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

Boise Dawg

September 29th, 2009
11:18 am

As a Georgia fan… if we don’t win the SEC, I’d much rather see us play a team like Boise St. in the Outback or Capital One Bowl… then say a Michigan St. Wisconsin or Iowa. Outside of the championship games most of the bowl matchups lately have been extremely dissapointing. I used to like the bowls.. now I find most rather boring and would rather see a playoff.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
11:19 am

JUst because they can’t play does not mean they can analyze for themself. Most people could not be president but they can sure vote for one.

Jeff

September 29th, 2009
11:20 am

Boots- well said, but you forgot Urban. between the three of them they dictate the world of college football. ESPN is there as well. I honestly thought they were going to have to go off the air after Tebow was hurt. It’s so sad that people are so wrapped up around 1 person. He is no better than any other guy that is out there playing for his school. Mort talented than most- yes, but not to the level some people have raised him to. God works in mysterious ways to humble people.

GT

September 29th, 2009
11:23 am

With scholarship limitations and academic bars being raised, more players getting better coaching in high school and college a lot is changing the landscape of college football. We are seeing a whole conference left out of this formula with the Mountain West. Utah beat Alabama not Ok. in a bowl game last year. An SEC team and the second best SEC team. BYU beat Ok this year, people tried to tie it to a loss of a quarterback that played the whole first half and they were losing then. A lot of assumptions are no longer viable and only the powers to be keep them in vogue. Paul Johnson is making a living off driving into wrong way signs. Not too many years back a athletic director tried to convince his fans that holding Tech to a higher expectation was nonsense. Now it takes hard work that is why these coaches are paid the millions they are paid. Some in the coaching profession don’t like that forced labor, but for the ones that love the game, there is no longer a Bear Bryant or having to go through South Bends, it is wide open for all.

Sad Stuff

September 29th, 2009
11:24 am

Seems like Tony is just another apologist for the status quo. It’s well past time there should be a playoff system. You know who fights the bowl system the most? The bowl directors, all of whom make huge inflated salaries.

http://www.ocregister.com/sports/bowl-bowls-junker-1948815-tax-million
But the main obstacle standing in the way of a playoff is the bowl system itself, a billion-dollar-a-year industry operated primarily by tax-exempt bowl committees who have spent decades and millions of dollars nurturing relationships with influential friends on university campuses, conference headquarters, state houses and the halls of power in Washington, D.C.

swhite1115

September 29th, 2009
11:24 am

So, a playoff lets a “hot” team win the championship, eh? I guess that means we should eliminate the NCAA basketball championship, right? Has a team ever gotten hot and beat a better team? Uh, yes. If the NCAA thought they could get through-the-roof ratings with Boise State in the championship game, they would move heaven and earth to do it. And that’s a fact, because in the end it isn’t about who’s champion, it’s about how much money can be made by the NCAA and the networks. If it could be proven to them that more money could be made with a four, or eight, or sixteen team playoff, they’d do it in a heartbeat. Most fans want it, many coaches and players want it…it’s the bowl officials, the networks, and the NCAA that are keeping it from happening. Period. And because of that, a team like Boise State will forever be kept from playing for the championship. That is, until some smart lawyer figures out a way to sue the NCAA for a slice of the pie. That’ll get their attention.
On Orlandodawg you are so right – how in the blazes does OSU keep getting in the championship game? And for that matter, why is Notre Dame the independent that gets all the glory. When they play a “quality” game they usually lose. When they play an inferior opponent they escape by the skin of their teeth, but somehow they always get mentioned in the BCS mix. Yeah, right.
You know, this whole BCS junk started when BYU won the “National Championship” way back in the early 90s. People were crying and moaning then that they didn’t play anyone, etc. But, they won all their games. They were undefeated. They deserved to be crowned champions. Boise State deserves the chance as well, if they do what they’re supposed to do – win.

im4bama

September 29th, 2009
11:24 am

Sure Boise State, TCU and maybe Houston are very good teams. I don’t care if they go undeated, there is still no way in the world they should get the nod over a one-loss from a BCS conference. As good as they are, they don’t play enough tough opponets during the regular season to deserve a shot at a National Title. If they want to be, schedule everyone of your non-confernce games with some top 20 teams and win those to make up for all the other cupcake games they play.

Jonnyboy

September 29th, 2009
11:25 am

O
I agree the conference is (at this time) past it’s prime. Still shows well against the sec though.
OSU can’t do anything about that. They can just continue to dominate and hope the coach doesn’t continue to crap his pants in big games.

