So how big a deal is the Boise State game, anyway?

Last night, I had an interesting Twitter exchange with Dave Bartoo, who runs the College Football Matrix site, about the Georgia-Boise State game.  This is what started it off:

To which I had this response:

Dave came back with the public perception argument we always hear.!/cfbmatrix/status/95963287639965696

I couldn’t shake him from that, even though I pointed out that meant either Boise State was overrated and/or Georgia was underrated.  And even though he acknowledged that the game was essentially a straight-up match.

So here’s what I’m wondering this morning – if Georgia walks out of the Dome on 9/3 with a win, is it going to be brushed off, much like the 2005 results were?  Will a Georgia win be seen as saying more about Boise State than Georgia?  What if the Dawgs manage a convincing (+14 points) win against the Broncos again?

I don’t think Mark Richt will be one of those making light of a victory.  He’s already got more than he thought he bargained for when the game was being scheduled.

“Our athletic director, Greg McGarity, had told me that Boise State was a possible opponent and said that Kellen Moore was going to be gone. He was a senior. He was leaving. And so I believed him,” Richt said, laughing. “We set the game up, and afterward, I looked at the depth chart and realized he had another year to go. I was hoping he was going to turn pro. He didn’t.”

As scouts go, McGarity is a very good athletic director.

“I don’t know if he did that on purpose or not,” Richt said.


UPDATE:  Man, the grammar police have really taken a disliking to Bartoo’s tweets.


Filed under Georgia Football

54 responses to “So how big a deal is the Boise State game, anyway?

  1. Maybe he should learn how to spell ‘lose’ first, then maybe I could focus on his argument and not his intellect.


  2. TennesseeDawg

    I think a win is a big deal nationally and a really big deal locally. If we lose, especially if it’s not close, then the wheels come off the Bulldog Nation especially with a loss to the chickens. We simply can’t start 0-2 and I’d say Boise is the easier of the first 2 games IMO. We absolutely must be able to run the football on Boise.


  3. Eric

    Hard to take anyone serious who doesn’t know the difference between “lose” & “loose.”


  4. fuelk2

    I was telling someone yesterday that I will be overjoyed if we win this game. If we are a program that absolutely should get a win over a preseason top 5-10 team (as some seem to suggest), then what have we been complaining about the last two years?

    I hope we can all agree that this would be a big win and should be enjoyed accordingly. Of course, I do realize that some of our more vocal fans seem to get off on being miserable.


  5. Bad M

    Yes but “Loose” I can forgive. “apt had bad”? WTF.


  6. Jim

    We can lose both games and still very much be in the hunt for the east. If we lose either convincingly or play poorly that is when I will be concerned about the wheels coming off


  7. Fitzdawg

    If we win, we’ll get some love, but most people will reserve judgment for 7 days. If we lose, hands will be wrung for 7 days. I think the biggest impact will be on how a loss to SC will be viewed… If we beat Boise and lose to SC, SC will get credit for being a credible threat. If we lose to Boise and Beat SC, Boise will be forgotten. If we win both, NC talk will commence. If we lose both, the wheels come off.


  8. Turd Ferguson

    I definitely think there’s some truth to what he’s saying. It’s weird. With these mid-majors, it’s like no one can think of them as teams whose narratives actually change from year to year. There’s no 2005 Boise vs. 2011 Boise, like there’s a 2005 Alabama vs. 2011 Alabama. There’s just Boise. And so, if we win convincingly, I think you’ll hear a lot of people (maybe not on ESPN, but certainly at the water cooler) saying things like, “See, I knew they were pretenders ALL ALONG.” In the eyes of many, I think, if Georgia were to hand Boise their asses, it will somehow also retroactively discredit any of Boise’s previously “impressive” wins throughout the past few years. And so, yeah, I think many will be less-than-impressed if we beat them, no matter their 2011 preseason ranking.

    The only difference between 2005 and now, I think, is that ESPN and various other sports media outlets have really gone “all in” with their love of Boise. So it will be really, really hard for the Herbstreits and Mark Mays of the world to seriously discredit a Georgia win. Their little one-night-stand with Hawaii back in 2007 was short enough for the post-massacre back-pedaling to not seem too hypocritical. But if they do it with Boise this year, it’ll just be too much. They will have backed themselves into a corner, and they’ll HAVE TO give the Dawgs a little credit for once.


  9. Mike

    If Boise is a true top ten team, and if beating a top ten team is a big deal, (and it should be), then losing to one is not the end of REM either.

