The question: 12-0 Boise or 12-1 SEC, ACC champ?

I thought I had all my bases covered on Boise State yesterday. But for the past five seasons this football program has been a compelling thing to watch. Last night added yet another chapter to an incredible story and–I don’t think I’m overstating this–set the narrative for the rest of the 2010 college football season.

Yes, No. 5 Boise State beat Virginia Tech 33-30 Monday night in Landover, Md. But it wasn’t just the fact that the Broncos won. It was the WAY that they won. After coming out of the gate hard and knocking Virginia Tech back with a 17-0 run to open the game, the Hokies did what strong teams do. They settled down and began to grind it and wear Boise State down.

When Virginia Tech finally took the lead in the second half you expected Frank Beamer’s team to put the Broncos away. But there is a reason Boise State has won 50 games in the past four seasons plus this one night. They are poised. They are extremely well coached. And did I mention that they have a helluva quarterback?

Kellen Moore, who threw 39 touchdown passes and only three interceptions last season (that always looks like a typo when I see it) took his final opportunity and made the most of it Monday night in what was, for all intents and purposes, a road game.

Given the fact that EVERYTHING was on the line for Boise State’s season in that moment, Moore calmly and methodically drove his team down the field and delivered a 13-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis with only 1:09 left to win the game.

So let the debate begin anew. Let me refresh the argument based on what we saw last night.

If we get to the end of the season and there are multiple undefeated teams, one side of the argument says that Boise must be the odd man out because it did not play as tough a schedule as the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, or Big 12 conference champions.  Here are the pertinent numbers based on the CBSSports.com’s Top 120 that ranks every Division I-A team and its strength of schedule. These numbers were done before last night’s game.

TEAM………………………RANK………………………………SOS

VIRGINIA TECH…………..11……………………………..…….7

OREGON STATE………….17…………………………………..24

NEVADA……………………..41…………………………………..57

FRESNO STATE…………….48……………………….………69

WYOMING………………….62………………………………..59

IDAHO………………………..66……………….………………119

HAWAII………………………75………………………………..93

LA. TECH…………………….90………………………………..12

UTAH STATE………………..91…………………………..…114

TOLEDO………………………99………………………………76

SAN JOSE ST……………..110………………………………..20

NEW MEXICO ST………..112……………………………….98

Just look at the rankings and the SOS of the teams Boise plays after it faces Oregon State on Sept. 25. It is a very weak schedule because, after Boise, there aren’t many good teams in the WAC. That is a fact. Just look at those numbers and judge for yourself.

But here will be the Boise State side of this argument: Did you see us play? And if you did see us play is there any doubt, now that we are 50-4 since 2006, that we are a damned good team?

Boise State is a very good team. But there are a lot of very good teams out there. The question is: If you can only pick two teams to play for the BCS title, should Boise be one of them?

As I said yesterday, if we get to the end of the season and the SEC, ACC, Big 12, and Big Ten champs are all undefeated (that’s very unlikely, of course) then I don’t see the voters in the coaches and Harris polls telling one of the big boy conferences they have to make room for Boise. I could be wrong about that but I don’t think I am.

Where it gets fun, though, is if there are only two undefeated teams–Boise and somebody else–and if the SEC, ACC, Big Ten or Big 12 champ is 12-1 having played a conference championship game. We’ve seen those championship games push teams over the top of teams without championship games in the final BCS Standings (Remember Georgia in 2007?) THAT will be a fun argument.

But this much we do know. Boise is here and they are not going away if Oregon State doesn’t beat them on the blue rug on Sept. 25. With last night’s win the Broncos have earned the right to be in this argument.

Let the fun begin.

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442 comments Add your comment

TonyBFan

September 7th, 2010
7:42 am

I saw the WHOLE game. To the critics of the schedule, it’s now time to say, “Shut Up!!!”. Enough. Great game, I hated to see anyone walk out with a loss. Boise is real, they beefed up their o.o.c. schedule, so give them credit and play the games. Either that or give us a real play-off instead of these damn bowls.

TonyBFan

September 7th, 2010
7:44 am

Dern it. I was supposed to be a dumb-A again and go “First”. Sorry, I just wanted to contribute today….

Carey

September 7th, 2010
7:50 am

What really gets my goat about the whole mess is this: sports writers (in general, our host being a notable exception) go on and on about how Boise St deserves a shot even though they play a cupcake of a schedule. Then, they turn around and complain endlessly about how pathetic the SEC out-of-conference schedule is (even though Bama plays Penn State, Auburn plays Clemson, LSU plays WVU, and Florida and Georgia have regular ACC opponents)!

There needs to be some consistency. Teams that play tough conference schedules should be given a pass on their SJSU games OR they should be given a higher consideration when it comes to BCS selection.

Ramon Rodriguez

September 7th, 2010
7:53 am

Could Boise play a full SEC conf schedule and survive? Probably not but they are fun to watch.

Jim

September 7th, 2010
7:55 am

Wow….still no word on AJ Green….why isn’t the AJC doing ANY digging to see what the real story is? Why is CMR staying so silent? Interesting….but AJ said he was innocent….and yet the NCAA has not cleared his eligibility yet…..wow, that is a head scratcher.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
7:55 am

Boise just proved last night that Va. Tech and the ACC are overrated. ACC is 0 – 2 in the big games so far this season.

Nesbitt for Heisman

September 7th, 2010
7:56 am

1 for 6, 8 yds and an INT.

