BOISE, Idaho (AP) Boise State coach Chris Petersen's message to voters who saw fit to drop his team a spot in the polls this week: No hard feelings here.
Despite the Broncos' 59-0 rout of New Mexico State on Saturday, Oregon claimed the No. 3 spot the Broncos have held since the start of the season. Voters were apparently more impressed by the Ducks' 52-31 victory over Stanford, which was ranked ninth last week.
No great fan of early-season polls anyway, Petersen says the demotion is no big deal.
If it were up to him, Petersen would have voters wait until later, when conference play winds down and the elite teams and their resumes offer a clearer picture of college football's pecking order.
"To me, wait until December, and then it's news whether this conversation is even worth having," said Petersen. "As we all know, there is going to be a lot of things happening between now and then."
Still, the drop in The Associated Press Top 25 is a reminder of the challenge the 4-0 Broncos face heading into a section of the schedule populated by softies.
On Saturday, Boise State faces Toledo (3-2, 2-0 MAC) then it's more conference games against San Jose State, Louisiana Tech and Hawaii. At this point, the next chance for the Broncos to bolster their national title credentials in the eyes of voters comes Nov. 26 when they travel to No. 23 Nevada.
In many ways, the Broncos are prisoners to their schedule and membership in the Western Athletic Conference.
But Petersen says he's not going to lobby for his team, at least not now. And don't expect the Broncos to play with style points in mind and run up the score against lesser opponents.
Against the Aggies, Petersen replaced quarterback Kellen Moore & Co. early in the third quarter and leading 45-0. He followed the same blueprint two weeks ago in a 51-6 rout at Wyoming.
He also vows not to use the slight from voters to motivate a team that has tried for years to overcome its underdog mentality.
"Do you put a chip on your shoulder with "We're only No. 4," Petersen joked. "That's not where we're going with that. We just need to get better and it will all work out."
Petersen also said running back D.J. Harper is scheduled to have knee surgery later this week. Harper injured the knee making a cut two weeks ago against Oregon State.
Harper, a junior who has rushed for 160 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns this year, missed most of last season after injuring a knee in the third game.
Petersen said team officials are planning to file paperwork seeking another medical redshirt for Harper.