The Boise State Broncos enter the 2018 college football season in a very familiar position -- as favorites. Not only will they be the favorites to win the Mountain West Conference, there's a pretty good chance that they'll be favored to win every game on their schedule.
Head coach Bryan Harsin will have the luxury of one of the best quarterback in all of college football -- Brett Rypien -- leading his offense. The Broncos also return the core of the 2017 team that won 11 games.
Be that as it may, the 2018 Boise State football schedule will still feature a handful of teams and scenarios that will prove challenging, as the Broncos try to become the first Group of 5 team to qualify for the College Football Playoff.
12. Sept. 8 vs. UConn
The Huskies will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator and largely an entire new defense from a personnel standpoint. They aren't going to be anything close to competitive with Boise State at this point in the season.
11. Oct. 13 at Nevada
The Wolf Pack aren't afraid of anyone, as evident in multiple close losses in 2017. That said, the defense gave up nearly 34 points a game. Unless we see a dramatic turnaround, that won't be good enough to slow down the Broncos.
10. Nov. 16 at New Mexico
The Lobos are going to have a tough time moving the ball on the ground against any team this season. And if their defense can't get off the field again in 2018, Boise State will turn this into a track meet.
9. Nov. 3 vs. BYU
If he's healthy by the time this game rolls around, quarterback Tanner Mangum is really all the Cougars have. BYU's line is not good enough to keep him upright all day.
8. Nov. 24 vs. Utah State
The Aggies lost a lot of talent in their secondary from 2017. You know Brett Rypien will be foaming at the mouth to put on a show against that group.
7. Oct. 19 vs. Colorado State
The Rams suffered significant losses on defense while also losing one of the best wide receivers in the country -- Michael Gallup -- to the NFL draft. Head coach Mike Bobo is staring down the barrel of a rebuilding year, but he'll do everything to make this one competitive.
6. Oct. 27 at Air Force
To a man, Boise State is probably better than the Falcons at every position. That said, anything is possible in Colorado Springs. You never write in a "W" in ink next to Air Force on the schedule.
5. Sept. 29 at Wyoming
The Cowboys return some defensive playmakers and an experienced offensive line. Even with having to replace Josh Allen under center, Craig Bohl's squad will be ready to give the Broncos all they can handle.
4. Oct. 6 vs. San Diego State
A solid offensive line, a veteran quarterback and a seasoned defense all figure to make this one of the best games of the year in the Mountain West.
3. Sept. 1 at Troy
The Trojans will be working in a new quarterback. Aside from that, they are loaded on both sides of the ball. It'll be a hot one in Alabama in front of a fired-up crowd.
2. Nov. 9 vs. Fresno State
The Bulldogs have a new defensive coordinator, but they'll still boast one of the most talented rosters in the Mountain West. This could be a defensive slugfest played in cold weather.
1. Sept. 15 at Oklahoma State
The Cowboys are now a program that doesn't rebuild, just reloads. They are going to hang points on the scoreboard and Stillwater will be rocking for this mid-September clash.
-- Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.
(Top photo courtesy of BroncoSports.com)