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

Tburney

September 29th, 2009
12:11 pm

Otto…. Fresno well I do agree, however if you were to live here you would understand, we have asked those schools, the only ones who would pony up were Oregon State and Oregon, trust me we would love the opportunity to play USC, not saying we would demolish or win however it would be a good game and not a blow out. Hey all you PAC 10 teams and coaches, give BSU a chance to play. Hey Larry Scott, think about, BSU in the PAC 10, what an awesome addition…..

oldschooldog

September 29th, 2009
12:13 pm

BruceDawg, one of best posts ever. Press conference from rose garden? LOL. And if Boise goes 13-0, why not? I’d pull out an old b&w television with UF and Boise on same field, though.

Slick Willard

September 29th, 2009
12:14 pm

Brucedawg, you are one sick, envious puppy!

Otto

September 29th, 2009
12:21 pm

Tburney Fresno has more less given up on the PAC10 from what I gather from my Fresno Friend and are traveling to Rutgers and Wisconsin. FSU has to pay their dues. If Boise wants in they will have to pay their dues.

a little humor

September 29th, 2009
12:22 pm

Coaches can burn out, so I’m going to have to pick UGA to win this week as I think CMR
has a few less miles on him than the competition. Then the rankings Gods can figure it all out.
Go Dawgs!

timthebrave

September 29th, 2009
12:29 pm

PLAYOFFS!!!!!!!!Why not. I hope they put Boise St vs Houston in championship game. Ratings go down and they make a playoff system

TommyJack

September 29th, 2009
12:30 pm

Tony continues to distinguish himself as one of the better writers around. Don’t know why he wants to associate with those losers on CSS.

GeorgiaDuck

September 29th, 2009
12:32 pm

Boise State cannot get a home and home series with most of the big schools, which is what they are demanding now. The stadium is just too small. I doubt Oregon will ever go back to that snake pit.
I just can’t see a WAC team playing in the championship game.

Dave

September 29th, 2009
12:32 pm

What a joke Boise Junior College is. They dine on a continuous diet of CUPCAKES, and have the nerve to talk BCS.

They do have the rudest fans I’ve ever dealt with, I’ll give them that…

Dawgfan

September 29th, 2009
12:34 pm

If Boise wins them all then all you Bronco fans will get the seldom used Georgia rule that states…”if a team that we the pollsters rank very high gets into a position of moving into No. 2 in the polls because of a surprise upset, we the pollsters reserver the right to move you down are jump someone over you although neither of you lost a game. This rule is to prevent teams that are deemed worthy of a Top 5 ranking but unworthy of National Championship opportunity.”

Jake Taylor

September 29th, 2009
12:36 pm

TCU deserves a BCS bid over BSU. Plus TCU beat BSU last year in the bowl game.

Tburney

September 29th, 2009
12:41 pm

Hey I am not here to slam other teams or conferences, I am merely stating that BSU deserves the chance and the Big conferences are not willing to do so. TCU did win that game but I would hardly call it a beating that game could have gone either way. There was a statement previously also that BSU if allowed into the PAC 10 or MWC would be a top three team out of the get go and I definately agree.

Carl Childers

September 29th, 2009
12:41 pm

gdawginkalamazoo – The Ohio State University ended heavily-favored Miami’s winning streak in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl to finish 14-0 and win the BCS chamionship despite howls of protest from one-loss Georgia that the Dawgs would give Miami “a better game.” Just because they lost a game to Florida in their next BCS appearance certainly shouldn’t surprise a Dawg fan – you’ve been getting your backsides kicked by the Gators for about 20 years now. I’m sure the Buckeyes could do better than 1-19 against Florida, after all they’re only 0-1 right now. The Buckeyes have appeared in the BCS championship game three of the last seven years it’s been played and have one title. At that rate they’ll win the BCS championship every seven years – I’ll take it.

timthebrave

September 29th, 2009
12:43 pm

Those complaining that you won’t see quality matchups early in the season if there is a playoff system are way off the mark. I guess seeing USC vs Ohio State at the beginning of the season is better than watching them play to see who will play the TX vs FL winner in a final 4 matchup. Way more exciting. Everyone can agree with that right