    Is making this logic acceptable part of a subtle win/win for UGA goal?


    • A loss would still be a loss. No moral victories. But, seeing as BSU isn’t a rival, nor are they a conference foe, a loss isn’t as significant as… say, losing to Sakerlina, Florida, or Tennessee.


  10. The other Doug

    Beating Boise won’t get us back. Everyone will just shrug it off as Boise being over rated. Beating USC and the Head Ball Coach will get UGA back in the national picture.


  11. The whole premise of the argument is flawed. Georgia can’t be in a no-win situation coming in unranked and playing a pre-season top 5 team on national television. If they win, the perception among voters will certainly change for the better. Will Boise fall lower in the standings than Georgia will jump? Possibly, but that doesn’t mean it is a no-win situation for UGA. If anything, that means Boise has more to lose than UGA.

    If you still believe BSU is an upstart midmajor trying to find their place in the world, then watch a football game that does not involve an SEC team once in a while. You’ll be amazed at how entertaining it can be.


  12. Bob

    We won’t know how a W or a L against Boise will be until farther down in the season. Lose but win against USC, UF, etc and we’re still back. Win and we lose to USC, UF, etc and we’re not back. It is about the body of work.


  13. dawghouse23

    What will be funny is that if we beat Boise we will still be ranked lower than them when the polls come out on Sunday because they will have started ranked so much higher than UGA. That’s how much love we will get for beating a top ten team. If we beat USCe the following week we will probably finally jump Boise. Preseason polls, their stupid! (that’s for the grammer police)


    • FisheriesDawg

      I doubt that. We’ll probably jump to the low to mid teens and the voters will be sure to put them a few spots behind us…many voters will dump them into the twenties.

      Or, the ghost of Jared Zabransky could show up and they fall out of the polls altogether (fingers crossed).


      • Sanford222View

        Why would you want them to fall out of the polls completely? If Georgia ins that game you want them to win out and be ranked as high as possible at the end of the season to boost UGA’s SOS.


        • FisheriesDawg

          If we beat them, I don’t care where they are in the polls (as long as it isn’t the #1 or #2 spot in the BCS). Sure, it would be great for them to win out and give us a boost. If we take care of business, though, we won’t need to worry about Boise for our SOS. The past five national champions have been from the SEC. If we win the league undefeated or with one loss, we’re not getting screwed over regardless of Boise’s season (especially since that would mean that the whole Boise issue is out of the picture).

          I was crossing my fingers instead for a total humiliation of Boise by Georgia, much like the one when Jared Zabransky came to Athens for a rousing Quincy Carter tribute performance.


          • BenG

            Here’s a horrible scenario for you. What if we lose to Boise in game one, they go undefeated, and we run the table to win the SEC? No way there’s a rematch. The thought of that makes me need a drink.


            • FisheriesDawg

              There are ways there would be a rematch, but I have a hard time seeing how we would be deserving of playing for a national championship if we lost to a Mountain West team in what amounts to a home game.

              It would be a lot like 2007 all over again. Yeah, it sucks when you’re not playing for all the marbles when you think you could win, but if you don’t like it, then take care of business the next time around.


  14. Russ

    Nationally, there may be some that discount a Dawg win over Boise, but locally, I think people would be very pleased. Boise’s a tough team.

    Here’s an idea – how about we actually beat them and then let’s find out what everyone’s reaction will be?


    • It’s July 27th. What do you want me to post about? 😉


    • baltimore dawg

      being someone who lives outside the south and travels a lot, it certainly seems true that uga football’s national perception is tepid. that sweet oval g i often wear and that adorns my car is almost always mistaken for green bay (apparently these people are colorblind) and in baltimore for gilman (*sigh*). even when i meet fans of the sport, their impression of uga is foggy. they know two things: herschel (if they’re old enough) and the 2008 al blowout (no one watched the 2nd half).

      the boise game is critical to the team’s psychology. i know it’s just one non-conf game, but it’s hard for me to imagine a reasonable path to a good season if we lose because i’m not sure our players or coaches have the mental reserves to bounce back.


  15. Biggus Rickus

    I admit I’m not up on my message board chatter, but are there really a lot of Georgia fans who look at Boise the same as they did six years ago? I think Georgia has better athletes overall, but Boise is well-coached and certainly has good enough talent to beat anyone in a given game. Georgia will have to be much improved over the last two seasons to win this game. In that sense, the game will be an important measuring stick.


