Why Boise State can’t play for the BCS championship

Everyone loves a Cinderella story, especially in sports. We love to see the underdog prevail. It brings us to tears when the little guy beats the big guy.

But having said all that you have to understand that, barring a total collapse of the major conferences, there is no way—at least no logical way–that No. 5 Boise State can play for the national championship.

The Broncos, who gave college football one of its most enduring memories when it beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl a couple of years ago, are ranked No. 5 in both this week’s USA Today Coaches poll and the first Harris Interactive poll. Those are the two human polls that—along with the average of several computer polls—make up the BCS Standings, which will be released for the first time on Oct. 18. On Dec. 6 the finally standings will be released and the top two teams in those standings will play for the BCS national championship on Jan. 8 in Pasadena, Calif.

There has been some discussion about what would happen if the Broncos went 13-0 (they play an extra game because they go to Hawaii this season) and the winners of the Big Boy conferences all have one loss. After what happened to Utah last season (the Utes went undefeated and didn’t get a sniff at the national title), would the voters in the human polls decide that it was time to give a little guy at shot and see what he could do in the big game?

 

They can’t. Not if they are doing their homework.

Here are the 12 Division I-A teams on the Boise State schedule for 2009. The Broncos have a 13th game against UC-Davis, a Division I-AA team. The teams are listed in order of ranking from a poll on CBSSports.com which ranks all the Division I-A teams 1-120.

 

Oregon—21

Tulsa—67

Fresno State—69

La. Tech–76

Hawaii—79

Bowling Green—80

Idaho—83

Nevada—89

New Mexico State—103

San Jose State—107

Utah State—114

Miami (Ohio)—118

 

The Broncos have a quality win against Oregon, which looks even better since the Ducks beat California so decisively.

But after that, here are the cold, hard facts. Eleven of the 12 Division I-A teams on the Boise State schedule are rated 67 or worse.

Of those 11 teams, four are rated 103 or worse. To put it another way, there are 18 college football teams that rank 103 or worse. Boise State plays four of them.

If Boise State goes 13-0 this season I have no problem with the Broncos getting to one of the BCS Bowls. But I will say this.  Based on the schedules, Houston and TCU look like they would prevail over Boise State as the lone BCS Buster from the Coalition conferences.

 

Houston (3-0), ranked 15 and 13 in the human polls,  already has wins over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The Cougars of Kevin Sumlin could pick up another quality non-conference win next week at Mississippi State.

 

TCU (3-0), ranked 10 and 11 in the human polls, has gone on the road and won at Virginia and Clemson from the ACC. The Horned Frogs play in the Mountain West Conference, which is the best of the Coalition.

 

The bottom line is this: If there is only one spot in the BCS championship game available and it’s between a 13-0 Boise and a one-loss champ of the SEC, Big 12, Pac-10, or maybe even Big Ten, it has to go to the latter. Those conferences are simply playing a different level of football.

 

Am I wrong?

 

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352 comments Add your comment

TrueCrimson

September 29th, 2009
8:53 am

What we need is a 64 game playoff system followed by a best of seven between the two finalists. Then the winner of the best of seven should play against the Division I FCS Champion. After all, Appalachian State did beat Michigan in 2007.

Then we would have an undisputed National Championship for which only Yellow Jacket fans could complain. To appease them, we could include a slip-stick speed competition between the cheerleader squads as the final, determining factor.

Of course, this plan would require that the season be extended to a five year period. But I say that is a small price to pay for the luxury of knowing, with absolute certainty, that the National Championship has been awarded to the most deserving team.

Gen Neyland

September 29th, 2009
8:53 am

zoo : You’ve talked me into some scattered with cheese and onions.

ratherBgambling

September 29th, 2009
8:54 am

Bruce you forgot one;

College Football Live- Coach Richt gives his top 10 reasons why he wishes he was Tebow

PMC

September 29th, 2009
8:57 am

It’s not that they can’t play and or beat anyone in the country…. it’s that they don’t play a schedule that is difficult enough to deserve a shot at the end. Part of it is not thier fault, but those are the breaks. They need to be allowed to join a major conference.