Willie

September 29th, 2009
12:43 pm

I am sorry for Boise ST but there is no slot for them. USC, Ohio ST, Michigan, Penn St, Oklahoma use up the first five slots. Then one of these have to lose so a team from the SEC can be in the picture. Of course the aberration is once the SEC got in the picture it continues its foothold by winning ways. Boiste ST can schedule a game with Oklahoma or some ranked team if it wanted. It make take some dealing but it could happen. But because the of the inconsequential bowl(rose bowl) where a 6&5 team will play a 11 & 1 team makes it difficult for others to be ranked 1 or 2.

jcatl

September 29th, 2009
12:44 pm

The solution is a completely computer driven algorithm for determining the best 8 teams (by strength of schedule, win/loss, using margin of victory only in tie-breaker situations) and let those teams fight it out in a 3-week playoff. Take the human element and emotion out of it. That Penn State and Ole Miss got ranked as highly as they did only to turn out to be the duds most people expected tells you how much the humans know about these teams. As long as Joe Paterno lives and Notre Dame fields a team, those teams will be spoken of as if they are the greatest teams in the land when in fact they’ve been OK against average Big 10 competition.

Agree on the algorithm before the season starts and hand it over to the computers.

We allow computers to guide unmanned spacecraft and robots on Mars, I think they can do something as simple as determine the strongest teams in CFB at the end of the regular season. Sheesh. The BCS is a fraud – it’s only goal is to generate as much revenue as possible for the major conferences. I’m a huge SEC fan but I still see the ghost in the machine.

timthebrave

September 29th, 2009
12:46 pm

If Boise State wants people to play bigger teams there they need to change their field to green so that the rest of the country doesn’t get a headache watching them play. I respect the Boise State team but the smurf field has to go.

Willie

September 29th, 2009
12:48 pm

Carl Childers

September 29th, 2009
12:41 pm
Ohio St did not beat Miami, the referee’s did. That is why we have the second look at plays in college now. It was a passing interfence play on 4th down and the ref blew it. That gave Ohio St 4 more downs at the one yard line. Miami controlled Ohio St all game long. But here is your kool-aide…gulp gulp gulp.

Go Tech

September 29th, 2009
12:51 pm

I agree, ” NO WAY ” a BOISE is a National Champion team. 3 years ago UGA destroyed them. Let them play UGA now, and it’ll be same story. Also be glad to see CINCINATI destroyed too.. Put them and Boise in a bowl game together.

Willie

September 29th, 2009
12:53 pm

jcatl

September 29th, 2009
12:44 pm
We must go to a play off format. One day those Presidents of the universities that deny a play off series will die. They can not live forever. I do not care how much money they make. It will come to a play off and it will happen in my lifetime.

RC Cola and a Moon Pie

September 29th, 2009
12:54 pm

Utah didn’t “dominate” Bama last year – they dominated the first 9 minutes of the game and that was enough to decide it. Bama won the last 51 minutes of that game…

Gen Neyland

September 29th, 2009
12:55 pm

Sam : In the pro ranks, a wildcard can bring home the hardware because they are the hottest thing going at crunch time, not akin to a letdown because an obvious better team gets a crappy draw for a one shot opportunity the crappier team sees as their own personal NCG and if they pull it out, great for them on that given day. Alas, a playoff will come. Not as soon as many would hope but it will happen. We’ll call the NCG the Chaos Bowl.

SEC Fan

September 29th, 2009
12:59 pm

Any team that plays on a blue field does not deserve to play in the BCS NCG. It’s just that simple. If I happen to accidentially tune my TV to one of their home games, it gives me a headache. I immediately move on to another channel.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
12:59 pm

jcatl, If a play off does happen the BCS conf champs will get autobids. They must in order for the powerful conferences to agree to it. The politics involved in getting a playoff will destroy the regular season and what makes cfb special.

anotherdawg

September 29th, 2009
12:59 pm

Alot of good points made pro and con. There are some flaws with either the BCS or a true play-off season. I think the best scenerio is to keep the bowls, await their outcome, choose the best two, and then have a title game for #1. Even then, not everyone’s happy, but at least you prolong annointing the champion until after the games are played. That way the regular season and the bowl games still have meaning. And, we’re talking only one extra game, which is one of the big sticking points against a playoff.

