David White

We all hoped for something else, but Friday night is where this Bulldogs program is at

Told you that was no Top 25 team.

Oh, sure, the paperboy electorate has been assigning Fresno State a seat in the media poll the past few weeks, and the College Football Playoff syndicate pegged your Bulldogs as the 23rd best thing going in November.

But we all knew Fresno State hadn’t beaten anybody worth an encased helmet in the hall, and we mean you, UCLA. Deep down, where your cholesterol clogs, you suspected that all the Bulldogs proved in an 8-1 start was they were a lot better than a lot of worse-off teams.

Now we all know the truth. Fresno State is more Next 25 than Top 25.

We wrote that a month ago when the Bulldogs were arm-barring the Mountain West Conference’s worst into tap outs, and we’ll say it again after Friday’s 24-17 atrophy number at Boise State’s Little Shop of Why Do We Even Bother.

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Are you really surprised? Have you not seen this idea-free show play out a million visits before?

Is it really so terrible to know your team is better than most? Because, the Bulldogs still are a good team that runs circles around the average Mountain West Conference bears.

They’re just not Top-25-Crash-The-Fiesta-Bowl Good. But then, they never have been, so where does anyone get off making that the expectation in the first place?

The only reason Fresno State was ranked in the Top 25 is because there weren’t 25 Top 25 teams still standing. Get ready for Boise State to take Fresno State’s seat in the back-end of the polls, and hope Fresno State can attrition its way back in by season’s end.

In the meantime, Fresno State doesn’t belong. Friday saw to that unmarketable truth.

Top 25 teams don’t blow 14-point leads on the road to an unranked team, like your Bulldogs just did. They don’t make nationally televised games an occasion for a season-high in penalties, including three false starts by people who aren’t offensive linemen.

Top 25 teams don’t suggest their defense is No. 2 in the Land of Free Scholarships when those numbers are stacked against opponents with a combined file of 35 wins against 50 losses. More to the point, said No. 2 scoring defenses don’t give up 21 straight points in the second half of any game to anybody that isn’t as ranked as you.

Please tell us you knew Fresno State wasn’t as good as its statistical profile suggested. Pretty please tell us Fresno State isn’t going to brag about making it 22 straight games holding a team under 30 points when they lost anyways.

You knew better than to crown your team until they beat Boise State. This is why you never came close to selling out Bulldog Stadium. This is why you haven’t gone crazy for your nationally ranked team like you did all those other years.

It kills you to see Boise State beat you on that blasted blue turf every single time. It pains you to see the Broncos out-physical your Bulldogs – and when their running back thuds 30 carries on you for 144 yards and two touchdowns, you better believe you got served.

You love coach Jeff Tedford, and rightfully so, but you hate that his Bulldogs are 18-2 with halftime leads when The Two are both losses at Boise State.

Deep down inside, you’re hoping Utah State is the team you play in the conference title game, because you just know the Bulldogs can’t win on Potato Hill. Boise State is just as 8-2 as Fresno State, and yet they feel a hemisphere removed.

Suck on a syringe of truth serum long enough, and you’ll confess this now has you worried Fresno State won’t even get to the title game. San Diego State is still in the way, and you should be concerned.

After all, the Aztecs won in Boise this year. When’s the last time the Bulldogs did that?

We’ll answer for you. Back in 1984, long before it was something worth bragging about.

Three-point stance

1. The Paradise High football team removed itself from the playoffs Friday after the Camp Fire destroyed their Northern California city. We know everyone wants a fairy tale where the local team lifts the community spirits. We’ll admire this team just the same for putting first things first and digging their lives out of the rubble.

2. Man, we love Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion. He always stays calm on the field. He rarely forces bad throws. And he answers every lousy postgame question with minimal rolling of the eyes. Didn’t blame refs, didn’t make excuses. That’s a leader right there.

3. Anthem protests aren’t killing NFL television ratings. Putting the 49ers on prime-time television against the Raiders and Giants in consecutive weeks is doing the job. Call me when they flex the 49ers-Giants to the ’90s, and we’ll think about watching again.