By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Under the new guidelines of SEC football scheduling, the Ole Miss season opener does not meet the requirement of power conference opponent.
If that structure was in place for 2014, the Rebels would have to find that with someone else on the schedule.
However, it’s clear that Boise State has the attention of Ole Miss players.
“Boise is known for winning. They’ve got some talent. If we were playing a I-AA school we probably would just go through the motions because we’d know we had the talent to beat them,” sophomore wide receiver Laquon Treadwell said. “I think this helps a lot.”
The Broncos are coming off an 8-5 season and are transitioning with a new head coach. Bryan Harsin was a player at Boise and a long-time assistant coach before moving to Texas and finding his way to Arkansas State.
Harsin was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Broncos when they captured the attention of the nation. From 2006-2012 with Chris Petersen as head coach Boise was 84-8 with four top-10 finishes.
Harsin left after the 2010 season and joined Mack Brown’s Texas staff, with whom he would visit Ole Miss in 2012.
Last year Harsin was head coach at Arkansas State. The Red Wolves went 7-5, 5-2 in the Sun Belt Conference and for the third-straight season with a one-year coach earned at least a share of the league title.
Harsin says those top 10 Boise teams had a run of talent that would make any team proud.
“We had 12-14 guys who were NFL players. When I left we were sitting really good from a talent standpoint. I think we are now, but that remains to be seen,” he said.
Harsin concedes that the talent level might be different, but the mindset is not.
“The mentality has not changed a whole lot, and that’s what was important to us,” he said.
“We have to develop it ourselves. Boise State has won and has a tradition of winning. These players are here for that reason. We want to uphold that from our end.”
While Treadwell, 6-foot-2, respects Boise’s talent he likes the idea of going against cornerbacks who aren’t as tall as he is.
Bryan Douglas and Donte Deaton are both returning starters for the Broncos, and both are 5-9.
“They’re small. They like to stay on top. They rarely come up on you. We should have a good day,”Treadwell said.