Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boise State #58 in Learfield Cup Standings revealed on this board last week, Boise State made a jump in the Learfield Cup Standings, which measures the top athletic programs in the country.  The Broncos were helped by the ninth-place finish at the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships and the 39th-place finish at the NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships. 

Even so, Boise State is behind last year's pace, largely because the football team did not do as well in 2010 as they did the year before.  Boise State currently has 169 points, just behind Arizona State, Iowa State and Purdue but ahead of Georgia, Miami of Florida, Clemson and Pac-10 bound Utah.  Hawai'i is the second-highest school from the Western Athletic Conference at #86.

The Broncos hope to pick up points in gymnastics, and the men's and women's tennis teams will also need to score points if Boise State is to match last year's Learfield Cup success.

Complete standings can be found here:

Young, Avery Excel at Boise State Pro Day

NFL scouts, not being good enough at what they do to be able to evaluate talent based on actual football games, were on-hand for Boise State's Pro Day today and reports are the Titus Young and Jeremy Avery improved their stock.

Young, who ran a 4.47 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine, topped that with a 4.35 in the 40 today.  Avery, who wasn't invited to the Combine, recorded a 38-inch vertical.  The scouts wanted to try Winston Venable at safety and Ryan Winterswyk at tight end and had that pair work out at unfamiliar positions.  14 of the Bronco seniors took part in the drills, but reportedly Austin Pettis was not included in the group.  Pettis is comfortable with the numbers he posted at the Combine.

I Expect a Big Season from Doug Martin

In his career thus far, Boise State running back Doug Martin has proven to be the go-to guy when Boise State needed a goal-line touchdown (Fiesta Bowl 2009) and a breakaway touchdown to spur the team to victory (2010 Las Vegas Bowl).  Martin has that rare combination of innate toughness and blazing speed that few running backs have.  That is one of several reasons why I look for Martin to have a sensational senior year.

Martin is a back you can count on in short-yardage situations and a guy that can also get you the 80-yard touchdown to break the game open.  From the time he was Boise State Scout Player of the Year, the Bronco coaches knew they had to find a way to get him on the field.  Originally thought to be a strong competitor for Boise State's all-important "nickle" position on defense, Martin switched to running back when Winston Venable stepped up out of junior college to become a stud at that position.

Martin has excelled since moving back to offense.  Despite not being a starter, Martin led the Broncos with 15 rushing touchdowns and averaged 5.9 yards a pop in 2009.  Martin played considerably more last year and ran for 1,260 yards, 12 touchdowns and a 6.3 average.  So we know the guy has the talent to put forth a monster year.

He'll need to.  Boise State lost star tailback Jeremy Avery to graduation and Matt Kaiserman to too many concussions.  And one can not begin to predict what D.J. Harper will do.  Harper was granted another year of eligibility because of injuries each of the past two seasons.  Behind those two are a couple of walk-ons and a freshman.  While each of those backs can get the job done, Martin has far and away the most carries, the most experience and the most durability.  I don't question at all that Martin could handle 25-30 carries a game.

Talent, durability, depth--those are three reasons why Martin should have an amazing year.  Another has to do with the loss of Titus Young and Austin Pettis.  Those two by all rights should both be drafted in the first round if NFL scouts have a clue (I'm not in the camp that thinks they do.)  Nevertheless, both are huge losses to the receiving corps.  Let me start off this part by saying that if I was out on the field, Kellen Moore would find a way to get me the ball; in other words, I don't think you have to be a great talent to catch some footballs this fall.  So I'm not worried in the least about the Boise State passing game.  But let's face it--you do have some drop-off at receiver when you lose Austin Pettis and Titus Young.  The younger receivers (Hiwat, Burks, Potter, perhaps Miller) will eventually grow into their new roles.

But in the meantime, you want yards you can count on from the get-go, especially in the season opener against Georgia.  The same is true for the rest of the early part of the schedule, until the receivers named above can "get in their groove".  Again, that is not to say that the Bronco passing game will suffer--it won't.  But with Martin, you have the proven, known commodity who you know can get it done in the clutch and get the tough yards.

It's never good to put a number out there as to what I think he'll rush for so I won't do that.  Just suffice it to say that Martin should explode for his best season as a Bronco.

The Boise State All-WAC Football Team 2001-2010

As the Boise State football team prepares to enter a new era, I thought it would be fun to name a Boise State All-WAC team, the top players at each position from 2001-2010 (The WAC years).

QB:  Kellen Moore
RB:  Brock Forsey
RB:  Ian Johnson
WR:  Austin Pettis
WR:  Titus Young
WR:  Jeremy Childs
TE:  Derek Schouman
TE:  Kyle Efaw
T:  Ryan Clady
G:  Tad Miller
C:  Scott Huff
G:  Andrew Woodruff
T:  Daryn Colledge

DE:  Ryan Winterswyk
DT:  Billy Winn
DT:  Andrew Browning
DE:  Shea McClellin
LB:  Andy Avalos
LB:  Korey Hall
LB:  Colt Brooks
CB:  Gabe Franklin
CB:  Kyle Wilson
S:  Quintin Mikell
S:  Jeron Johnson

P:  Kyle Stringer
PK:  Tyler Jones

That's a pretty potent lineup!  Agree?  Disagree?  Name your own team in the comments below.