Once again, the Broncos must prove themselves worthy against a BCS conference opponent.
A loss to the Spartans will confirm to those who will never be convinced otherwise that BSU still isn't ready to play with the big boys and has reverted back to its mid-major ways after losing celebrated quarterback Kellen Moore to graduation.
A win will be seen by some as an unexpected blip, evidence of Boise State having a whole offseason to prepare, or the result of trickeration by Broncos coach Chris Petersen.
But here are the facts: Boise State is a remarkable 73-6 overall since 2006, with a sterling 8-1 record against teams from BCS conferences since then.
|Busting the BCS|
|2006||Oregon State||W 42-14|
|2007||at Washington||L 24-10|
|2008||at Oregon||W 37-32|
|2010||*Virginia Tech||W 33-30|
|2010||Oregon State||W 37-24|
|2011||^Arizona State||W 56-24|
|* Neutral site game ^ Bowl game|
As the results above show, the Broncos have more than held their own against the the so-called big boys.
Still, the matchup with the No. 13 Spartans is going to be a challenge. The Broncos are a decided underdog, with nine starters lost from last year's defense, including several NFL-draftees from its front seven. And junior quarterback Joe Southwick makes his debut in a hostile environment against a physical Michigan State defense that is among the best in the country.
CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman broke down the Boise State-Michigan State matchup and all the issues surrounding it on Tuesday's edition of College Football 360
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