Big Rome

September 29th, 2009
11:26 am

Sometimes it is easier said than done when it comes to scheduling. The tougher schools from the other conferences want no part in Boise. especically if it means traveling to the Big Blue. This is and always be profit driven. We all know that a playoff system would be best in determining a true Champion. Remember the 1983 NCAA Basketball Tournament, who gave N.C. State a chance? I now I did’nt. That is what separates March Madness from all other systems, everyone has a shot!. Some say football is too physicall demanding for a playoff. First off, other divisions have proven it could work, secondly, simply develop all of your players and you will be ready for fatigue and injury. After all, that is why these kids were brought in anyway right. Time for change. How long will perfection (undefeated seasons)not be good
enough?

ed

September 29th, 2009
11:26 am

boise st will lose a game anyway.. trust me..

Boise Dawg

September 29th, 2009
11:27 am

War Eagle… the PAC 10 is not going to invite Boise State to join their conference anytime soon…. and for some reason the Mountain West thinks they are too good for them to. Boise St. has been lobbying the Mountain West hard the past two years to no avail. With the addition of Boise State, the Mountain West would have a strong argument to be a BCS conference.

I agree Boise St. lacks the depth of some major conferences.. but I also think they can beat almost anyone in the top 25 on any given night. Pretty remarkable considering they recruit Pac 10 leftovers.

m

September 29th, 2009
11:27 am

These same sec fools on here today that say Boise is not deserving are the same sec fools that said Utah couldn’t beat alabammer last year.

The sec fans are the biggest fools I have ever seen. They are wrong and wrong and wrong again…and all they do is get louder.

If Boise State was in the sec this year, they would only be underdogs to alabammer and florida…they would be equal or favored with anyone else. And they are just as capable as anyone else.

Get opinions OUT of football…NOW. Only on the field results should matter.

We need a playoff…NOW.

It would be the most exciting sporting event in history…and the champion would have legitimately won it ON THE FIELD…not this MYTHICAL BSbcs.

By the way, Tech plays 3 of these sorry arse sec teams and Tech is going to mop the floor with them. Mark it down.

Jonnyboy

September 29th, 2009
11:28 am

O
Is that what you call itanalysing? I would call it trash talking. Not much analysis going on. For that matter not much rational thought either, but what should I expect.

swhite1115

September 29th, 2009
11:30 am

And by the way, this works both ways. Why haven’t any of the SEC or ACC or Big Ten or Big Twelve teams scheduled Boise State. GA/Boise St. home and home? Richt might go for that. FL/Boise St. home and home? Uh, no way Urban does that. Ohio St./Boise St. home and home? Maybe. Wonder if Paterno would be willing to do that.

PTC DAWG

September 29th, 2009
11:31 am

I saw the traveling Boise Road show in Athens a few years ago. No need to be forced to sit through that again.

PTC DAWG

September 29th, 2009
11:33 am

Good point about the set bowl tie ins with the conferences. I agree, the Big 10/SEC tie ins have to be getting OLD to both conferences. Let’s shake it up a little.

Jonnyboy

September 29th, 2009
11:34 am

swhite

The reason is money.

War Eagle

September 29th, 2009
11:35 am

I would like to think what happened this weekend maybe humbled Urban and as the Ball Coach used to say “Gators Everywhere” but have a feeling it didnt. pretty sad

Dan

September 29th, 2009
11:35 am

If B.S.U. would stop playing against the intermural squads they would be given there due in the national polls. Until that happens, forget about any national title.

SEC FANATIC

September 29th, 2009
11:36 am

TIM TEBOW FOR PRESIDENT! THE BEST WHO EVER PLAYED! ABOUT TO BREAK ALL THE RECORDS INCLUDING THE GREAT HERSHEL! THANK GOD FOR TIM TEBOW FOR THERE IS NO ONE LIKE HIM! GOD IS GREAT, GOD IS GOOD! THANK YOU GOD FOR TIM TEBOW!

Otto

September 29th, 2009
11:37 am

Jonny, you are the one name calling describing us all as hicks.

Big Rome

September 29th, 2009
11:39 am

So what Ed, losing a game or two should not matter. How many undefeated Super Bowl, or NCAA basketball champions have there been. I say bracket them out and see what happens. Hell, you could even bracket the bowl games. How many are there nowadays, a million?

War Eagle

September 29th, 2009
11:39 am

SEC Fan just proved my point.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 29th, 2009
11:39 am

Anonymous, that 10:16 post was funny.

BehindEnemyLines

September 29th, 2009
11:40 am

No Tony, you aren’t wrong. The only way Boise should see a national championship game is either on TV or by buying a ticket.

Jeff, BruceDawg, War Eagle, Shane, Eric, et al.

