For many years, Chris Petersen has resisted the urge to leave Boise State despite interest from other schools and opportunities to coach teams from BCS conferences. It’s been admiral to watch Petersen turn away bigger programs so that he could continue to build the Boise State program, which has performed at a high level for the past decade.
But the time has come for Petersen to reconsider the possibility of taking a better job at a bigger school.
Petersen has had a great run during his eight seasons as the head coach of Boise State, but regardless of what Petersen or anyone else thinks, there’s a limit to what programs like Boise State can accomplish, and the Broncos have already reached their peak and started to decline.
The Broncos have accomplished some incredible things under Petersen’s leadership, including two undefeated seasons and two wins in BCS bowl games, but they simply can’t climb any higher. Petersen and those within the program may think the Broncos are capable of winning a national championship, but they’re dreaming: Boise State can’t accomplish anything new that it hasn’t already accomplished before.
Unless Boise State gets an invitation to join a BCS conference (something they could have done, but ultimately decided to stay in the Mountain West), the program will have limits, and there’s nothing Petersen or anybody else can do to make Boise State rise above the level it has already reached.
If Petersen is truly happy in Boise both personally and professionally, then by all means, he should stay. But if he has aspirations to do bigger and better things in his coaching career, then it may be time to leave. With two losses in the first month of the season, albeit on the road, Boise State appears to be experiencing a bit of a decline as they are no longer a dominant mid-major conference team capable of competing with elite level programs.
Petersen could stay the course and hope to bring Boise State back to the days when they were a BCS buster, which he’s more than capable of doing. But, the time may be right for Petersen to strike while the iron is still hot and move on to a bigger program and a better job in 2014.