A case can be made for either team being piqued for this game or emotionally high. The fan base may be in direct polar opposite to what goes on inside the locker room. What is left is pile of facts and stats.
Boise’s coaching changes might be a distraction. Frankly, I think that has little to do with anything, it just makes a good story line or talking points by broadcasters. Players are focused on playing. I don’t think any of them will be down in a three point stance and thinking, ‘I wonder how Coach Pete likes his new office?’
The suspension of Joe Southwick is not a problem. Frankly, I didn’t see him being a factor. The only way he could have been if he was at a 100% with a game or two under his belt.
There is always a lot of hoopla about conference pride. I don’t think Oregon State cares a wit about the PAC 12s reputation. They are concerned with only their own.
I’ve known players who have played in high profile games, conference against conference, and the coaches and players don’t care. They pretend to care. It adds to the drama and their own self-importance. They want to win for themselves. They don’t feel the obligation to carry the reputation of the conference on their shoulders. When you do that to yourself, you are caving to media pressure and assuring defeat.
It’s team against team. Man against man. That’s it. Their motivation is to win – period.
Most of the preparation and planning is done by the coordinators. Head coaches pull things together for the final strategy. They march up and down the sidelines and get the camera time and the half time obligatory inane questions by a babe whose only experience is a year of lingerie football.
In the BSU/Oregon State game little will be missing in actual strategy. The only ones to make a big deal about the outside stuff will be pendants and guys like me looking for excuses and reasons.
Oregon State has a guy who passed for over 4,000 yards and a defense that gives up points like a drunk buying rounds on pay day. Boise State has a balanced offensive attack, but don’t balance it. They call runs when it should be pass and call pass when it should be run. They call the wrong runs and the wrong passes. They are as predictable as a sunrise.
My heart wants a Boise win. It will cap-off an otherwise disappointing season. If Boise executes a good game plan and holds Oregon State’s passing offense to respectable and not insane numbers, I look for a BSU 35-28 win.
My head keeps telling my heart, “You have been wrong so often this year, please listen to me, at least once.” Well, I can’t help it, I’m a fan. I don’t cave to logic.
Oregon State was on the cusp of being ranked this year. All six losses were from very good football teams, three of them ranked. Boise’s losses came from marginally good teams. My head tells me 45-35 Oregon State.
Let me conclude that sometimes a bad season or embarrassing loss is the best thing for a program. Last year Auburn was 3 and 9. Last year Michigan State was 6 and 6 in the regular season. Two years ago Ohio State was 6 and 7. These teams are all 11 and 1 this year. One is in the national championship game and the other two were just a win away from being there.
Many often conclude a great win is a springboard for the next season. To the contrary, a defeat gives you something to think about for 8 months. Look what the MAACO Bowl loss did for the UW opener against BSU.
Revenge is a terrible personality trait, but a wonderful motivator. With that in mind I’m going out on a limb for the opening game of 2015, BSU 42 – UW 7.
1. Boise over UW 35-17 (Actual, 6-38 UW, hope springs eternal.)
2. Boise over UT Martin 49-0 (Actual 63-14, got the spread.)
3. Boise over Air Force 45-17 (Actual, 42-20, missed by a field goal on both ends.)
4. Boise over Fresno 45-30 (Actual 41-40 Fresno win, Frankly if the game were held any place, but Fresno…)
5. Boise over Southern Miss 49-10 (Actual 60-7, Petersen purposely left the first team in too long to foil me and Demarcus Lawrence was off-sides on one of his blocked field goals [not really, I’m just a sore loser})
6. Boise over Utah State 35-7 (Actual, 34-23, My original prediction was 52-7. I think if BSU would have played the second half without their foot on the brake that would have been more likely. Let’s be honest the game was not really that close.)
7. Boise over Nevada 52-10 (Actual, 34-17. If not for the Southwick injury Boise would have scored 50+ and Nevada would not have scored 17.)
8. Boise over BYU 38-21 (Actual, 37-20 BYU. BYU was simply too big and too strong. Boise turned the ball over 4 times.)
9. Heart: 45-10 BSU, Head: 35-24 BSU (Actual, 42-30. My head was close on the spread. BSU D had a real lapse and the Broncos put the brakes on in the second half.)
10. Head: 40-23 BSU, Heart: 55-14 BSU (Actual 48-7 BSU. My heart was closest. In fact, Wyoming was lucky to score.)
11. Head: 40-27 BSU, Heart: 48-17 BSU.(Actual 34-31 SDSU) Like I mentioned earlier and upset was on my mind, but I changed it. I’ll live with being wrong.)
12. Head and Heart 63-7 Boise. (Actual 45-17 BSU) I just picked a number. I knew it would be a cakewalk. Boise is not good at keeping the intensity going on the sideline; that’s coaching.