It will undoubtedly be interesting to see what happens in the near future when it comes to college football, the new playoff system and how champions are decided. One thing I’m intrigued to watch is how some officials at certain schools handle the twists and turns. One of those schools for me is Boise State.
The Broncos are leaving the Mountain West for the Big East, a decision that has long seemed a little odd because of geography, but now seems even weirder because the exact situation of the Big East seems uncertain at best. It sounds like Boise State has made a good financial decision in terms of television money and such, but when it comes to playing for a championship, will the Broncos be in any better shape? That uncertainty seems to be leading coach Chris Petersen to continue championing a playoff system that includes more than four teams.
Chris Petersen joined 102.3 The Ticket in Denver with C.J. and Kreckman to discuss his team heading into this season, how Boise State continually keeps itself in the national picture, the four-team playoff, what he would do to make the postseason system work and the challenge of opening the season at Michigan State.
When you lose so many talented offensive players, do you rebuild or reload?:
“We never want to use the word rebuild around there, but we have lost a significant amount of talent. But we think we have some good, young talent. All this is to be determined. We had good spring practices. I think the kids have worked very hard since then, up to now, and if we can stay mentally strong, and continue to work and improve, I think we’ll be OK.”
What makes Boise State unique and how is it that you have remained in the national picture so much recently?:
“I think the one thing that’s really unique about Boise is if you go way back into the 1930s … every transition — from junior college to Division II to Division I-AA and then to Division I football — Boise’s always been pretty good. It’s amazing to look back on. We’ve only been playing Division I football about 15 or 16 years. I get how hard that is to do, so I just feel very fortunate. … It’s kind of all worked and the past handful of years have been pretty good.”
Did the change to a four-team playoff beginning in 2014 feel like a victory for you guys?:
“Not necessarily. I think we’ve been one of many factors. I think there are other teams that have made a statement to say, ‘Hey, what about us?’ And one of the main reasons, too, is, I think we’re heading in the right direction on this playoff thing, but there’s still some real critical things that need to get worked out. Hopefully it eventually gets to eight. … It needs to be equal access. It needs to be good for all of us, not just some of us. That’s still really to be determined on that. That’s the million-dollar question. … I think everybody wants a playoff, but they want it to be right and they want the access to be right.”
What would you do if it was up to you to make that all work?:
“I’d get one helluva selection committee, for sure. I don’t know what that means, but I think that’s going to be a real key component of ‘How do we rank them?’ … I think the integrity of how they’re selected, everyone needs to feel good about. I don’t think anybody felt great about the integrity, maybe, of how the BCS was selected. It was like, ‘How do you even get that BCS ranking?’”
You’re no stranger to opening the season with tough games, but how much more challenging will it be to go to Michigan State with a team that doesn’t have as much experience as in the past?:
“It’ll be the most challenging opening that we’ve ever had since I’ve been there for sure. The other games … had been on neutral fields. This one’s at Michigan State with probably as inexperienced a team as we’ve had in a while. … I’ve studied those guys and they’re going to be very good this year. It’s a huge challenge.”