Joey

September 29th, 2009
9:01 am

A lot of folks seem to think a playoff system is needed. Do you think in a 4, 8, or 16 team playoff, everyone will be happy about the picks? Of course not. It would be just as controversial as the BCS system. Just remember fellow Dawg fans, as good as they were, UGA wouldn’t have made a 4-team playoff in ‘07. Fans and sportswriter-fans would scream bloody murder when their teams are just outside the “bubble” of any playoff, same as it’s always been….

BigSqueezeO

September 29th, 2009
9:01 am

Let’s see if I have this straight, Mr. College Football!! You’ve used an arbritrary ranking system (CBSSports.com) to justify why one team should be left out of a game determined by two other arbitrary rankings!!

Thanks for pointing out the sheer fallacy that is the BCS!! I don’t think any team in the so-called BCS conferences will go undefeated, but Boise State probably will. Oh, well, I guess that Boise could be the first 14-0 team to NOT win a national championship.

PLAYOFF SYSTEM NOW!! PLAYOFF SYSTEM NOW!! PLAYOFF SYSTEM NOW!!

Dredog

September 29th, 2009
9:04 am

The problem with college football is that a team like Boise State has been so consistent over several years as a team that can win on any given Saturday – that teams from major BCS teams are afraid to add them to their non-conference schedule from fear. The would rather schedule a cream puff team that they can score 50-60 points against.

Dawg85

September 29th, 2009
9:07 am

I agree Tony. There just is no comparison to Boise State’s soft schedule and even the weakest schedule of a team from a major conference. A tougher schedule, besides the greater chance of loss, means more wear and tear on your football team and much more work and preparation for the coaching staff and team. Until Boise State toughens up the schedule they don’t deserve a shot.

I, for one, would like to see a 16 team playoff. If FCS schools can do it I don’t see why BCS schools can’t. Then a school like Boise State could get a shot but they’d have some real competition to overcome.

Joey

September 29th, 2009
9:07 am

Uh, Dredog, didn’t UGA add Boise State what 3 or 4 years ago and put 50+ on them, just like a creampuff?

JaxDawg

September 29th, 2009
9:08 am

Here’s the problem I have with both the media and the coaches(sports information guys as they are the ones who ACTUALLY do the voting for the coaches):
If Boise St is not deserving of a chance to play because of their schedule, then why are they ranked #5 in the country?!
On the one hand Tony you and every other media person say “Boise is a nice story but NO WAY they deserve a shot over a one-loss SEC, Pac10, Big12 etc..because of their schedule”
If this is the case and this is what the media and coaches TRULY believe then WHY ARE THEY RANKED 5TH?!!
It’s insanity. I just feel you can’t have it both ways. If they don’t deserve a shot then don’t put them anywhere near the top of the polls. If you can justify them not getting a shot then it should be no problem to justify them being ranked 12th or 15th or wherever. It’s like they have a glass ceiling. However, if you and everyone else thinks that right now, today they are the 5th best team in the country then by all means they deserve a shot if they go undefeated and the teams ahead of them have losses. If that’s not the case then rank them where you truly feel they should be ranked and leave it at that.
To build the players and coaches hopes up by ranking them that high only to yank the rug out from underneath them at the 11th hour is just wrong.
Boise St is a little different animal as they have proven they CAN beat the big boys in the big game, so why not give them a shot? I’ll tell you why and it’s the REAL reason a Utah, Boise St, TCU or Houston will never get a shot: $$$$$$. No way the BCS boys will let an outsider come in and go to the big dance and take that much money away from the major conferences.
Is it fair no, but it’s the golden rule: he who has the gold makes the rule.
Again if at the end of the season these schools don’t deserve a shot because of their schedule, then don’t rank them up there in the first place and then there’s nothing to argue about.

robert

September 29th, 2009
9:09 am

Enter your comments here
Tony,
How did Boise State–which was waxed at season’s end last year by TCU, which finished 7th—- start the year ranked ahead of the Frogs?

quaildawg

September 29th, 2009
9:12 am

I hope Boise State gets the opportunity to play for the BCS Championship…gets humiliated and then we won’t have to worry about this issue again. (See Ohip State)
Cute story for the droolers at ESPN but not what true CF Fans want.