GetOverIt

September 29th, 2009
1:08 pm

Willie, are you serious? if Miami controlled Ohio St. the WHOLE game as you stated, how in the world does 1 blown call make the difference? You can have your kool-aid back. class dismissed

Old Dawg

September 29th, 2009
1:09 pm

We all saw Georgia destroy Boise State a few years ago and then the Broncos turned around and stunned Oklahoma in a bowl game. The only way to resolve this issue is to have a playoff with the winners of each D-1 conference receiving an automatic bid, have a few other picks, put the pads on and let the best team win. Every other division of football does it. As for the Big 10 not wanting to let go of the Rose Bowl, that’s fine too. Let them have their bit of antiquated glory while the rest of the country plays for a national title.

Sure, an undefeated team like Hawaii will get in every now and then only to get waxed in the playoffs. And a team like Utah will make it all the way as well. It’s called competition, and sometimes the underdog becomes a great playoff team and wins it all.

A playoff system is a must. What a radical concept!

uga_dawg_92

September 29th, 2009
1:14 pm

Tony’s right, but more importantly……HOW can UGA be a 3 point favorite over LSU????????? Did I miss the newsflash that half the Bayou Bengals had gotten the Urban Meyer-virus??? What does Vegas know that Bulldawg nation doesn’t……I’m a DAWG but also a realistic optimistic skeptic???

sdblue

September 29th, 2009
1:21 pm

Tony, you’re saying the USA Today’s, Harris polls are wrong and therefore illegitimate? If so then you’re saying the BCS is illegitemate and therefore there’s no true champion in College football. Agreed.

Playoffs, are the only time in all of college football that would allow players and coaches to decide for themselves on the field their own destiny instead of a bunch of biased idiot polls and computers. If you don’t believe in playoffs, go back to watching a judged competition like dancing with the stars or ice skating…

Admittedly, you all say it isn’t fair. You’re right, it isn’t. For years the ball has been bouncing (by rule) in favor of the 6 BCS conferences, along whith the mountain of money as well. Sometimes it bounces in the direction of the non AQ’s. You have to take the bad with the good. If you can’t you’re just a hypocrite.

You’re all so predictable. When Boise, Houston, or TCU or podunk junior college wins a NC, you’ll then be saying it wasn’t a REAL N/C right? But when a BCS school wins it, you bow down and worship. Grow a spine and win or lose with class for once. The first step to overcoming denial is admitting the truth.

Bill E. Goat

September 29th, 2009
1:22 pm

If Joe Cox was my team’s QB guess i would make a fool of myself on the internet showing all the petty jealousy of Tim Tebow and Florida. Actually on second thought I wouldn’t because I have class unlike some UGA fans.

[...] Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s Tony Barnhart says it’s absolutely impossible, for the exact reason it hasn’t happened until now: No matter how many games they win, or by [...]

chg

September 29th, 2009
1:34 pm

KC, you and everyone else crying “playoffs” SHOULD become an NFL fan. You can ignore the regular season, tune in for the playoffs, and see the hottest team at the end of the year lift a trophy whether they deserve it or not. The best part it plenty of good seats are always available because the regular season doesn’t really matter. It’s awesome.

kautzie

September 29th, 2009
1:44 pm

no im pretty sure your wrong. im not going to pretend to know every stat for everyone ever but…i have been to the blue, ive played on it. i remember playing louisville and winning, i remember losing to boston college in a great game, and beating oklahoma in yet another. all i hear is “crappy schedule, etc etc. they need to play better quality teams” well so everyone knows. boise has a nonconference game next year starting off with virginia tech. boise is currentley talking to the mountain west but would rather be in the pac-10 as our wresteling, gymnastics, and track team is allready in that conference. i say take out lame ol’ stanford and put in boise st. wich im confident that the same numbers would be put up. do i think that boise is the best in the nation? no, but i do think that who ever is should earn that spot. if its alabama, i would be nervous if it were boise in the game given their embarassing loss to utah (wich boise beat the year before that game), and that the system should honor a number one or two the same as a number one or two with three little letters, bcs, infront of their conference payroll titles

jumbeauxtiger

September 29th, 2009
1:47 pm

I enjoy watching Boise play but no way would they make it unscathed in the SEC. The physical conference play over the course of a season
would do them in.

