Preseason magazines: No Petersen, no problem for Boise State football

Posted by Brian Murphy on June 9, 2014 

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Boise State Head Coach Bryan Harsin signs autographs for a large gathering of employees at Idaho Central Credit Union in Pocatello, Idaho. The visit was part of a two-week flurry of events across the state called the Bronco Invasion to build excitement about the new-look Broncos. Wednesday May 28, 2014

KYLE GREEN — kgreen@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Coach Chris Petersen and his 92-12 record are gone from the blue turf at Bronco Stadium, but Boise State's football team should continue to be a Mountain West power under new coach Bryan Harsin, according to most college football preseason magazines on sale now.

"With Harsin's offensive touch and a loaded defense, this looks like the most complete team in the Mountain West," writes USA Today in its College Football 2014 publication.

Here's a look at what the magazines predict for Boise State and Idaho:

USA Today

Boise State: 10-2 overall, 7-1 in the Mountain West (champions of the Mountain Division and winners of the MW Championship Game against Fresno State). The magazine ranks Boise State No. 23 overall.

Idaho: 2-10 overall, 2-6 in the Sun Belt (ninth in 11-team Sun Belt). The magazine ranks the Vandals No. 123 overall.

"The Vandals are not ready to be a contender, but they should improve significantly upon the one game they won in 2013," USA Today writes.

Punter Austin Rehkow is tabbed as a first-team All-America.

Sporting News

Boise State: Champions of the Mountain Division and, based on their bowl projections, winners of the MW Championship Game against Nevada. The Broncos are predicted to play in the Las Vegas Bowl with Nevada playing in the New Mexico Bowl.

"It's up to Harsin to quickly get things back to a top-24 level," Sporting News writes.

Idaho: 10th in the 11-team Sun Belt.

"There may be more growing pains to get to where (coach Paul) Petrino wants this program to be."

Rehkow is also tabbed as a first-team All-America.

Athlon

Boise State: 11-2 overall, 7-1 in the Mountain West (champions of the Mountain Division and winners of the MW Championship Game against Fresno State). The Broncos are projected to play Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The magazine ranks the Broncos as having the top running back, wide receiver, defensive line and defensive back units in the league.

"They need (quarterback Grant) Hedrick and the veteran defenders to make noticeable leaps and that young offensive line to jell quickly," Athlon writes.

Idaho: 2-10 overall, 2-6 in the Sun Belt (ninth in the 11-team Sun Belt).

"If Petrino can overcome that travel and find some consistency in all phases, Idaho has a chance at making some noise in the overhauled conference."

Lindy's Mountain West

Boise State: Predicted to finish second in the Mountain Division behind Utah State.

"Boise State has found a worthy obstacle in the way of Mountain dominance — Utah State," Lindy's writes.

The magazine ranks Boise State has having the Mountain West's top running back, wide receiver and defensive back units. It ranks running back Jay Ajayi as the No. 10 back in the nation and it ranks Boise State's season opener against Mississippi as the No. 12 non-conference game of the year.

Notes

College Football Playoff: The four-team playoff begins this season. A 13-member selection committee will pick its participants as well as the teams for the other "New Year's Six" bowl games. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will host national semifinals. The other "New Year's Six" games are the Fiesta, Cotton, Peach and Orange bowls. The highest-ranked conference champion (as selected by the committee) from the Mountain West, American Conference, Conference USA, Sun Belt and Mid-American Conference is guaranteed a spot in one of the six games. This year, the open spots are in the Fiesta, Cotton and Peach games.

In addition to the CFP, the Mountain West has primary deals with the:

• Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas (twice between 2014 and 2019);

• Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise (every year between 2014 and 2019);

• New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque (every year between 2014 and 2019);

• New Orleans Bowl (every year year between 2014 and 2019);

• Las Vegas Bowl (five times between 2014 and 2019);

• Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego (every year between 2014 and 2019);

• Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu (five times between 2014 and 2019);

• A secondary agreement with the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.

The Las Vegas bowl will have the first choice. After that, the league and bowls will work together to determine which team plays in which game.

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