before this season, it lost something else, too.
A bowl game. A conference championship. A Bowl Championship Series berth.
This years loss to Michigan State, on the other hand, did little damage to the Broncos season as a whole. Boise States two primary goals win the Mountain West championship and a bowl game were unaffected.
And if they can win their final 11 games, they likely will be right back in the middle of the BCS debate because a top-16 ranking could be enough to qualify.
The Broncos hadnt lost a season opener since 2005, so an 0-1 record is a new experience for every player on the team.
It just kind of tests us a little bit because we havent had a loss this early, senior wide receiver Mitch Burroughs said. Weve got to bounce back and really be mature about it and be hungry and learn from our mistakes and come out and put together an awesome season. It would be a long year if we let that put a damper on our season.
The Broncos recent losses were far more deflating.
In 2011, they lost the Mountain West title to TCU.
In 2010, they lost a BCS berth against Nevada.
In 2008, they lost the Poinsettia Bowl to TCU.
And in 2007, they lost the WAC title to Hawaii and Hawaii Bowl to East Carolina.
All of those defeats came in November or December.
All losses are going to be tough, whether theyre early or late, offensive coordinator Robert Prince said. Our guys just dont want that feeling again.
If the Broncos can avoid another loss, theyll accomplish more in the regular season than either of the past two teams which, for all their success in the polls, didnt win an outright conference title.
If they lose again, then the possibilities for this team begin to erode.
We still have a lot to play for, senior left guard Joe Kellogg said. Our first goal every year is to win the conference and thats still out there.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat