|Boise State Broncos football|
|Athletic director||Curt Apsey|
|Head coach||Bryan Harsin |
7th season, 68-18 (.791)
|Field||Lyle Smith Field|
|Field surface||Blue FieldTurf|
|Bowl record||12–7 (.632)|
|Playoff appearances||8 (5 Div I-AA, 3 Div II)|
|Claimed national titles||2 (1958 JC, 1980 D-I AA)|
|Conference titles||20 (6 Big Sky, 2 Big West, 8 WAC, 4 MWC)|
|Rivalries||Brigham Young (rivalry)|
Fresno State (rivalry)
|Colors||Blue and Orange|
|Fight song||Orange and Blue|
|Marching band||Keith Stein Blue Thunder Marching Band|
The Boise State Broncos football program represents Boise State University in college football and competes in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) as a member of the Mountain West Conference. The Broncos play their home games on campus at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho, and their head coach is Bryan Harsin. The program is 12-7 in bowl games since 1999, including a 3-0 record in the Fiesta Bowl. As of the end of the 2019 season, the Broncos all-time winning percentage of .731 is the highest in all of collegiate football.
Eiden was succeeded by Harry Jacoby, who coached the team from 1938 to the middle of the 1941 season before being called into Army service. The remainder of the 1941 season was coached by George "Stub" Allison, who posted a record of 2-1 (.667). The Broncos did not compete in intermural football from 1942 to 1945 due to having a reduced male student population during World War II. Following the war, Jacoby would return to coach the Broncos for one more season in 1946, posting a final record of 14-15-2 (.484).
After a year as an assistant, Lyle Smith was promoted to head football coach of Boise Junior College in 1947. Smith saw incredible success as head coach, winning his first 31 games in a row as head coach. In 1950, the team moved into a new 10,000-seat stadium. With the outbreak of the Korean War, Smith, still undefeated as a head coach, was recalled to the Navy and was only able to coach in the first three games of the 1950 season.George Blankley assumed the head coaching duties for the remainder of 1950 and the entire 1951 season in Smith's absence and compiled a 16-2 (.889) record. Smith returned as head coach in 1952 and stretched his winning streak all the way to 37 games before suffering his first defeat. In 1954, Smith was a leading candidate for the vacant job at his alma mater Idaho, but withdrew his name from consideration, content at Boise. Boise won thirteen conference titles in football under Smith and the NJCAA National Football Championship in 1958. Smith's final record is 150-25-6 (.845). Coach Smith never had a losing season as the head coach.
Boise State's football program moved up to four-year status in 1968 under new head coach Tony Knap and competed as an NAIA independent for two seasons. The Broncos were accepted into the NCAA in October 1969, and a month later into the Big Sky Conference, effective the following July. The Broncos began NCAA competition in 1970 in Division II ("College Division" prior to 1973) in a brand new Bronco Stadium. Knap and the Broncos won three consecutive Big Sky titles from 1973 to 1975 and compiled a record of 71-19-1.
Knap was succeeded by Jim Criner in 1976, a defensive assistant the previous season under Dick Vermeil at UCLA, the Rose Bowl champions. BSU won the Big Sky again in 1977, and in 1978, the Broncos and the Big Sky moved up to the new Division I-AA (renamed FCS in 2006). A scouting violation late that season at NAU resulted in probation and compromised an excellent 10-1 season in 1979, undefeated in conference at 7-0; the Broncos were ineligible for the Big Sky title and I-AA playoffs. Off probation in 1980, BSU won its first national title, taking the I-AA national championship over defending champion Eastern Kentucky in Sacramento. A runner-up to Idaho State in the Big Sky in 1981, BSU hosted Eastern Kentucky in the I-AA semifinals, but lost, 17-23.
Lyle Setencich was promoted from defensive coordinator to head coach of Boise State following Criner's departure. Under Setencich, Boise State posted a 24-20 record in four seasons. Setencich's final season in 1986, the first season of blue turf, saw the first losing campaign (5-6) for the Broncos football program in four decades, winning just one road game and losing the final two home games. He lost all four rivalry games against Idaho and resigned following the season.
