The Boise State Broncos finished this season with a record of 10-3. To most programs, this would be considered an extremely successful season. Why is it then that the fan base known as “Bronco Nation” has been murmuring for the past three weeks? Is it the fact that the team was a complete “no-show” against a 6-6 Baylor in the Cactus Bowl? Is it the head coach? Bryan Harsin hasn’t seen the same success as his 2014 campaign (his first season as head coach) when he took over for Chris Petersen. Whatever it is, why in the world would a fan base be upset about three losses in a season?
Maybe it’s not the losses though. See, minus the Baylor game where the Broncos were simply outmatched, out-coached, and outplayed, the other two losses were both by less than one score. Although the losses are frustrating, it’s actually some of those ten wins that frustrate the fans.
A lot of those ten wins were just like the losses. Boise State consistently played down to the level of their opponents and showed many weaknesses. The offense refused to put their foot on the gas and put teams away. Turnovers crushed momentum on multiple occasions. The lack of a pass rush proved to be costly in many games, especially the Cactus Bowl. What do all of these boil down to?
A good coaching staff understands how to get to their players, how to coach them and help them develop into smart, game changing athletes. A good coaching staff can make adjustments throughout the game. A good coaching staff can recruit the four-star athletes to come to Boise. Why can’t this coaching staff do that?
Say what you want, but the argument is there when they say Coach Harsin is hard to play for. Over the past couple weeks we have seen players de-commit from Boise State and it seems like one of the coaches leaves every year. Good coaches are those that kids want to play for. One that others want to coach with. Why does everyone leave? Don’t say it’s because of the money.
It’s not like these guys are getting multi-million dollar deals like Chris Petersen did when he left to Washington. There has to be something behind the scenes. Does Harsin have a problem with relinquishing power to others on the staff? For some reason, he just can’t seem to give up the offensive play calling just yet.
I’m not saying the problem is all Harsin. What I am saying is that there is some validity to the arguments people are making. With Boise State fans so accustomed to winning, Harsin better hope that next season is a successful one (and by successful I mean much better than this year) or he might see himself without a job in Boise.
Keep an eye on Mike Sanford at Western Kentucky this season. The ex-offensive coordinator/Boise State quarterback has landed a head coaching job over there and I would not be surprised if some eyes are secretly checking out how he does. Just saying.