BSU Football Legends Analysis

Comparing the greats and predicting the next legend

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Welcome to the first survey analysis post from Bronco Brief!

We announced what we’re up to recently, and we’re ready to give Bronco Nation some nitty gritty, geeky, BSU football analysis and hot takes. Ryan, Jose, and Cameron (me) will be kicking ideas around for you to all check out if you’re into it.

Table of Contents

  • BSU Football Legends Survey
  • How knowledgable are we? Years following?
  • Ranking the Legends
  • Segmenting the Rankings
  • Most over-rated player
  • Most under-rated player
  • Future Legend?
  • Research Requests
  • Want more?

BSU Football Legends Survey

For our first survey, we decided to focus on the greats. Ever find yourself talking nostalgically about our Bronco legends? Maybe you’ve gotten in a debate with a friend about which were better. We were doing exactly this, and we wanted to see what others think.

Here are our public survey results.

We’re all about data transparency, so you’ll be able to see the overall results for all of our surveys. In analysis pieces, like this one, we’ll do some fancier slicing and dicing to tell you which types of fans are answering similarly and differently.

How knowledgable are we? Years following?

Let’s start with some context. I wanted to know how big of BSU fans we’re dealing with here.

Most are self-identifying as “Very” or “Somewhat” knowledgeable, but we do have some very confident fans as well (“Extremely knowledgeable”).

And most of our respondents have been following BSU football closely for 10 years or more! Wow. We’ve got an experienced bunch.

Ranking the Legends

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Ranking the legends against each other.

Kellen is head and shoulders over the rest. To me it seems like we have 5 tiers of players here:

  1. Kellen, all by his lonesome.
  2. Runner-ups. Leighton, Demarcus, Doug, Jay, and Ryan are all pretty close to each other.
  3. Bronze. Shea, Austin, and Ian are all pretty close to each other in this third cohort.
  4. Honorable mention. Titus, Matt Paradis, Matt Miller, Kyle Wilson, and Thomas.
  5. Brock Forsey. Maybe shouldn’t have been on this list…

This is all well and good, but I’m interested to see how the most knowledgable and experienced fans do the rankings. Enter segmentation!!

Segmenting the Rankings

I mashed up the rankings with the knowledge level question and also the years experience to see how different groups of fans are answering differently.

The standout to me here is that more recent BSU fans don’t give Kellen as much respect and prioritize the young-uns like Leighton.


To be honest, our top 15 list was a little arbitrary. There were a bunch of players that we debated including, but I drew the line at 15. We were hoping you’d show us the error of our ways with the next two questions: most over-rated and most under-rated players.

Most over-rated player

Ian Johnson caught some shade with this question, and so did McNichols and Wilson. The reason they show up in the word cloud is because they were mentioned 3 or more times. There were lots of other players named too — you can check it out here.

Most mentions of over-rated

Most under-rated player

And Thomas Sperbeck was super popular for most under-rated. I totally get it — he was always just doing his thing, Mr. Reliable. Loved his game.

Most mentions of under-rated

Future Legend?

And now, for the other fun question in the survey — of the current players, who’s most likely to be considered a legend someday, with the greats listed above?

Had a tie between Avery Williams and David Moa (Moa Constrictor!) I’m personally on the Avery train, but Moa’s awesome too. I’m stoked Moa’s going to be back again for this season.

And do the votes change much based on how knowledgable or experienced you are?

The biggest stand out to me is that Avery got more love than David from the more experienced fans. Actually, the most experienced fans prefer John Hightower to Avery. Very interesting.


Research Requests

When we asked everybody what we should research next, we got a lot of requests for more rankings, team comparisons, and an evaluation of the coaching staff. We’re on the same page!

Top words used in response to “What should we research next?”

Want more?

If you liked this post, and want to respond to future surveys, make sure you’re on the list to get them in your inbox! Subscribe here.

And, BSU Football is great and all, but there’s a lot more important stuff in life. If you want to participate in research on important Idaho issues, join Make Idaho Better!