The First Eight Years

Reset the clock for all Division I-A football schools to zero. We're about to compare the records for all major college football teams for their first eight seasons.


     We have heard often of the storied histories of some of the great Division I-A college football teams—Michigan, USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Nebraska.  We have also heard that teams such as Boise State have had impressive seasons but have not played enough I-A seasons to compare their records against the "big boys".  This research and the accompanying table compares each school from the same starting point—their football team's first recorded results as shown on the web site,  If you are a visitor to this site from another school and can document other results than the ones shown, please send me an EZ Inbox and I will correct the figures below.


     This table shows that, despite the strength of the last several years, Boise State ranks 35th among the 113 schools in the table.  The transition to major college football is often not easy, and the Broncos were one of many that needed a few years to adjust.  They have, however, more than made up for the slow start.  Taken as a whole, Boise State's first eight seasons of Division I-A football are ahead of the pace begun by heavyweights such as Miami (FL), Florida, Florida State, Arkansas, UCLA, Maryland, Tennessee, Auburn, Clemson and Michigan State. 


     Another point that the results show is that success can be fleeting if successful coaches leave, fans do not support the program by attendance and/or financial donations, etc.  Observe the fast start by Vanderbilt, for example, (the 2nd best record among the 113 schools) and compare that to their 2003 record of 2-10.  San Diego State and Central Michigan are two other schools that have not kept up to the promise of their early years.


     Boise State, then, has enjoyed very good comparative success in it's first eight seasons in Division I-A football, ranking in the top third of all I-A schools in that category.  Their start is not as good as some, but better than most.  The future, however, can never be predicted, and to continue along the road that has been set will depend on many factors, including fundraising at this critical juncture in the school's history.  There will definitely be ups and downs in the years and decades to come, but it has been a great beginning!


(Note:  Each team's "first year" is the season in which there is a record of at least 5 games.  The results of this table also include the first eight years in which there is a record of the team's performance.  Tie games count ½ win and ½ loss in figuring each school's winning percentage.  Connecticut, South Florida, Middle Tennessee State and Troy State have not played 8 seasons in I-A.)

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