When college football writers and analysts need a collective synonym to describe a BCS-busting team during the season, “Boise State” seems to be the phrase that pays. Who’s to blame them? Two BCS bowl appearances in the past six years, a dynasty which featured the most winningest quarterback in college football history, and on and on it goes. It seems the Broncos are more frequently associated with their 2007 magic run than the recent dominance as a program. A contrarian I may be on the stance, it is not the topic of discussion.
These new, potential “Boise State” teams have been spotted in recent years. Look back last season at gunslinger Case Keenum and the Houston Cougars, who rose as high as No. 8 in the BCS standings in 2011. Two seasons ago, the Nevada Wolfpack and their Pistol-slinging offense rose up to No. 13 (still a touchy subject, I get it). Now, there is a new gladiator entering the gauntlet to give the automatic-qualifiers a run for their money.
This is a team who got spanked by the Broncos two years ago 49-20 on the blue turf. A squad who’s record (excluding this season) stands at 13-12 the past two seasons. The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are the emerging leaders for the next BCS-busting team.
Who would’ve thought the Bulldogs would have started the season an impressive 5-0 and cracking the AP poll last week at No. 23. With noteworthy wins over Houston and Virginia, these Bulldogs are not barking up any certain tree this season, they want recognition.
It’s hard to not be blind-sighted by their potent offense (3rd in the nation for points for with 53.2), seeing as Head Coach Sonny Dykes is implementing the Hal Mumme Air Raid offense. While it may sound foreign, it’s one of the more recognized schemes in the history of college football.
Working the quarterback out of the shotgun, the offense lines up with one running back and four receivers (sometimes in a trips formation) as they conduct a run and shoot offense, having receivers work in motions and on-the-fly adjustments; its purpose to catch the defense off-guard. Seeing as Dykes took over the head coaching position in 2010, where the offense ranked No. 52 overall, it now lays at No. 3, making a safe assumption the Air Raid is in full-effect.
It would be premature to say the success lies solely on Dystra, or this pattern will continue on in favor of Louisiana Tech, but who is to say it isn’t? If the Bulldogs can get passed No. 22 Texas A&M this Saturday, it is smooth sailing for the WAC’s only hope. A win over a worthy opponent, a soft remaining schedule and watching other BCS teams fall could vault the Bulldogs into, or past, No. 16 in the BCS rankings to be this year’s BCS buster, a first in the university’s history.
With the Broncos in a similar position this season in terms of rooting for others to lose to progress, it’s hard not cheer for the underdog, the misrepresented, the “children of the poor”. I mean, what do you think college football fans were doing just a few years ago after the infamous Statue of Liberty? See if someone else can fit in the glass slipper.