Fightin Gobbler

September 29th, 2009
9:14 am

Boise State’s BEST win would be beating Oregon at home. That should in no way qualify them to play for the national championship and the fact that the voters even have them as high as 5th (not to mention LSU 4th) shows just how dumb a system we have.

Ranking them solely on what they’ve done on the field, they aren’t even a top 10 team…

bamafan

September 29th, 2009
9:14 am

lots of vitriol today…..do the folks who believe that Tony is wrong realize that when they attack the polls as being biased, it is the same polls who have Boise State ranked 5th? The polls are not sufficiently objective, and of course the BCS is based on polls. Pick one. You cannot claim that Boise State is getting shafted while at the same time attack the polls for bias against the non BCS teams. The hidden message in Tony’s column is that the polls ARE BIASED in favor of at least one team that plays nobody. Give me a break. Please think about this issue without reference to your school……….

TrueCrimson

September 29th, 2009
9:15 am

I agree with JaxDawg. Boise State is not a top five team and the current rankings should reflect that. I suspect that they will move down in the polls as they move further away from their one quality win. Then again, it will be interesting to see how well they play their existing schedule with the target of being in the top five on their backs. This is a psychological burden that these small-fry teams usually don’t have to deal with during their regular season play.

quaildawg

September 29th, 2009
9:15 am

Oh and BTW-I distinctly remember Ed Cunningham (ESPN) predicitng that Hawaii would “Beat Georgia” in the SUgar Bowl.
I think Ed is now doing color for Iranian Camel Soccor.

Denver Dog

September 29th, 2009
9:15 am

Dre Dog; They came to Athens and got stomped stupid! Learn some history.

m: the only problem with a 16 game playoff is that the ACC would not get an entry unless the pollsters whom you decry voted on getting them in to a playoff.

Boise doesn’t deserve a chance to play in such a big game unless they want to step it up with the OCC schedule. They can’t help which conference they are in now, but someone does schedule those weak sisters of the poor OOC games.

They don’t deserve it and shouldn’t be there. However, a Boise vs TCU game does intrigue me for the sake of freeing up another weekend in January to do something else.

EW

September 29th, 2009
9:17 am

Tony, we will never end this discussion until Boise or the like has a shot. Basically what you are saying is that they will NEVER have a shot because there will always be AT WORST a one loss team from at least two of the big boy conferences every year. With that in mind Boise, TCU, or a Houston gets no title shot ever. As a football fan it sucks to think they have no shot at a title from the first snap of the season. What they need to do is give one of these teams a chance. A. if they do and they win, great recruiting tool to build the program even further and get a bunch of I told you so’s from the little conferences or B. they get blown out and we don’t have this debate any more. Either way you gotta give em a shot eventually.

DawginLex

September 29th, 2009
9:20 am

And “m” the moron says,

“It looks like an SEC schedule”

WOW

Are you on a work release program?

From a psych ward?

Keep defending the ACC and bashing the SEC. It just confirms what we already know. You are an idiot.

ACC OOC losses to date:

Bill AND Mary(at least it took both of them)
MTSU
Richmond
USF
TCU
Bama
SC
USM

Why continue to debate and defend a lousy conference?

RT

September 29th, 2009
9:21 am

The schedule comment is a joke. Auburn played the Citadel and that was the “excuse” for many to exclude the Tigers (since there had to be 1 team excluded from the 2004 “championship”). However, just a few years later, the 2008 and 1 loss Florida team, who also played Citadel, were annointed to play in the “championship” game.