Skip Hall, previously an assistant coach under Don James at Washington, was hired after Setencich's resignation. In Hall's second season in 1988, the Broncos returned to the Division I-AA playoffs, their first appearance since 1981. Hall's best season was in 1990, when Boise State advanced to the national semifinals, falling in a high scoring game against Big Sky rival Nevada, the conference champion whom the Broncos had defeated a month earlier in Boise.
The Broncos turned to Portland State head coach Pokey Allen to lead the Boise State football team after Hall resigned. In Allen's second season, the Broncos returned to the championship game in 1994. After 26 years in the Big Sky, BSU joined the Big West Conference in 1996 and moved up to Division I-A (now FBS).
Head coach Houston Nutt made the step up to NCAA Division I-A the next year when Boise State hired him away from Murray State to take over the program. Two years after making the Division I-AA finals in 1994, Boise State's first year in Division I-A had been difficult and was looking for a recruiter and motivator to jump start their program following Allen's death.
Nutt's team posted a 5-6 record in 1997, playing at the Division I-A level with its Division I-AA players. Nutt's team beat rival Idaho on the road in overtime for the first BSU win in Moscow since 1981. Additionally, Boise State almost pulled off an upset against Wisconsin of the Big Ten.
In three seasons under head coach Dirk Koetter, who previously served as Oregon's offensive coordinator, the Broncos were 26-10, won two Big West championships and moved to the Western Athletic Conference effective in 2001. In his three winning seasons at Boise State, Koetter won ten or more games twice, with two bowl wins.
Dan Hawkins was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach on December 2, 2000. In 2004, Hawkins was honored with his second Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Coach of the Year title in three years. Through the 2005 season, he compiled a 53-11 record as Boise State's head coach, including a 37-3 record in WAC competition with four straight WAC titles. Only Walter Camp, George Washington Woodruff and Bob Pruett had more total wins in their first five years of head coaching. He holds a 31-game WAC winning streak, the longest in conference history. One of his first hires at Boise State was Chris Petersen as his offensive coordinator; Petersen was a quarterback at UC Davis while Hawkins was an assistant coach, and was the wide receivers coach at Oregon under head coach Mike Bellotti.
After five seasons at the helm of the Broncos football program, Hawkins left for Colorado of the Big 12 Conference. He had three top 25 finishes, won ten or more games three times, and won two bowl games.
At Boise State, Petersen won two Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year Awards, voted on by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He is the only coach to receive this award twice, which debuted in 1986.
Under Petersen, Boise State recorded two undefeated seasons, three undefeated regular seasons, and reached the Bowl Championship Series twice. The 2006 season was capped with a memorable upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, while the 2009 team defeated TCU in the Fiesta Bowl to finish at 14-0 and were fourth in both major polls. They were just the second team ever to go 14-0 in the history of major college football.
Petersen brought Boise State football its highest ranking during the 2010 season. The team rose to second in the Associated Press poll during weeks 7, 8, and 9, and No. 2 in the Coaches' Poll, as well as earning the No. 3 slot in the first BCS ranking. After 2010, Boise State joined the Mountain West Conference.
In May 2011, Boise State Athletics was cited by the NCAA for "lack of institutional control," for one major violation in women's tennis and several minor violations in four sports, including football. While the football program's violations were minor (student athletes provided fellow recruits with meals and beds while visiting campus), the football program suffered serious penalties nonetheless. The Boise State football program was given three years' probation, lost three scholarships a year, and had its number of Fall practices reduced.
As a result of the NCAA violations, Gene Bleymaier, the athletic director who brought blue turf to Boise State in 1986 and promoted Petersen 20 years later, was asked to resign, and ultimately fired when he refused. Despite President Bob Kustra's firing of Bleymaier, boosters continued to support him. Just two years later, the new football facility was named in his honor.
Between 2008 and 2011, the Broncos went 50-3 to become the first FBS team to win 50 games over a four-year span. With the 50-3 record, quarterback Kellen Moore became the winningest quarterback in FBS history, passing former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy (45 wins).
