2019 Boise State Broncos Football Predictions and Odds to Win National Championship
The Boise State Broncos have won at least eight games in each of the last 20 seasons and at least 10 in 15 of those 20. Sure, they play in a lesser conference. But winning that many games that many years in a row is incredible. No off years. No rough transitions. Just steadiness. Frankly, it has made the Mountain West Conference a little boring. You don't have to pay any attention at all to know that they are among the favorites to win the conference - the strong favorite most years, including this one. Most impressively, that consistent excellence has run through four different head coaches. It's something about that blue turf, I guess. And the crazy thing now is that they are in very good shape to add yet another double-digit win season this year.
2018 in a Nutshell
They started out with dominant wins at Troy and against UConn but then suffered a frustratingly lopsided loss at Oklahoma State at the hands of a Cowboys team that just wasn't great last year. They won at Wyoming but then lost another regrettable one at home to San Diego State, though that one was at least close. There were some concerns at the time, but a seven-game winning streak against conference foes and BYU got them back to 10 wins again. They faced a rematch with Fresno State in the conference title game - they had beaten them 24-17 during the winning streak - but they fell in overtime in that one in a game in which neither offense was near their best. That all earned them a date with Boston College in the First Responder Bowl played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. And that is where things got really weird. Just 10 minutes into the game, some severe weather delayed the game. As the delay stretched past 90 minutes, the decision was made to cancel the game.
Key Additions and Departures
It is going to be strange seeing anyone other than Brett Rypien starting at QB for this squad. He has been the starter for four years and is the reigning Mountain West player of the year. He has graduated and left, though - he signed as an undrafted free agent with Denver. There is an interesting contest to replace him. Chase Cord, a sophomore, has a little experience last year, and is dangerous with his feet, but he tore his ACL in October, so his status is uncertain even though he has been medically cleared to return. His biggest challenger is Hank Bachmeier, a true freshman who is the highest recruit in this year's class - the consensus sixth rated pro-style QB, and 235th player overall - but also one of the highest ranked players the school has ever landed. Whoever wins the job will be helped by an offensive line that returns intact and should be a strength and deep and impressive receiving corps. At running back, they lost Alexander Mattison, who declared for the draft as a junior after amassing 1,415 yards and 17 touchdowns last year. He was the only Bronco drafted, going in the third round to the Vikings. There is no clear choice to replace him right now. The team has had a 1,000-yard rusher for a nation's best 10 straight years, but that streak could be in trouble.
On defense, the biggest departure was coordinator Andy Avalos, who took the same role at Oregon. The team welcomes three new defensive coaches but has a very experienced and solid defense to work with.
The Broncos had the 50th-ranked recruiting class, which was a step up from the year before. They were, as usual, the top class in the MWC. Besides Bachmeier, highlights include fellow four-star Casey Kline, a linebacker who might find a little time in a deep position group, and Juco TE transfer Austin Griffin, who is big and athletic and should find some time.
Biggest Area of Concern
It's obviously the quarterback. The team is very experienced on both sides of the ball, and very deep. But they have been spoiled by having the reliable and effective Rypien in charge for so long. Now they will learn how good they had it. If Cord or Bachmeier grabs the job and owns it, then the team will be strong. If they struggle, though, it really opens the conference up.
Boise State Broncos Schedule Analysis
It's a pretty typical Boise State schedule. They face one solid major conference opponent - Florida State in this case, in a game played in Jacksonville. The rest of the nonconference schedule - Marshall, Portland State and at BYU - is manageable, though the latter could be tougher than the rest. The conference schedule is surprisingly soft - San Diego State and Fresno State are the co-second choices to win the conference, and Boise State plays neither. If you are looking for something to be concerned about, it's probably that four of the last six games are on the road, but even that's a stretch - none of the trips are too tough, and two of the opponents are just plain bad. This is a very manageable schedule.
2019-20 Boise State Broncos Betting Odds and Trends
It's a bit of a surprise to me that BetOnline lists 27 teams to win the national title, and the Broncos are not one of them. Sure, the path to a title is stacked against a non-Power 5 squad. But surely the Broncos deserve the respect of being listed as much as some teams on the list do - I'm looking at you, Syracuse and Kentucky. Bovada has the Broncos as the heavy favorite to win the MWC. They sit at +110, well ahead of the Aztecs and Bulldogs at +450.
2019-20 Boise State Broncos Predictions and College Football Picks
It's hard not to like where this team is right now. The QB race is a concern, but both options have upside. And the talent and depth behind them is impressive. There isn't a game on the schedule that scares me - I even expect them to head to Jacksonville and open up with a win against Florida State. Things would really have to go badly for them not to win in the double-digits again. With 14 games likely, I would set the floor at 11 wins - and still look at the over.
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