Knowing the teams now will save you time in August and Matt Fargo is here to help you get a grasp of what to expect this upcoming year.
We go from worst to first in this 2006 College Football Preview.
#38 - Boise St.
Broncos 9-4 SU; 7-5 ATS Fargo's Take Last season was the first in three years that the Broncos did not win at least 11 games but 2005 was still considered a huge success.
won the WAC for the 4th consecutive season and with almost everyone coming back, a 5th title is on the horizon.
The offense was explosive once again but turnovers held the Broncos back.
Quarterback Jared Zabransky threw 16 interceptions last year but he should cut those down this season, his third year as a starter.
The defense was stout against the run, finishing 15th or better in the country for a fourth straight season.
The passing defense was its undoing on that side of the ball but there should be improvement in that category.
The biggest concern is the coaching staff as Dan Hawkins is no longer around and all three of the coaches are in completely new roles for the first time.
There is so much experience on both sides that it should not make much of a difference at all.
Returning Starters on Offense - 9 The play of Zabransky, who has tossed 28 interceptions the last two seasons, is the major concern on offense.
The passing offense was 62nd in the country last year, rather low for Boise St.
Zabransky will have the services of his top three receivers from last season as well as four starters from the offensive line.
The line allowed only 19 sacks last year and also led the way for the rushing game that averaged 202.
5 ypg, 19th in the nation.
Three of the top four rushers are gone but sophomore Ian Johnson is back.
He was second on the team with 663 yards and averaged a healthy 5.
The offense won't miss a beat since new head coach Chris Peterson served as the offensive coordinator under Hawkins.
The Broncos averaged close to 13 ppg less than what they averaged in 2004 but we should see a big increase in 2006.
Returning Starters on Defense - 9 With nine starters returning on defense, the unit should improve upon its 51st ranking in both total defense and scoring defense.
The strength will once again be up front as three of the top four from the defensive line are back as well as some amazing depth.
Leading tackler Korey Hall is back to man the linebacking unit making the front seven the best in the WAC once again.
All four starters return in the secondary but that can be a vicious circle since the unit finished 100th in the country in passing defense.
They did however come in at 68th in passing efficiency defense and there have been some position changes that should put the right people in the right places.
After allowing 25.
7 ppg and 24.
4 ppg the last two seasons, the Broncos should knock the average back down to fewer than 20 ppg.
Schedule The Broncos never shy away from a tough non-conference schedule, i.
Georgia and Oregon St.
last season but it is a little more manageable in 2006.
is on the slate once again but the Beavers must travel to Bronco Stadium, a place where they lost by 19 points two years ago.
Also on the out of conference schedule is Sacramento St.
and Wyoming as well as its toughest test, a game at Utah.
The WAC does have some improving teams this year but the Broncos are head and shoulders above most of them.
The biggest tests will naturally come from Hawaii and Fresno St.
but Boise St.
catches both of those games on the blue turf.
There is one game on the schedule that the Broncos better be weary of and that is the season finale at Nevada, a game that could decide the WAC Champion.
You can bet on...
The Broncos can run the table this season as the majority of their difficult games are at home.
An undefeated season is not that far fetched but in order for Boise St.
to crack the BSC party, it needs more consistent play from Zabransky.
Remember this team went undefeated in 2004 before losing to Louisville in the Liberty Bowl so even getting to a BSC bowl with an unblemished record is no guarantee.
The Broncos are a covering machine, going 49-26-2 against the number over the last seven years and that run should keep going with both units to show likely improvements.
is 26-9 ATS as a home favorite over that seven-year span and being favored in all six of its home games this season will present more cash-making opportunities.