September 29th, 2009
11:41 am

YES, WE ALL HAVE A MANCRUSH ON TIM TEBOW. HE IS THE GREATEST! XOXOXOXOXO

senoiadawgs

September 29th, 2009
11:41 am

Look folks quit using the Utah/Bama game from last year. Bama came out of the SEC championship game last yr that was a play-in for the MNC. They lost and got stuck playing Utah. Those guys were not hyped about while Utah was buzzing with excitement. The game meant everything to one team while the other most likely could have cared less from a player point. It makes a huge difference.

Now on to Boise, no way do they get a shot. Either get in a real conference or fill your schedule with outside of conf. games with nothing but BCS conf. games. If they want to play for the MNC in today’s world this is there only shot, otherwise the computers will destroy them every year.

Tim Tebow

September 29th, 2009
11:43 am

I really am the best! I am Great…..I am good……I will be back for LSU and we will run up the score. Just wait till next year UK. You made me and my coach mad! My coach will name the score next year- you wait. Noboby makes my coach mad. Kirk H. is also mad- he has been crying but trust me- those are mad tears.

Jeff, BruceDawg, War Eagle, Shane, Eric, et al.

September 29th, 2009
11:43 am

YES, WE JUST LOVE IT WHEN HE WEARS THE WHITE PANTS! WE ARE OBSESSED!!!

Otto

September 29th, 2009
11:44 am

senoia, further lets see Utah play a very physical game against a Top 5 team weeks before playing the bowl and see if they have the depth to survive.

Tburney

September 29th, 2009
11:46 am

First off many have already mentioned that BCS system is flawed. My thouhts on this are that Boise State has had, I believe four undefeated season in the last 5 or 6 years, they were undefeated last year, but for the bowl game against a good TCU team. They deserve a chance and should be (if undefeated again)in a BCS bowl this year. After the BSU BG game this weekend ESPN did not even mention Boise State in there follow up shows until the College Final was on. God bless Lou Holtz and curse Mark Mays. They literally skimmed over #8 Boise State going from #7 to #9 in there broadcast. The “reporter”, which is a term I use grudgingly in this case, Graham Watson has all but completely forgotten Boise State even exsists in her blogs. The thing that is not fair about this whole situation is, the Good Ole Boys back east and down south are money boys. Theye have flat out stated that Boise State does not belong. As well as Boise State is ranked right now, remember the BCS “computers” will decide and could, probibly will, rank us much lower based on our SOS. You all say join a different league, schedule better teams, well it takes two schools who are willing to schedule. The big schools do no want to schedule us it is a loose loose situation for them. We do not want to go to the MWC, why? It is a lateral move, and in my opinion they do not want us. Our best hope is that the PAC 10 will open up and turn to the PAC 12. They have a new leader over there now. So perhaps when their TV rights are up they will look it over and invite us.

SEC FANATIC

September 29th, 2009
11:47 am

I REALLY AM A TOTAL JERK- WHAT LITTLE FRIENDS I DO HAVE HAVE TOLD ME THAT AS WELL BUT THEY OVERLOOK IT BECAUSE I KNOW TIM TEBOW. HE IS GRET…HE IS GOOD…..HE IS THE BEST EVER. WOW- AM I SO LUCKY

matt

September 29th, 2009
11:49 am

I wish people would quit using the “Utah beat AL”/”BSU beat OU” argument. It’s one game that neither OU or AL want to play…these are teams that just missed out on playing a National title and are then playing in a no-win game. If they win, it’s cuz they were supposed to. If they lose, they’re not near as good as they thought.

If you think BSU should play in the title game this year, just do this for me: Take the Florida/LSU/USC/Texas schedule and, in your mind, let Boise play the same schedule. If you think they go undefeated or 12-1, I think you’re kidding yourself.

BUT even if you think they would, that’s just your opinion. Somebody who actually does that, and proves their mettle on the field deserves the shot over somebody who “might” be awesome.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 29th, 2009
11:51 am

I guess we have to remember that IF Boise makes it to a title game they still have to play one tough opponent. And yes Johnnyboy , OSU could be one of those tough opponents.

Sad Stuff

September 29th, 2009
11:52 am

Florida played Charleston Southern and Troy, and SEC’ers are whining about other schedules?? Look at Penn State’s non-conference schedule. Boise wants to play the big boys but the big boys don’t want to take a risk. The BCS is a cartel. That’s fine and so be it. But the BCS and its defenders should be honest about it and admit it’s a private party.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
11:52 am

Tburney, Again I point to Fresno’s schedule. If you want the games you can find them.

