It's a credit to both Boise State and TCU that their appearance in the 2011 in the USA Today preseason coaches poll, released Thursday, is neither exciting nor unexpected. Both teams have become such usual suspects in the Top 25 that it would have been more surprising had they not been included.
Boise State is this year's requisite BCS Buster. They enter the season ranked No. 7, and that means the Broncos are picking up right where they left off. They ended the 2010 season at No. 7 after starting at No. 5 in that preseason Coaches Poll.
The Broncs will kick off the regular-season in Atlanta, GA, taking on the No. 22 Georgia Bulldogs. If they can survive that road trip, it should be easy goings until their November 12th showdown with the No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs.
TCU better enjoy their nouveau riche standing in the Top 25, for this is their last season as a non-BCS team. Next year they join the Big East, where, based on the current rankings, they'd be the best team in the league from the get-go.
The Horned Frogs are coming off a Rose Bowl-winning season that saw them finish undefeated at No. 2, but losses like QB Andy Dalton are what send them tumbling down the rankings. The Frogs should fatten up on a pretty easy September and October schedule. Games against BYU (Oct. 28), Boise State and UNLV (Dec. 3) are the ones circled on their calendar.
Here's the full list of non-BCS teams in the 2011 USA Today preseason coaches poll:
No. 7 Boise State
No. 15 TCU