It’s a crock and should Boise St. go undefeated, they deserve to play for the MNC.

Chad

September 29th, 2009
9:21 am

Robert, Boise State was not “waxed” last year by TCU. TCU won 17-16 after taking the lead in the fourth quarter.

Boise “waxed” Oregon, who “waxed” Cal, who everyone and their mothers had top 5 two weeks ago. They have taken the initiative to player higher-caliber out of conference schools, like Oregon. What more can they do?
The Broncos are good, people. Get used to it.

DawginLex

September 29th, 2009
9:22 am

dredog,

UGA is scared to schedule who?

2005: UGA 49 Boise State 14

OOPS, next argument

Denver Dog

September 29th, 2009
9:23 am

No offense to Ole Miss, but Boise is just a media darling, and they are loved by those in the media who don’t believe you are supposed to earn it the hard way. They are good, and they should make some bowl, and they should have fun doing it. They are though just media darlings. The difference between this media darling and one from a big conference is that one from a big conference has to prove it on the field. Boise has to prove it by running the score up on the small schools which are on the schedule. Do you think that they would stand a chance at stopping Ga Tech, or Ark. Do you think that they would that they would run all over the field against Tenn, or Bama. So why should they have a chance to play against Florida, or Texas, or USC. They probabaly would have a hard time against Ohio State. Right now all of these people are on a magic carpet ride (blue of course) smoking wacky backy!

jim bob

September 29th, 2009
9:24 am

TrueCrimson

September 29th, 2009
9:26 am

You want a common sense solution? Let the two best non-BCS teams play one another and then pair the winner of that game up with the BCS Champion for an NCAA Super Bowl.

Of course there will still be occasional situations in which an undefeated team gets left out in the cold. Dream up any scenario that you like — someone’s still going to feel cheated when it’s all said and done. So what? It’s only a game people.

It’s only a game.

Sam Houston

September 29th, 2009
9:29 am

I would like to know how many major schools are fighting to have Boise State, Utah etc., added
to their non conference schedule. The reason they don’t is because their conference {SEC] is too strong, not because they don’t want to stick their neck out. But, by splitting your conference in half, six teams on each side, you dont’t have to play all the strong teams. Somebody step up and schedule these schools and put them in their place. Everybody could use another sure win.

NC Dawg

September 29th, 2009
9:31 am

What Boise State (and every other Division I school deserves) is the opportunity to play in an 8 team playoff. If they can go undefeated and beat the big boys in the playoffs, then they deserve the title…just like any other school.

P-Man

September 29th, 2009
9:32 am

See, this is why we need a playoff. We will never know if Boise St is deserving because they won’t have the chance to prove it. Is it their fault the other teams in their conference are so weak? Is it their fault the other BCS conference teams want nothing to do with them? The simple solution is to have a 16 team playoff, where each of the 11 conference champions- yes, even the Sun Belt- gets a shot, which leaves 5 at-large teams. This will improve the play in the non-BCS conferences, and everyone has a semi-fair shot. To top it off, a conference championship would really mean something.

Bronco Fan

September 29th, 2009
9:34 am

Do you hear Coach Peterson or any of his players saying they should go to the title game? They’ll tell you there most important game is the next game they play. They’ll play whats on their schedule and do it well. Their final ranking is up to the pollsters. Rag on them not BSU. Go Broncos!!

azdawg

September 29th, 2009
9:35 am

BSU is the big fish in a little pond schedule wise minus a few excursions in the real world of college FB. GA whacked them in ‘05 on opening day. Give BSU credit for beating OK but it went down to the wire but so has UGA wins this season with only comparison being their opponents. Based on their win vs OK and the Utes, another BSU in wolf’s clothing, beating a good AL team, I say let BSU play for the NC if they go undefeated. We’ll never know how good they are unless they’re allowed to prove they can play w/the big boys. The Utes made a believer out of me beating AL the way they did. Win or lose the big one will make all these pundits look like idiots or Einstein’s.