I have been a proponent for a 8-16 team playoff but the more I think about it, I just am not sure if it would be much better than what we now have. I remember the Cardinals winning the World Series a few years ago after barely finishing above 500 in the regular season. Were they really the best team in baseball or just a club that got hot at the right time?

Using the BCS bowls for a 4 team playoff would be something I would like to see.

Geaux Tigers
Go SEC

kautzie

September 29th, 2009
1:55 pm

well your right jum, i dont think it would be much better but….what if we used both. use the bcs to rank until bowl season and then have a playoff with the bcs bowl teams, each bowl is a level of the playoffs?

BCS

September 29th, 2009
1:55 pm

Well said, sir. I’m sorry Boise State fans. NO ONE is saying the Boise State is a bad team; that being said, with teams like U.C. Davis on your schedule/almost any team from the WAC, you just aren’t going to be considered. If you played with the big boys week in and week out, you might have a chance. However, you don’t. One day you will move out of your conference and this conversation can happen. You can’t win one big non-conference team and 12 high school teams and be considered.

Dan

September 29th, 2009
1:55 pm

1) so is the MNC game sposed to be btween the 2 best SOS’s or the 2 best teams?
2)Boise had Or.St. also on this years schedule till the beavers backed out.
3)only 2 other conferences anywhere close by that BSU could join, P10 and MWC and neither is willing to invite Boise, you HAVE TO BE INVITED!
4)the Georgia game was 4 YEARS AGO, there is no one on this Boise team who was on that team.
5)if you do not want this to happen, then have your big bad bcs team stop playing Sister Mary’s School for the Blind in OOC, all you have to do is use your OOC to play and knock out these upstart teams, if you are not willing to do that, then STFU.

Anthony

September 29th, 2009
2:00 pm

Gen Neyland – just a little lost on your logic about “the best team for 60 minutes”. Isn’t that what every game is based on, including the National Championship? Who shows up on that day, not what they did the week(s) before? It’s the old saying… “that’s why they play the game”. Utah beat Bama period. Up, down or sideways, the coaches and players didn’t come through with a win.

Adam

September 29th, 2009
2:01 pm

My problem with this line of reasoning is that you are saying that Boise State shouldn’t play for a title at the end of the season based upon the standing of the teams they play AS OF TODAY. Who is to say that the teams don’t do better than expected. Obviously, Oregon is the major “W,” but if the “bottom feeders” play a little better, those numbers improve.

Also, the argument so many put forward of “if they played in the ___” (SEC, Big 12, etc.), they’d have 4-5 losses is a logical impossibility. The truth is the DON’T play in those conferences, so we have to go with where they are and what they do this year, not what we THINK they would do if they were in a conference. Let’s be honest: why don’t we say something along the lines of “If Alabama was in the Big 12 South, they’d lose 2 games”? It’s the same argument on a larger scale.

If Boise State goes 13-0, they deserve at least to be considered. If they get blown out, so be it. They deserve a shot not based upon what we think WILL happen, but what they have done to earn the slot.

Atlanta Gator

September 29th, 2009
2:03 pm

jumbeauxtiger—-A 16-team playoff is never going to happen for a lot of reasons, not least of which is a straight 16-team playoff would add too many additional games to an already stressful 13 to 14-game season, would destroy the top bowls, and would add to many short-notice travel times for the fans following their teams. The best formulation that I have heard would be an 8-team playoff that uses the current 4 BCS bowls (Fiesta, Orange, Rose, Sugar) as the quarterfinal game sites, followed by 2 semifinals (at either a neutral site or the higher-seeded team’s home stadium, but with 50-50 seating), and a championship final game at a rotating neutral site. The champion and runner-up teams would only play 2 additional games and the losing semifinalists would only play 1 additional game. As for for the cut-off, an undefeated 3rd-ranked team might have something to complain about being left out of the present BCS; a 1 or 2-loss team 9th ranked team left out of an 8-team playoff can’t complain much. This would also have the advantage of preserving the bowl tradition for the 116 teams that would not participate in the playoff and would not unduly burden the athletes as legitimate students. It could all be over by the 3rd weekend in January.

Slide Rule

September 29th, 2009
2:04 pm

From results so far, the PAC-10 and Big-10 won’t figure in the BCS championship game selection. The “who beat who” loops in those two leagues will be mind-boggling. Good that they both are set for the Rose Bowl via the tie-ins.

