Early July in the college football world means a dead period in recruiting, and conference media days have yet to begin — the calm before the storm. A month away from fall camp, the anticipation is slowly starting to ramp up.
That means it’s a perfect time to digest the wealth of season preview magazines now on the shelves.
We picked up four of those previews to take a look at what they’re saying about the Boise State Broncos. This year, not everyone is projecting them to be the class of the Mountain West.
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What they’re saying: The magazine says Boise State will win the Mountain West, using its set of stats to give the Broncos a 63-percent chance to claim their second MW title game win. Plenty of praise was reserved for quarterback Brett Rypien and receiver Thomas Sperbeck, quoting a league coach calling Rypien “a superstar” and of Sperbeck, saying “Sperbeck’s back? Shoot! I was hoping he wasn’t.” Both are on the preseason all-conference team, along with running back Jeremy McNichols and kicker Tyler Rausa.
Interesting ... Some of ESPN’s resident analysts who were former players made their picks for what they believe are the best position units in college football. Ed Cunningham, who was the center on Washington’s 1991 national championship team, ranked Boise State’s offensive line No. 5 in the nation, highlighting guards Steven Baggett and Travis Averill, and tackle Mario Yakoo.
What they’re saying: Athlon ranks Boise State 34th in the nation, projecting the Broncos to go 11-2 overall and 7-1 in the Mountain West, beating San Diego State in the title game. It has Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl against Oregon with five first-team and five second-team all-conference players. Boise State’s quarterbacks are ranked 21st nationally.
Interesting ... The Broncos are called “a bit of a mystery” with new playcallers and turnover on the defensive line. Even with so many losses on the defensive line, Boise State is ranked fourth in the Mountain West at the position, and third or better at every other spot. McNichols is listed as a second-team all-MW back.
What they’re saying: Rypien is called “the league’s best QB, (and) only a sophomore” and pegged as the league’s Most Valuable Player. Sperbeck is picked as having the best hands in the Mountain West. Boise State is the magazine’s pick to win the Mountain Division, saying “the Broncos usually bounce back strong from poor seasons, a trend that points toward a resurgence in 2016.”
Interesting ... However, the Broncos aren’t picked as the best team in the conference. That belongs to San Diego State, ranked No. 19 overall, with the Broncos at No. 29. It says the “Aztecs ran through the league last season and have no peer in 2016.” SDSU coach Rocky Long said Boise State is the only team that has the reputation to be able to put up an unbeaten regular season, a possibility the magazine floated regarding his Aztecs.
What they’re saying: Steele is bullish on the Broncos this season, ranking them 16th in the preseason and saying six of his nine sets of power rankings have the Broncos going 12-0. He says a win in the MW title game against “a potential 12-0 SDSU” could have the Broncos in the playoff conversation. He ranks the Broncos’ quarterbacks 13th in the nation, running backs 44th, receivers 39th, offensive line 50th, linebackers 18th, defensive backs 49th and special teams 50th.
Interesting ... Steele’s bowl projections are a little odd, with New Mexico in Las Vegas, San Diego State in the Poinsettia and Boise State in Hawaii against Middle Tennessee. Strangely, Rypien isn’t listed among his top 39 quarterbacks.