On December 7, 2011, it was announced that the Broncos would join the Big East Conference as football-only members in July 2013, in a division with Memphis, SMU, Houston, San Diego State, and Temple. However, the following year Boise State announced they had decided to stay in the Mountain West Conference, leaving the Big East without ever playing a game in the conference.
Petersen accepted the head coaching position at the University of Washington of the Pac-12 Conference on December 6, 2013. The vacancy was created when the Huskies' Steve Sarkisian left to take the head coaching position at USC. Petersen finished his eight seasons as head coach of Boise State with a record of 92-12 (.885), with three top 10 finishes, seven seasons with ten or more wins, six top 25 finishes, two Fiesta Bowl titles, five bowl wins, and five conference titles. He was at BSU for a total of 13 years, the first five as offensive coordinator under Hawkins. Assistant head coach Bob Gregory was named interim head coach for Boise State's bowl game.
On December 11, 2013, Bryan Harsin returned to his alma mater from Arkansas State as Petersen's replacement. Harsin had been an assistant for the Broncos under Petersen and was co-offensive coordinator at Texas under Mack Brown. In his first season in 2014, they went 10-2 in the regular season and won the Mountain West Championship Game, defeating Fresno State 28-14. This was Boise State's first outright Mountain West Conference championship. The Broncos faced the Arizona Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl and won 38-30 for a 12-2 record and were ranked 15th in both major polls.
Boise State shared the Mountain division title in 2016, going 10-3 with wins over Washington State and Oregon State. BSU was 11-3 in 2017 and won their second Mountain west conference championship under Harsin with a 17-14 win over Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship Game. Boise State capped the season with a Las Vegas Bowl win over Oregon and climbed to 22nd in both final polls. In 2018, Boise State was 10-3 overall; they won the Mountain Division championship and beat three teams that won ten or more games (Troy, Utah State, and Fresno State) and were ranked in both final polls. In 2019 Boise State went 12-2 won the opener at Florida State went 8-0 in the Mountain West conference play for the first time in the regular season, won the Mountain Division and won the conference championship 31-10 vs Hawaii and finished ranked in both final polls. Under Harsin, Boise State is 64-17 (.790) through 2019, with at least nine wins per year, a 3-2 record in bowl games, won three conference titles, five division titles, and have been in the AP final poll four times.
Head coaching records since Boise State became a four-year school in 1968.
^ Mason was the interim head coach for the first 10 games of the 1996 season while head coach Pokey Allen battled cancer.
* Gregory was the interim head coach after Petersen took the job at Washington.
! Ties eliminated after the addition of overtime in 1996--Big Sky began overtime for conference games in 1980
The Broncos have appeared in 20 official bowl games with a record of 12-7, including two wins in BCS bowl games and one win in a New Year's Six bowl. Their appearance in the 2018 First Responder Bowl was ruled a no contest after being cancelled due to inclement weather. Through the 2019 season, Boise State is tied with Wisconsin with 18 straight bowl games which is the 5th longest active bowl streak in the country behind Virginia Tech, Georgia, Oklahoma and LSU.
|1999||Dirk Koetter||Humanitarian Bowl||Louisville||W 34-31|
|2000||Dirk Koetter||Humanitarian Bowl||UTEP||W 38-23|
|2002||Dan Hawkins||Humanitarian Bowl||Iowa State||W 34-16|
|2003||Dan Hawkins||Fort Worth Bowl||TCU||W 34-31|
|2004||Dan Hawkins||Liberty Bowl||Louisville||L 40-44|
|2005||Dan Hawkins||MPC Computers Bowl||Boston College||L 21-27|
|2006||Chris Petersen||Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma||W 43-42 OT|
|2007||Chris Petersen||Hawaiʻi Bowl||East Carolina||L 38-41|
|2008||Chris Petersen||Poinsettia Bowl||TCU||L 16-17|
|2009||Chris Petersen||Fiesta Bowl||TCU||W 17-10|
|2010||Chris Petersen||Maaco Bowl Las Vegas||Utah||W 26-3|
|2011||Chris Petersen||Maaco Bowl Las Vegas||Arizona State||W 56-24|
|2012||Chris Petersen||Maaco Bowl Las Vegas||Washington||W 28-26|
|2013||Bob Gregory||Hawaiʻi Bowl||Oregon State||L 23-38|
|2014||Bryan Harsin||Fiesta Bowl||Arizona||W 38-30|
|2015||Bryan Harsin||Poinsettia Bowl||Northern Illinois||W 55-7|
|2016||Bryan Harsin||Cactus Bowl||Baylor||L 12-31|
|2017||Bryan Harsin||Las Vegas Bowl||Oregon||W 38-28|
|2018||Bryan Harsin||First Responder Bowl||Boston College||No contest|
|2019||Bryan Harsin||Las Vegas Bowl||Washington||L 7-38|
The Broncos were members of Division I-AA for eighteen seasons, from its inception in 1978 through 1995. They appeared in the I-AA playoffs five times with a record of 8-4, and were I-AA national champions in 1980.
