Boise State Football – A Tradition of Excellence

By: Brent Hanson

Boise’s own Boise State Football

Boise State University has certainly become a popular household name. And it comes as no wonder since the Boise Broncos and their trademark “Blue Turf” have been plastered across many of our nation’s flat screen televisions. Though today’s BSU football has forever sealed the Broncos on the college football map, the founders of BSU might be very surprised to see exactly how very large and well-known the school has grown throughout the years.

In 1892, the sleepy town of Boise, Idaho had a small Episcopalian school named St. Margaret’s which began to cultivate a larger student population and by 1932 evolved into Boise Junior College. However, it wouldn’t be until 1965 that this more intimate college began to award four-year degrees and finally in 1969 officially became Boise State University. Now with its title of Idaho’s largest university, BSU awards associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Though most students live off-campus, the university has over 20,000 full-time students attending on average. With their very prominent football program, game days in Boise tend to be heavy on the Blue and Orange color schemes. Which brings up another important topic: football!

The Beginning of Boise State Football

When Boise Junior College began recruiting enough students to field a football team, the season and the stats were hardly noteworthy (1-2-1). During World War II (1945-47) the team took a hiatus to support those men who served in the military. Once the boys made it back home, football season picked up right where it left off. Coach Lyle Smith got the ball rolling with an impressive 31-game winning streak, even missing three games on account of his own active military service (Korea).

Dedicated coaches, determined players and a team that inspired the pioneering spirit of the West, the Boise State Broncos have become synonymous as a dark horse contender (make that a dark ‘blue’ horse) and their efforts have played out on some of the biggest college stages. BSU has earned a reputation as a quietly humble team, not one to generate fodder for the tabloids, instead BSU has stunned sports casters, statisticians and some of the biggest schools with their unpredictable tenacity and heart-stopping dramatic play. Under the direction of coach Chris Peterson, during 2008-2011 the Broncos went 50-3 in an unprecedented title of winning 50 games in a four-year span. In 2009, BSU defeated TCU in the Fiesta Bowl to clinch a perfect 14-0 season.

Though Boise State has yet to reclaim their title and their undefeated season, they are still a strong and popular college football team. The 2014/15 season promises to be fraught with exciting opponents, some from within the Mountain West Conference and others from across the country.

Don’t forget to wear your blue and orange on game day!