Trade School Junkie

September 29th, 2009
9:37 am

See, to Tony, it’s not about the money. It’s about…SEC MONEY.

Cant have some “upstart/nobody from nowhere” like Boise State, Houston, or others taking money from Tony’s precious SEC. That would be downright un-American. Right Tony?

Just imagine…if we applied this BCS “methodology” that Mr. Brain-fart so dearly loves & endorses…to, lets say, the NCAA Basketball Tourney.
Imagne how completely stupid and ARBITRARY that would be?
Yet, this is the same BS that, ahem, “MR. COLLEGE FOOTBALL” resoundingly endorses.

Lets just call it what it REALLY is: A CARTEL.

BCS = Bowl Cartel System.

However, as the economy continues to deteriorate, the bowl money will soon start to disappear. Then, only a handful of bowl games will remain.

And when THAT happens, then we’ll finally get a playoff system.

Atlanta Nole

September 29th, 2009
9:37 am

So if you play all the teams on your schedule and go undefeated you still cannot be the “National Champion” because you’re not in the right conference? They might as well break FBS into the BCS conferences and put the rest in FBS-II (Second class). The entire system is garbage and that is why I think winning a conference title means more than the mythical National Championship. (And yes, I’d feel the same way if my Noles won, it’s a farce until they have a playoff!!)

Andy

September 29th, 2009
9:37 am

YES! You are dead wrong! If I hear one more person say that we couldn’t hang week in and week out in a big conference, I am just going to snap! If we were in a big conference then we would know the answer to that. If we were in a big conference we would be recruiting bigger, faster players! If we were in a big conference we would STILL be this good. DEAL WITH IT! we are a legitimate contender! We won a JC National Championship. We won a 1-aa national championship. WE WILL WIN A D1 Title! Just as soon as politics stop deciding it

Wm. Powell

September 29th, 2009
9:38 am

Heck no Boise does not deserve a shot at the national title with their pathetic schedule; I can not understand why anyone really disagrees with this. Allowing Boise the chance would only encourage schools to play weaker and weaker schedules. Boise and Utah were nice stories, but does anyone really (and I mean really, deep down) believe Boise State was a better team than Oklahoma or Utah better than Alabama?? No, if you are honest, you don’t believe that. Boise State and Utah were sky high and excited about playing Oklahoma and Alabama-OK and UA were not excited the games; their players barely missed out at playing for the national title-playing Boise and Utah didn’t mean anything, and both teams played like it didn’t mean anything-which it didn’t-except to the Boise and Utah players and fans.

Tide Rising

September 29th, 2009
9:40 am

Personally I love Boise. They’ve always been good to me on the wagering end and are probably my favorite team to wager on. Anybody can get up and overachieve for one game Boise vs OU or Utah vs Bama and pull the upset. But to do it week in and week out in a bcs conference like the SEC, BIG 12,or Pac 10. No. That’s a whole different story. In a typical sec or even acc schedule you will be playing 7 bowl bound teams.It just isn’t right that Boise would have to beat one single big time team in Oregon and then beat a bunch of cream puffs to get in while everyone else has to run a season long gauntlet.

orlandodawg

September 29th, 2009
9:47 am

enter cliche…Gotta beat somebody to be somebody!

Matt

September 29th, 2009
9:47 am

no. If they want a chance to play for the BCS Championship then they need to schedule all non-conf games with the SEC, Pac 10, Big 12, or maybe the Big East or ACC. Then if they go unbeaten, give them a shot.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
9:48 am

Boise St and the other mid majors do not need a shot at the title. They need their own division with a playoff.

The BCS schools need to keep the current system and add 10-15 scholarships.

BSU Alumni stranded in Portand

September 29th, 2009
9:49 am

As a BSU alumni from the old days it is so great to even be considered in the hunt for any big games. It is already a big win for the broncos this year. It is so refreshing to see Coach Pete have humility and logic in the sea of media BS and emotion of rabid fans.

