Dec. 26, 2006
Still, it was a memorable occasion for the unbeaten Western Athletic Conference team in its season-long quest to make it to a Bowl Championship Series game.
"I do think other schools and people may have doubts about Boise State - us being from the WAC, which in other people's opinions has lesser schools," linebacker David Shields said. "I really do think we have something to prove, which is why I am so glad we are playing
Coach Chris Petersen said about 30 players were on the charter. The other 45 or so were making their own way to
The Broncos begin practice Wednesday at
The Jan. 1 contest between his ninth-ranked Broncos (12-0) and No. 7 Oklahoma (11-2) arguably is the biggest game in Boise State history and certainly the biggest in Petersen's six seasons at the school - five as offensive coordinator and one as head coach.
He comes with a groundswell of support from home.
"Once this game came about, it has been amazing," Petersen said. "It seems like the whole city has rallied around the team and the whole valley - the 500,000-plus that live in the
This, the Broncos know, is an entirely different level and Petersen wants his team to get the right mix of business and pleasure.
"These guys have worked their tail off not only this year, but for five years, to get to a place like this," he said. "We definitely want them to be able to enjoy it. ... It's a fine line. We want them to have fun and enjoy their family and friends, but we are also here to play a football game."