| Big Sky Conference|
10–3 (6–1 Big Sky)
| No. 1|
Jim Criner (5th year)
| Gene Dahlquist (4th year)|
Lyle Setencich (2nd year)
The 1980 Boise State Broncos ootball team represented Boise State University in the 1980 NCAA Division I-AA football season. The Broncos competed in the Big Sky Conference and played their home games at Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho. The Broncos were led by fifth-year head coach Jim Criner and the "Four Horseman" senior backfield: quarterback Joe Aliotti, fullback David Hughes, halfback Cedric Minter, with halfback Terry Zahner in reserve.
The Broncos were 10–1 the previous season and undefeated in the Big Sky, but were on probation for a scouting violation in November 1978 and were ineligible for the league title or I-AA playoffs in 1979.
1980 Boise State Broncos football team Wikipedia
The Broncos finished the regular season in 1980 at 8–3 and 6–1 in conference to win their fifth Big Sky title in 11 seasons, their first since 1977. BSU defeated their two Division I-A opponents, but lost a road contest in November to Cal Poly-SLO, the 1980 Division II national champions, whom they had routed at the end of the previous season. The Broncos easily defeated rival Idaho for the fourth consecutive year in mid-October in Boise. During halftime of the Nevada-Reno game on November 8, BSU dedicated the playing field at Bronco Stadium to athletic director and former head coach Lyle Smith. The only conference setback was a one-point loss in late September at Montana State, the difference was a last-minute two-point conversion.
The Broncos were invited to the four-team I-AA playoffs. As Big Sky champions with a substantial stadium and fan base, BSU was chosen to host in the first round, a national semifinal on December 13, three weeks after the completion of the regular season. The opponent was Grambling State, coached by legend Eddie Robinson. The Broncos won 14–9 in sub-freezing fog and advanced to the I-AA national championship game the following week in California against defending champion Eastern Kentucky, coached by Roy Kidd. In a back-and-forth contest played in the fog at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento, Boise State won 31–29 to win their only I-AA national title.
The Broncos returned to the I-AA semifinals the following season and 1990, and the title game in 1994; they moved up to Division I-A in 1996.