BSU’s current ranking is about TV ratings and how fun they are to watch. Remember they went undefeated and beak Oklahoma and were only ranked 5th at the peak. Politics will stop them from a shot at the big game, Utah fell to the same fate they should have got a shot. Open your minds people and keep up the pressure on BSU football we love it and have always had something to prove.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
9:49 am

If Boise St played Fresno St’s schedule chances are they would drop a few. For those that say they would not if Fresno can schedule BCS schools so can Boise.

orlandodawg

September 29th, 2009
9:50 am

How short is America’s memory? A team that Boise plays this year from an island completed a similar feat a couple of years ago, and went on to be humiliated in the Sugar Bowl…that game was a boring blowout…do you really want to see something like that in our national championship game? Really?

Knute

September 29th, 2009
9:51 am

If it is not settled on the field it is just speculation. Everything wriiten here is just so much speculation. Let’s do it right and create a 16 team playoff.

Miles

September 29th, 2009
9:52 am

Even if Boise State went to the National Championship, they’d get crushed…

Otto

September 29th, 2009
9:54 am

BSU alum I applaud the school fight and rise but no they do not deserve a shot. The schedule does not justify it. It is a shame College Football has fallen to the cries of everyone deseerves a shot. My nephew’s little league team would not deserve a trophy for last place and Boise does not deserve a shot for the title given the facts of their schedule as Tony pointed out. deal with it schedule tougher teams and work your way into a BCS conf. Miami, FSU, Louiseville and others did.

Anthony

September 29th, 2009
9:56 am

Based on the current system, the non-BCS conference teams may get an occasional invite to a big money bowl, but will never get a chance at the big game. The perceived strength of top to bottom league schedule overwhelms an out of conference win. If basketball had a similar structure, Memphis, Gonzaga, UNLV, Utah and Louisville (pre Big East) would never, ever even sniffed at the chance at the Final Four. While every other level of football and other team sports, including the pros, provides a playoff format, 1A football remains entirely subjective and driven by $$$. Put all the lipstick and makeup you want on that pigskin, only a playoff format will allow everyone a chance at the top trophy. Till then, 85% of the teams start and play the season with no chance at the title.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
9:57 am

Hawaii was humiliated in the Sugar and Boise was destroyed in Athens. Yes Utah won the Sugar and Boise beat Oklahoma. When was the last time Oklahoma or Bama won a BCS Bowl?

Dave R

September 29th, 2009
9:57 am

Tony’s absolutely right that Bosie would not make the BCS title game ahead of a one-loss school from a BCS conference (or an undefeated Houston or TCU; in the first case because the Cougars have better non-conference wins, in the secnd case because the MWC is much tougher than the WAC). However, this year’s regular season is looking a lot like 2007 so far, and it wouldn’t be too shocking if there’s only one BCS conference team with one loss or less at the end of the year (and even less schocking for Houston and TCU to lose a game somewhere). And that’s a much more interesting question. Would undefeated Boise get to the title game ahead of a two-loss SEC / Big 12 / Big Ten / Pac 10 champ? How about a two-loss Big East champ (especially if it wasn’t West Virgnia) or ACC champ (especially if it was someone other than Virginia Tech)? I’m thinking they probably would (though someone like 2007 Hawaii, which played the weakest schedule in I-A and had more than one game go to overtime, probably would not).

gdawginkalamazoo

September 29th, 2009
9:58 am

Tony, what if they started calling themselves THE Boise State University? It has been getting THE Ohio State University in the title game only to get embarrassed. Oh and don’t come back with the old “at least we made it” either.

Anthony

September 29th, 2009
10:01 am

orlandodawg, two words for you from my memory… Ohio State

orlandodawg

September 29th, 2009
10:06 am

gotcha anthony…Ohio State=overrated…so you’re saying Boise State=overrated…couldn’t agree more…and just like Ohio State, Boise will get to a BCS and play an SEC team and find out how a real football game is played, and lost