Boise State beat Fresno State 17-14 last season to win its first Mountain West championship since 2014. This season the Broncos certainly want to repeat as conference champions but they have something bigger in mind.
They want to be the UCF of 2018 and continue a big old argument.
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Last season UCF went 14-0, winning the American Athletic Conference and beating Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Knights couldn't really sniff a spot in the College Football Playoff but were able to parlay that undefeated season into a self-proclaimed share of the national championship. That claim, however false, still had the whole country talking about UCF and its place on the college football landscape. You can't buy that kind of exposure.
Boise State, the original outsider, would like to run the table and have the whole world talking about the Broncos again.
There are reasons to believe that Boise can win them all.
Senior quarterback Brett Rypien is the leading returning passer in the FBS with 9,876 yards. He played particularly well in the final eight games with only one interception. He has decent talent at receiver and a 1,000-yard rusher in Alexander Mattison.
Nine starters return from the No. 3 defense in the conference a year ago.
The biggest obstacle between the Broncos and an undefeated season looks like a Sept. 15 trip to Oklahoma State. But Boise could lose to Oklahoma State, win the Mountain West again, and still get to a New Year's Six bowl as the highest-ranked team from the Group of Five conferences.
But if Boise gets to 13-0 with a win over Oklahoma State, it will make for some interesting discussions among the College Football Playoff selection committee.