Bronco Beat

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: Boise State football a top-25 team

Despite the Boise State football team’s losses on both sides of the ball coming into the 2017 season, the Broncos again are considered one of the front-runners for a New Years Six bowl berth.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach wrote up his post-spring top 25 on Monday, and he has the Broncos ranked No. 24. The only Group of Five school he has higher is South Florida, from the American Athletic Conference, at No. 19.

“The Broncos figure to be the best team from a Group of Five conference, especially with quarterback Brett Rypien entering his third season as a starter,” Schlabach wrote. “Boise State has to replace star tailback Jeremy McNichols, who ran for 1,709 yards with 23 touchdowns last season, and his expected replacement, Alexander Mattison, missed the spring after undergoing shoulder surgery. The Broncos were looking for two new starting linebackers, and then senior Joe Martarano, the expected starter in the middle, left the team to pursue baseball. Junior college transfer Michael Young emerged as a potential starter at one of the cornerback spots.”

Also of note in Schlabach’s rankings is Washington State, which hosts Boise State on Sept. 9, at No. 25, and former Boise State coach Chris Petersen’s Washington Huskies at No. 9.