Broncos picked to win Mountain Division; Conference weighs in
Broncos picked to win Mountain Division; Conference weighs inPhoto: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
At the sports book at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, the Boise State basketball team is being laid 100/1 odds to win the NCAA Championship next year . The football team is only getting 150/1 to win the BCS Title.
"I think our basketball team is doing awesome," laughed Broncos football coach Chris Petersen. "I hope the football program can keep up!"
If their vote is any indication, the Mountain West media members think those odds are easy money. The Broncos were chosen as a near-unanimous favorite to win the Mountain Division in the conference’s preseason poll. It’s the third straight year BSU has been bestowed that honor. Boise State accrued all but one first-place vote, which went to new-comer Utah State.
"Until somebody knocks the Broncos off, it’s probably theirs to lose," said Aggies coach Matt Wells.
"It's everybody’s goal to somehow get to the point where Chris Petersen has been able to take that program," explained Wyoming coach Dave Christensen.
In the West Division, Fresno State was tabbed as the runaway favorite. The Bulldogs only surrendered two first-place votes- one to San Diego State, the other to San Jose State.
"I think this country’s eyes will be awakened if they see a Boise State and a Fresno (in the championship game)," said Bob Davies, New Mexico's head coach. "That’s pretty good football."
Davies isn’t the only one looking forward to seeing the best of the Mountain West squaring off in December.
"I think every player is excited for that," said San Jose State QB David Fales. "Everybody wants to get to that conference championship."
"We can duke it out and see who is gonna take it. We don’t have to share it anymore," added San Diego State lineman Bryce Quigley.
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr took it a step further. "Whichever city gets to host that (game)... Financially, it's smart and it makes sense for the conference and the city. They gotta eat, they gotta get gas, and they gotta sleep somewhere, so it’s great."
Five Broncos earned first-team all-Mountain West nods at the end of last season, but only two are back with the squad this year- center Matt Paradis and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. Both were named to the Mountain West preseason all-conference team, as was left tackle Charles Leno.
Coach Petersen said all three are great players, but he isn’t about to pat them on the back.
"That’s really saying what they’ve done in the past. The stage is set for all those guys those guys to have good seasons, but they’ve got to go out and earn it," said Petersen. "Everybody has to take the next step. The bulls-eye is going to be a little bit bigger on their chest."
Boise State’s three selections were the third-most in the conference, trailing five players from Utah State and a whopping seven from Fresno State, including quarterback Derek Carr, who was named preseason offensive player of the year.
"Winning the Mountain West player of the year trophy at the end of they year feels a lot better than the beginning of the year," laughed Carr. The Bulldogs' gunslinger threw for over 4,000 yards and 37 touchdowns last season, leading the twelfth-best passing attack in the country. He’s primed for another huge year, and hasn’t forgotten Fresno’s loss to Boise State in 2012.
"I won’t even let my wife beat me at anything. I hate losing. When we lost that game, it was hard, but when they came back to the conference, I was happy. I saw the schedule and I said ‘Hey, I get another shot at them.’"