    • FisheriesDawg

      The problem is that Boise isn’t logical to people. The only reason they have for being good is what is apparently a very good coaching staff. Georgia has better athletes, better facilities, better resources, etc. And it isn’t like we have a Pop Warner coaching staff, either.

      Ever since the ’05 Georgia game, they’ve managed to defy the odds in every program-defining game. Maybe they know something that every other mid-major in CFB doesn’t. Maybe they’re just really lucky and need to be hanging out in casinos a lot more (notwithstanding their second trip to the state of Nevada last season). Who knows?

      The point is that the 2005 Georgia game is the last Boise game against real competition that makes any logical sense. That’s why people hang on to that version of Boise in their minds.


    • zdub

      From what I’ve seen, I don’t think too many message boarders think the same of Boise that they did 6 years ago. They may say some of the same things (they don’t play a tough schedule, they only play 1-2 good teams a year, etc) but if you asked them to be honest they would probably say that they have as good a chance as anyone else at beating us. That’s not doom and gloom, it’s fact. They show up for big time games and every time they’ve done that, they’ve won (since ’05 of course), for the most part.

      BSU is a good football team. They will come to play on Sep. 3, no question. We have to get on them early and often if we hope to win. Stop their first quarter offensive blitzkrieg and put them in a hole early.

      That said, and I will continue to say this, this game is not make or break. National relevance or spotlight does not interest me; let tOSU and USCw and BSU have it all. The next week against SCe is the big one. Win that game and we can make a run for the SEC, which should be our main goal every year. Lose and, no matter what happened in the BSU game, we will have our work cut out for us.


      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Do you think Boise is better or worse than UCF, the last team UGA played? Do you see a vast improvement in the UGA team between Dec. 31, 2010 and September 3, 2011? These are the 2 questions that scare me about the Boise State-UGA game.


  16. HK

    Got to keep in mind whose perception “public perception” is. Is it ESPN, or other football nerds on these message boards.

    If its ESPN, its almost a toss up. Seems like after any game like that they generally just flip a coin to decide how they’re going to treat it and stick with it…. except…. they’re carrying the UGA SC game in prime time the next week and its in their best interest for UGA to win and then promote them all week. Look for that to happen if they win. Guaranteed.

    As for other message board nerds, unless we just look like absolute world beaters (and maybe even in spite of that), all the UGA people will be happy but about half will still say Boise sucked anyways and we’ll see next week when they play some real competition. Every other team’s fans will also say we’ll see next week and that’ll be even worse with all the hype UGA will get from ESPN.

    Would you have given Virginia Tech much credit if they had beaten Boise week one? No, the attitude of Big 6 team fans is “please don’t have a bad week; beat these guys so we don’t have to hear about them all year….. you should win and if you don’t you suck and its going to be your fault that we have to hear announcers talk about Boise St. in the middle of every single other game for the rest of the year”.


    • FisheriesDawg

      [i]No, the attitude of Big 6 team fans is “please don’t have a bad week; beat these guys so we don’t have to hear about them all year….. you should win and if you don’t you suck and its going to be your fault that we have to hear announcers talk about Boise St. in the middle of every single other game for the rest of the year”.[/i]

      +1,000,000. Very well-stated.


  17. FisheriesDawg

    They’re a respected enough team that a win will at least get the discussion going that Georgia may be back, though people won’t be willing to go all-in on that statement until after the South Carolina game. It certainly won’t be comparable to starting the season off with a win against Oklahoma or Oregon, but it isn’t a win against Georgia Southern by any means either.

    What is interesting is that the game is so different for both programs. For Boise, this game (and to a lesser extent the TCU game) is their season. Win this one and you’re locked into the MNC discussion for the season unless you do a major belly flop. Lose it, and your season is over, start planning for a bowl in Las Vegas/Hawaii/Boise in December.

    For Georgia, win it and you move on to next week (and so on). Lose it, and you’ll be a laughingstock in the SEC, but outside of the MNC game (which none of us are really expecting this season anyway), you at least have the opportunity to redeem yourself. Whether we go in the tank due to the embarassment of losing to Boise is another question, of course.


  18. Doug

    Here’s a thought exercise that may or may not mean anything: Let’s say you’re on “Let’s Make a Deal,” only with Chris Fowler hosting instead of Monte Hall. There are two doors:

    Behind Door #1, there’s the season Virginia Tech had last year — the Dawgs lose a heartbreaker to Boise in the opener but go on to win the conference title. In other words, you only know the outcome of one specific game, but you’re guaranteed an SEC title.

