Monday, November 22, 2010

PWtW Week 12 Preview (Part 1)

"An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing."
~Samuel Smiles

"We always feel better in anticipation. You don't think about somethin' and think 'Aw, it's gonna be shitty.' No! You say 'This is gonna be the greatest weekend ever! Sonuvabitch!' And then, by Monday, you're throwin' up and you're thinking 'Ya know, I always knew those guys were pricks!'"
~Lewis Black

I defy my readers to find a quote superior to that second one that better summarizes the experience of anticipating a Boise State-Nevada game of the last few years and the interactions with Bronco fans in cyberspace that have followed those losses.

I say "in cyberspace" because the personal interactions I've had with Boise State fans have almost all been exceptional, and are one aspect of Friday night's game I truly am looking forward to. It's when my attention turns to some of their Internet fans that my head starts throbbing, my faith in humanity wanes and I suddenly have an intense desire to commit seppuku.

Anyway, you read that title correctly: this is but the first part of a preview so big that it deserves TWO parts! Don't get all excited at once. The time has finally come -- let's do this thing.

Boise State Broncos


This is it, children. The Big One. What is arguably the biggest game in the history of Nevada Wolf Pack football, of the current Mackay Stadium and certainly of the current season of WAC football. Two nationally ranked teams. Twenty wins between them. A share of the WAC title on the line. Tickets sold out two months in advance. National championship implications for one team. Twelve years of pent-up frustration coming to a head for the other team. Chances to make different kinds of history for both teams. The last home game for Nevada's most accomplished group of seniors. No hyperbole or exaggeration here -- this is the real thing. Fuckin' A.

Both teams' respective seasons have been building up towards this Friday night, and the fact that they each have one game left after this is just an anti-climactic coincidence (you can probably thank Herr Bensonf├╝hrer for that one). Even when Nevada lost to Hawai'i back in October, all that did was eliminate any hopes they had for an outright championship. The road to a title still goes through Boise State -- it was true before that game, and it's still true this week.

Not only that, these teams need each other. With the exception of the Broncos' opening win against Virginia Tech, none of the opponents either team has beaten has given them much help in the strength-of-schedule department. BYU and Toledo will both be in bowl games somewhere, but they're just different shades of mediocre at this point. Cal needs to beat Washington for their sixth win, and Oregon State would have to beat either Stanford or Oregon to get theirs -- good luck with that. Colorado State, Wyoming and NSU are all putrid -- thanks for nothing, you worthless schmucks. And that's in addition to the always-stellar slate of Bottom 10 pillow fighters who come and go during conference play. The fact is that neither team has impressed many people to date with who they've beaten, with BSU obviously having the best win between them. Like Batman and the Joker, each team will give purpose and strength to the other (but for the record, Nevada gets to be Batman).

"What would I do without you? No, you complete me! And I'm not a monster. I'm just proven. And my field is blue."

Perusing the box scores of each of their games, neither Boise State nor Nevada has faced much in the way of serious adversity this year. Nevada has trailed in only two games, while BSU hasn't trailed in any game since Week 1. Each team is accustomed to having their way most weeks, and one of them will be very unhappy as soon as they fall behind. The only way there could be higher stakes for who wins that opening coin toss would be if this guy flipped it.

With that said, Boise State has arguably had the most convincing performances week in and week out of any team in the nation aside from Oregon. But even Oregon came uncomfortably close to losing at Cal, and if Nevada has a good plan of attack in place for Friday night and executes it, they can do the same. In the next entry, I'll immerse myself in all the important statistics and outline what it will take for Nevada to pull out a win.

1 comment:

kevanlee said...

I assume you are referring to OBNUG (RE: Bronco fans) because we can kind of be intolerable at times. It's all in good fun. I promise.

Speaking of which, shoot me an email about maybe swapping some Q&A this week. I'd love to pick your brain. kevan@obnug.com