National Championship Game
|1988||First Round||Northwestern State||L 13-22|
Middle Tennessee State
L 52-59 3OT
National Championship Game
The Broncos appeared in the Division II playoffs three times, with an overall record of 1-3; all three losses were to the eventual national champions.
Pioneer Bowl (Semifinals)
|1974||Quarterfinals||Central Michigan||L 6-20|
|1975||Quarterfinals||Northern Michigan||L 21-24|
In 1977, Boise State (9-2) was undefeated in the Big Sky (6-0) and won another title. Due their regular season not ending until November 26 at Idaho, the same day as the first round of the Division II playoffs, BSU was replaced by runner-up Northern Arizona, who lost 35-0 at home.
The Broncos had one appearance in the NCAA College Division postseason, with a victory in the West regional final in the Camellia Bowl in 1971. No semifinals or finals were played in the College Division from 1964 through 1972, a poll followed the four quarterfinals.
|Year||Record||AP Poll||Coaches Poll|
Since 1970, Boise State has played its home games in Albertsons Stadium (known as Bronco Stadium from 1970 to May 2014), which enjoys a reputation as one of the most difficult places in the country for opposing teams to play. The stadium is well known for its blue artificial surface, which was first installed in 1986 making it the first college stadium field to be any color other than traditional green, as well as the only college to have a non-green field for 22 years (1986-2008). "The Blue," as it is called by fans, is one of the most distinguishing and enduring symbols of Boise State football. Boise State holds a trademark on any non-green field, not just blue. Therefore, anyone (high school, college, or otherwise) must apply for a license from Boise State before installing a football field any color other than green. Boise State is one of 7 college football programs in the United States to have a non-green playing surface. Other schools with non-green fields are as follows: (FBS) Eastern Michigan University (Gray), Coastal Carolina University (Teal), (FCS) Eastern Washington University (Red), the University of Central Arkansas (Grey and Purple), (Division II) the University of New Haven (Blue), (NAIA) Lindenwood University (Red and Grey). Hosei University in Tokyo, Japan also has a blue football field. Boise State recently approved the proposal for a blue field at Luther College (Division III). As of December 7, 2019, the Broncos are 128-9 (.934) at home since the 1999 season. The Broncos won 47 straight home conference games from 1999 to 2011 and were undefeated at home in conference play during their 10 years in the WAC (40-0). The Broncos are 122-7 (.946) in regular season home games since 1999, and had a winning streak of 65 regular season games from 2001 to 2011. Their current home winning streak stands at 7.
In 2011, citing a "competitive advantage," the Mountain West Conference banned Boise State from wearing their all-blue uniforms for home conference games as a condition of joining the conference. When questioned about the ban, Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson confirmed that either the jerseys or pants could be blue, provided that the other be white or orange. After Boise State decided to not join the Big East Conference and remain in the Mountain West the uniform restrictions were lifted beginning in the 2013 season. The NCAA considered a rule that would have required a team's uniform, either jersey or pants, to contrast the playing surface. The rule would have banned Boise State's all blue uniforms at home and most other teams from wearing all green uniforms as well. The NCAA eventually decided against instituting the rule.