    Behind Door #2, there’s a win over Boise, but you don’t know anything else. It could be a 10-win season and an SEC title; it could be a donkey.

    Which door do you pick? I go #1 every time.


    • FisheriesDawg

      If door #1 is an ACC title, I take door #2 every time. Those things are worth about as much as Camden County winning Region 3-AAAAA every year…not much at all.

      Make it an SEC title, and it becomes a much more difficult decision. Three years ago I would’ve taken my chances on #2. Given the state of the program now, an SEC title would go a long way for the near future and it might not be worth the risk.


      • Silver Creek Doug

        Damn Fisheries,

        That hurts since I am a proud graduate of a 3-AAAAA school (NOT Camden County).

        They also say the truth hurts…


    • Stoopnagle

      We’ve got a few SEC titles. Call me crazy, but I’d like to see UGA in the BCS game. I don’t think losing to Boise is going to get us there.



  19. Macallanlover

    I don’t get the lack of respect for Boise, any CFB fan who disses what they have done over the past decade is simply looking through their “elitist” glasses and not being objective. Do I think any of those BSU teams would have won an SEC title? No, but I don’t think any tOSU teams of that period would have either.

    While their conference schedule has too many creampuffs to truly test them adequately, they have performed damned well when given the chance to play top flight programs, and that was against more severe odds than they will face in September 3. (Yes, I was there in 2005 but that game was no more representative of the relative talent of the two teams than the 2008 UGA/Bama game, or the 2006 UGA Auburn games was….it was simply a “roof caved in” game that spiraled out of control. It happens, just like our loss to Colorado and CF and their loss to Neveada was last year.)


  20. H-Town Dawg

    Bartoo sounds like a Tech nerd. Same kind of lame, hate-based “analysis” we’ve come to expect from the Phantom Menace crowd in Atlanta. The reality is that Boise was a Top 10 team last year and is expected to be one again this season. Georgia was not and IS not predicted to land in the Top 10 this year. The Dawgs will get credit for knocking off the Broncos. This isn’t the 2005 opener, when UGA came in having compiled a 33-6 record over the previous three seasons, including a pair of SEC title game appearances and an SEC title. The game will not necessarily be a good predictor of how the Dawgs will do in the SEC but I’m convinced the Dawgs will get respect for winning a high-profile opener.


  21. Greg

    The argument against Boise is that 9-10 of their games are gimme’s. They obviously can compete with anyone on a given night, but they have no idea what it’s like to play in a conference where you have to avoid any significant let down week after week. A team in the SEC that loses 3 conf games…say to UF, Bama and LSU(with a couple of those being on the road) might still be a very good team that is top 25 in the country. Boise will be rated higher because they dominate their crappy league and Boise fans believe they are the better team by virtue of the rankings. Nothing to prove otherwise…until this game. That’s why I think this game is much more important to Boise in the big scheme of things than UGA. If Boise loses to an SEC team that is generally regarded as the 5th or 6th best team in the conference at this point, then what claim do they have to be a top 25 team, much less top 5? They need to win this game impressively to continue perpetuating the myth that they are a top 5 team. With all due respect to their coaching staff, BSU does not have the talent or resources to be a top flight team in a major conference.

    The MWC is a step up from the WAC, but not much of
    one with Utah and BYU leaving. UGA, TCU(at home)… who else? Nevada? Personally, I’d be pulling against Boise no matter who they were playing in this game. Nothing against the little guys in general terms, but its disturbing to me to see a team being thrown around in the national title discussion with the schedule they are playing week in and week out. It would be nice to see that nonsense put to an end in the first weekend of the


  22. AthensHomerDawg

    We just need to beet they’re ass and be done with it! 😉


  23. Stoopnagle

    You’re only as good as your last game.

    Who is better? UCF or Boise?


  24. Ausdawg85

    I suppose you could just summarize this analysis as, “Its theres too loose.”


  25. spelling nazi

    He needs to learn that loose and lose is not the same word before arguing. Geez.


  26. W Cobb Dawg

    The BSU game was announced at a time that helped boost recruiting during the homestretch to signing day. I think it also provided a spring board game in 2011 for CMR & Dawgs to redeem themselves from the embarrasing UCF loss. Yes, any conference game is more important. But this will be a big deal – on national TV, in the Georgia Dome, in front of about 70,000+ Dawg fans. Similar to the ‘man enough’ game, it’s the equivalent of a bowl game as far as CMR’s mojo is concerned.