The conference tie-ins for the Sugar and Orange bowl have resulted in some unappealing matchups lately. Nobody wanted Utah (and I bet nobody wanted to play them), but they played SEC#2. Oops.

The Orange Bowl always gets a schizophrenic team from the ACC, possibly one with 2 losses this year. Boise State, TCU, Houston against them? The sponsors would go bankrupt.

The bowl that could make out is the good old “Peach” Bowl (sorry about that, “Eat mor chickin”). UGA against Ole Miss, or some nearby ACC team that hasn’t completely bombed out. UNC, NC State or Clemson (likely one would be only a 3-loss team) would bring fans.

Texas had better not lose, or there’s going to be a mess in the Big-12 again.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
2:09 pm

Timthebrave, no we can’t agree. The current BCS system provides more excitement. I have watched more game because the chain reaction could lead to major changes in the bowl line up? How about UCLA beating USC to knock USC out of the title or Pitt over West Virginia? Vandy playing Tennessee close in ’07 nearly sending UGA to play LSU? If you keep up with the game the current system is more exciting.

Also NCAA Basketball ratings have continued to slide while Football ratings have continued to grow. People watch what is ost exciting even if what they want is not the most exciting.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
2:13 pm

AtlantaGator, I agree the 16 team playoff will not happen. An 8 team playoff with the 6 BCS champs getting auto invites, and 2 at larges which will be between the noBCS schools and ND will likely happen.

The BCS conferences will have to have automatic births for them to agree to it. ND will get some clause as the always do. The other will go to the nonBCS to kill the lawsuits.

It will turn the regular season into a bore, the SEC and Big12 will rule the playoffs, TV revenue will slide, and the NFL will love it. yawn…give me the current system.

Otto

September 29th, 2009
2:16 pm

Slide Rule you are correct the BCS matchups have been boring lately.

The bowl matchups were better before the BCS added another bowl to include more nonBCS teams. Another reason to give them their own division.

Parity sucks!

Gatorzone

September 29th, 2009
2:16 pm

Atlanta Gator, That is a Perfect idea for playoffs. Looks like a win win for the bowls, schools and the fans!

Slide Rule

September 29th, 2009
2:18 pm

Whoa, there kautzie…Stanford has a pretty well-rounded athletic program. They are recruiting quite heavily in Georgia for football.

RedMan

September 29th, 2009
2:26 pm

The Bowl Coalition ought to be investigated on RICO charges.

kautzie

September 29th, 2009
2:27 pm

also questionable schedules….

florida: Charleston Southern, Troy, Florida International
texas: Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming, UTEP, UCF
alabama: Florida International, North Texas, Chattanooga

the little guys:
boise st. plays fresno who lost…but close lost to over touted No. 14 Cincinnati 28-20, also noted a close loss to Wisconsin 34-31 in overtime.

they also play nevada who was in a close one with undefeated missou.

beat oregon who trashed cal when ranked so highly for no reason.

truth is, everyone has some powder puff teams in their schedule. problem is that boise belongs to that powder puff conference, we just happen to be the team that they refuse to use to take up space in their padded no conference schedule.

so….thank you. i would love to shake the hand of stoops, for playing us a great game waaaaay back when they did. thanks to gorgia. i also would like to thank both oregon schools for having the sand to schedule us. thank you oregon and oregon st. i would also like to shake the hand of the athletic director from virginia tech for letting us put our money where our mouth is in the future (scheduled for next season)

are there any other takers? we would love to not have to play the portland states, idaho states, uc davis teams, etc etc.

oregon dropped us as they dont like being embarrased at home, oregon st. got tired of us, byu yoused to play us but quit after losing two in a row to us as did utah in the years inbetwean them handing whoopings to bcs teams. (good job utah)

like fresno st., who happens to be thought of as sooooo tough despite being dominated by us every year, for their “play anyone, anywhere, anytime” so will we. call us…..not saying that were the best ever, but we can play ball

AGTfan

September 29th, 2009
2:28 pm

Since they don’t have a shot in the NCAA Beauty pagent, maybe they can be named Miss Congeniality.

Slide Rule

September 29th, 2009
2:33 pm

Yes, parity does suck. How about 6-6 teams in bowls? I think I’d rather watch Ivy league games. Or Australian Rules football.