|Year||Conference||Coach||Conference record||Overall record|
|1973||Big Sky Conference - (Div. II)||Tony Knap||6-0||10-3|
|1974||Big Sky Conference||Tony Knap||6-0||10-2|
|1975||Big Sky Conference||Tony Knap||5-0-1||9-2-1|
|1977||Big Sky Conference||Jim Criner||6-0||9-2|
|1980||Big Sky Conference - (Div. I-AA)||Jim Criner||6-1||10-3|
|1994||Big Sky Conference||Pokey Allen||6-1||13-2|
|1999||Big West Conference - (Div. I-A)||Dirk Koetter||5-1||10-3|
|2000||Big West Conference||Dirk Koetter||5-0||10-2|
|2002||Western Athletic Conference||Dan Hawkins||8-0||12-1|
|2003||Western Athletic Conference||Dan Hawkins||8-0||13-1|
|2004||Western Athletic Conference||Dan Hawkins||8-0||11-1|
|2005 §||Western Athletic Conference||Dan Hawkins||7-1||9-4|
|2006||Western Athletic Conference||Chris Petersen||8-0||13-0|
|2008||Western Athletic Conference||Chris Petersen||8-0||12-1|
|2009||Western Athletic Conference||Chris Petersen||8-0||14-0|
|2010 §||Western Athletic Conference||Chris Petersen||7-1||12-1|
|2012 §||Mountain West Conference||Chris Petersen||7-1||11-2|
|2014||Mountain West Conference||Bryan Harsin||7-1||12-2|
|2017||Mountain West Conference||Bryan Harsin||7-1||11-3|
|2019||Mountain West Conference||Bryan Harsin||8-0||12-2|
§ - Conference co-champions
|2014||MW Mountain Division||12-2 (7-1)|
|2016||MW Mountain Division||10-3 (6-2)|
|2017||MW Mountain Division||11-3 (7-1)|
|2018||MW Mountain Division||10-3 (7-1)|
|2019||MW Mountain Division||12-2 (8-0)|
- Division co-champions, did not play in MW Championship Game.
|2014||Albertsons Stadium||Boise, Idaho||Fresno State||W 28-14|
|2017||Albertsons Stadium||Boise, Idaho||Fresno State||W 17-14|
|2018||Albertsons Stadium||Boise, Idaho||Fresno State||L 16-19 OT|
|2019||Albertsons Stadium||Boise, Idaho||Hawaii||W 31-10|
|Games Played||BSU Win||BSU Loss||Win %||First Meeting||Last Meeting||Next Scheduled Meeting||Trophy|
|11||7||4||.636||2003||L 17-51||2021 in Provo||No trophy|
BSU has had a rivalry with Brigham Young University since they began playing in consecutive years in 2012. Because of the close region of the schools and some close finishes in recent games, it has developed into a targeted rival for each team & their fanbases.
The two schools begin a new 10-game agreement on Oct. 25, 2025 that extends through the 2034 season.
|Games Played||BSU Win||BSU Loss||Win %||First Meeting||Last Meeting||Next Scheduled Meeting||Trophy|
|21||15||7||.682||1977||L 16-19 OT (2018)||2021 in Fresno||Milk Can|
BSU has had a rivalry with Fresno State University since joining the WAC. The series is 15-7 all time in favor of Boise State. In 2001, the series became a WAC match-up, christened with Boise State's upset over No. 8 Fresno State 35-30. In 2005, the series became the Battle for the Milk Can, and No. 20 Fresno State ended Boise State's 31-game winning streak against WAC opponents with their 27-7 victory. After being played as a non-conference game in 2011, the series continued as a conference game in 2012. The winner of the game receives the Milk Can. Although Fresno State has five all-time wins over Boise State, only two wins have come since they have played each other every year since 2001. In the 2014 season, Boise State played Fresno State twice, winning both times, the second one coming in the Mountain West Championship, which Boise State won for the first time. Fresno State was looking to repeat as champions. They met twice in 2017 in back-to-back weeks as they ended the regular season with a game in Fresno, which Fresno won, before meeting the next week in the Mountain West Championship in Boise, which Boise won. In 2018, Boise State upset No. 16 Fresno State 24-17 to end Fresno's seven game winning streak. Three weeks later, the Bulldogs avenged their regular season loss by defeating Boise State 19-16 in overtime in a snow covered Mountain West Championship Game.