Anthony

September 29th, 2009
11:52 am

senoiadawgs – So are you saying that AL just showed up for the paycheck and didn’t care about winning a game? Lame argument, “I lost a big game so I don’t care about playing the next one to win”. As far as scheduling OOC games, it is done many years in advance and you never know the quality of how it ultimately matches up.

ARE YOU THAT STUPID

September 29th, 2009
11:52 am

We won’t be hearing from M when Miss. St the second to worst team in the SEC puts a smack down on TECK. It’s gonna happen and he’s sweat’in bullets. M is OC… same worthless rhetoric every day.

Boise State doesn’t deserve to be in the NC game if they win all of their games and anyone who believes that is a few cards short of a full deck. You don’t deserve to play for the NC if you beat 11 of the worst teams in the country. What a friggin joke.

[...] Now that Boise State is ranked No. 5 in the college football polls, some people think that this could be the season that a non-BCS school plays in the BCS National Championship game. The AJC’s Tony Barnhardt writes that Boise State shouldn’t play in the BCS Championship game, because their strength of schedule is very weak. The Broncos have a quality win over an improved Oregon team, but they don’t play another team that is ranked above 67 in a CBSSports.com poll. [...]

SB

September 29th, 2009
11:55 am

I’d say let ‘em play in the championship game this one time if they win out. No disrespect to them or their program, but they’d probably get slaughtered by Florida, Texas, or Alabama. Once that happens, we’ll never have to hear it again. As you state Tony, the big-boy conferences just play a different brand of football.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
11:56 am

I do agree UF should play some Bigger OOC games. In their defense USF did back out on them. Penn St. would help Boise out. It is a private and as such it takes time to work your way into it with hard work as FSU did.

Give me a break

September 29th, 2009
11:57 am

Boise has played 1 meaningful road game in the history or their program. 48-13 loss to Georgia. When a team such as Alabama and Oklahoma have national championship type seasons only to lose late in the year and get “rewarded” by playing in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise or the Sugar Bowl against Utah, of course they wont give a crap. Utah would have lost by 20 to Bama last year in the regular season if the game mattered. Boise would have lost by 30 to Oklahoma in the regular season a few years back. I HATE Florida, but if Boise plays Florida for the National title, I may just have to be a Gator. I am so sick of Boise St. Thank you for exposint them Tony.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
11:57 am

Miss. St may not put the smack down on GT but even if they don’t does beating one of the worst SEC teams prove you can compete in the SEC?

IMO no.

ReptilesRule

September 29th, 2009
11:59 am

Problem with Boise is that they play 1 real team. The only way I see them getting in is if all the big boys have 2 losses. Now when they have to play the Bama’s, Florida’s, Oklahoma’s, Texas’, Va Techs on a regular basis, get back to us.

Irish-Heel

September 29th, 2009
12:06 pm

If you want to play for a national championship, then play with the big boys. Get Boise State and Utah to move into the Pac-10, turn it into a Pac-12 with two six-team divisions with a championship game. If they are undefeated then, they earn the right to play for a national title.

Tburney

September 29th, 2009
12:06 pm

What everyone seems to forget about BSU playing OU was … we were ahead the whole game, Stoops was out coached, your God a. Peterson was held to 77 yards total including OT. Boise State has the B alls to play with the big boys they just won’t schedule us.

Gen Neyland

September 29th, 2009
12:07 pm

Anthony : IMHO, a team slicing through the SEC and finishing the regular season at 12-0, ranked #1 in the country and an underdog in their conference championship game, losing the conference championship game and a chance to play for a Crystal Football then drawing Utah in a bowl is a let down…Saban and staff and team leadership failed to get them ready mentally. It showed on that night Utah was the better team which really wasn’t, but for 60 minutes they were. This I believe is the test for Alabama in 2009. Can they finish the deal..?

Sam

September 29th, 2009
12:08 pm

I am not a playoff advocate, but I think Boise getting into the title game would actually do a lot to move toward a playoff. If it happened often enough, the AQ conferences will change the rules to make it harder for it to happen.

If Boise goes undefeated (assuming TCU/Houston do not) and does not get in, then some Senator from Idaho is going to call for more hearings (which is okay with me because if they are discussing this they are not messing with something really important like my health insurance).

I bet the voters are praying Boise loses. I think the voters could accept TCU or Houston playing in the title game mainly because they have a history having come from the SWC.

Sam

September 29th, 2009
12:10 pm

Gen Neyland, your comments about BSU being better than Bama for 60 minutes is spot on. It is also a good argument AGAINST a playoff. As we see in the NCAA basketball tournament, some team gets hot and the team that was the best during the year gets beat.

AlwaysAVol

September 29th, 2009
12:10 pm

I thought Boise State was kept out because the blue field played he11 with color tv screens.