The rivalry is no longer an annual affair following the expansion of the MW to 12 football members in 2013. At that time, Boise State and Fresno State were placed in separate football divisions (respectively, Mountain and West). As part of the new scheduling arrangement, all cross-divisional games rotate in a four-year cycle, with two years of play followed by two years off. This in turn means that the game was not played in 2015 or 2016.
|Games Played||BSU Win||BSU Loss||Ties||Win %||First Meeting||Last Meeting||Next Scheduled Meeting||Trophy|
|40||22||17||1||.563||1971||W 52-14 (2010)||Governor's Trophy|
Boise State had a 40-year in-state rivalry with the University of Idaho, which began with a Bronco victory in the first meeting in 1971. They met every year through 2010, and with the exception of four years (2001-2004), the matchup was a conference game. The rivalry was dominated by streaks as Idaho won 12 straight years from 1982 to 1993, while Boise State won the most recent 12 games between 1999 and 2010, mostly by large margins. BSU leads the rivalry with a series record of 22-17-1 (.563).
After Boise State's move to the Mountain West Conference in 2011, Boise State has refused to play Idaho home and home in football. As a response, Idaho has refused to play Boise State at Taco Bell Arena for men's basketball. As of 2018, no future games for football or men's basketball are currently scheduled.
|Games Played||BSU Win||BSU Loss||Win %||First Meeting||Last Meeting||Next Scheduled Meeting|
|43||30||13||.698||1971||W 31-27 (2018)||
Boise State has a long-standing rivalry with Nevada. Boise State leads the series 30-13. Boise State and Nevada have been conference rivals in the Big Sky Conference, the Big West Conference, the WAC, and the Mountain West. However, the series is no longer an annual affair after the 2013 expansion, as Nevada was placed in the opposite division from Boise State. They play each other only twice every four years. The last game was in 2018 with the next game coming in 2021.
The series was played as a non-conference game in 2011 as the teams met in Boise during Nevada's last year in the WAC. Nevada split the WAC championship with Boise State in 2005 as both teams finished 7-1 in conference play. Boise State beat Nevada on the last game of the season in 2006, giving Boise State a berth into their first BCS bowl. In 2007, in one of the highest scoring games in NCAA Division I football history, Boise State defeated Nevada 69-67 in four overtimes. Recently, the conference championship has been decided by the Wolf Pack and Broncos' late-season games. In 2010, Nevada defeated No. 3 Boise State 34-31 in overtime, ending the Broncos' BCS National Championship hopes. The rivalry between the two schools felt as if it had been rekindled after Nevada's win, since Boise State had won the past 10 games dating back to 1998. Boise State and Nevada have played one time in the postseason in the 1990 I-AA semifinal. Nevada won the game in triple overtime 59-52, and would go on to lose in the final.
|Air Force||6||3||.625||Won 4||2011||2020|
|Colorado State||10||0||1.000||Won 10||2011||2020|
|Fresno State||15||7||.682||Lost 1||1977||2018|
|New Mexico||10||1||.900||Won 5||1999||2019|
|San Diego State||3||3||.500||Lost 1||2011||2018|
|San Jose State||14||0||1.000||Won 14||1978||2019|
|Utah State||20||5||.800||Won 4||1975||2020|
Announced schedules as of September 24, 2019.
|Year||Home Games||Away Games||Neutral|
|2021||UTEP, Oklahoma State||UCF, BYU|
|2022||Michigan State, BYU||Oregon State, UTEP|
|2023||Oregon State, UCF||Michigan State, BYU|
|2024||Houston||Georgia Southern, Oregon|
|2025||Oregon, BYU||South Florida, Houston|
|2026||East Carolina||Oregon, BYU|
|2027||South Florida, BYU||Rice|
|2028||Cincinnati||East Carolina, BYU|
Philadelphia Eagles (2019), BSU (2005-07)