Norman

September 7th, 2010
7:56 am

There won’t be a SEC team in the National Championship game this year! The other conferences are tired of seeing a SEC team playing in that game.

Aladawg

September 7th, 2010
7:58 am

Boise is not a national championship caliber team. The officials job on that last drive were a dream case for conspiracy theorists along with the final throw. They looked like SEC officials. The schedule is just too weak. I also hope that UGA doesn’t head to more patsy scheduling. As a season ticket holder for many years, I want to see competitive games not constant blow-outs.
Aladawg

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
7:59 am

norman…. ACC wont win the MNC because they are still choking.

JB

September 7th, 2010
8:01 am

The upside is that if they do run the table it helps with the playoff theory.

HBTD!!!

5IML

September 7th, 2010
8:04 am

Jim,

AJ might not have gone to the agent’s party in Miami but he could have had other dealings with agents. Once player started getting caught and spilling the beans, there were probably a lot of other things (besides that party) uncovered.

m

September 7th, 2010
8:05 am

Tony, what about mighty ole miss taking it on the chin. The sec sucks.

TS

September 7th, 2010
8:05 am

A SEC will be in the national championship game, period. Boise looked good last night, but I think they will get knocked off when they least expect it. To follow your favorite teams/players, check out myfanflash.com.

chilidawg

September 7th, 2010
8:07 am

In an effort to shrink our carbon footprint, the NCAA has cancelled football season and scheduled Boise State and TCU in the BCS championship game.

Spike

September 7th, 2010
8:07 am

Va. Tech choked again.

Kirk Herbstreit

September 7th, 2010
8:09 am

“All you coaches out there need to see that Boise State is the real deal!” God, why do I want Ohio State to play Boise State so bad in the BCS Championship game? Answer, they are not from the SEC.

UGA

September 7th, 2010
8:12 am

Is Boise State that team we beat like a drum in 2005 and it got the press coverage of beating a high school team? Yeah, it was a team lead by the Z-man who didn’t finish the game so his confidence wouldn’t be shattered.

Tom Crawford

September 7th, 2010
8:12 am

As usual, Tony, you’re asking the wrong question. It’s not a matter of whether you prefer Boise State or an SEC/ACC team. The real question is: how long will the corrupt, bowl-dominated BCS be allowed to continue denying players, coaches, and fans the opportunity to see the same kind of championship playoff that they are allowed to see in EVERY OTHER COLLEGE SPORT. That’s the question here. Until you ask it, Tony, you’re just kissing up to a corrupt and crooked BCS establishment.

Marietta

September 7th, 2010
8:17 am

the chokies are now 1-26 vs top 5 opponents…a nice program but clearly not elite

Dawg_Mike

September 7th, 2010
8:17 am

The Arena football league called VT last night- they want their uniforms back.

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

September 7th, 2010
8:18 am

I’m not sure if you can say Boise St won the game last night or VaTech’s coaching staff lost the game. First off VT did not look prepared and the clock management in the 4th Qtr should get someone fired. However, It was an exciting game until the last 2 mins when the officials decided they would help determine the outcome.

Dawg_Mike

September 7th, 2010
8:19 am

@ chilidawg

We can go ahead and book it. TCU vs. BSU in the NC game.
Now the fun begins….let the talking heads prop that one up.

Chris

September 7th, 2010
8:19 am

The answer is NO!

Two undefeated major conference teams, or a one loss major conference team deserves to be in the national championship game over Boise State. What if Va. Tech losses to 2 or 3 more games this year? Does that make Boise States win as impressive? Boise State is a good team, but they are not good enough to be considered in the same breath with the elite teams. Va. Tech is not an elite team as they proved last night. They had plenty of chances to put Boise State away, but kept shooting themselves in the foot over and over again. Beating VA. Tech is not that big of a deal. Beating Alabama, Texas, Florida, or Ohio State would have been more impressive.

Playing two ranked teams all year should not give someone the right to play for the national championship….no matter who you are.

Beast from the East

September 7th, 2010
8:19 am

Sorry, but they should not get in over a one loss team from the SEC. Their schedule is ranked 100. Plus, we don’t know how good VT will end up being. They could turn out to be a 7-5 team. I say let the season unfold and the elimination process will take care of itself.

bdawg

September 7th, 2010
8:19 am

Boise State is a very good team. They have speed and hung with VT defensively. The BCS has been very good for Boise, the play week schedule, put up wins, and get big money for doing so. I bet they don’t want a playoff, as it would hurt them having to play tough opponents back to back games. The story on the BCS is how good it has been to non-bcs teams versus a playoff financially.

TDone

September 7th, 2010
8:21 am

UGA, you got to go the 2005 route? I mean, not one of the players on either team are still in school. Get real!!!

SEC Fan, great game against Jacksonville State by an SEC team.

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
8:22 am

Boise is good. While it is no fault of their own, their conference is a joke. They have a two-game season.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
8:24 am

TDone…. Bama crusshed that other WAC team too. San Jose?

SOGADOG

September 7th, 2010
8:24 am

Granted Boise State has a really good football team with a great coaching staff. When you ask yourself if they deserve to play in the title game if they go undefeated, imagine what would have happened if Boise played Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, or Penn State’s schedule. Can you honestly say Boise could play an SEC or Big Ten schedule and go undefeated? Suppose Ga. Tech or UGA played Boise’s schedule. Isnt there a good chance they go undefeated? Strength of schedule matters. If Boise wants to play for the title then they need to join the Big Ten, Big 12 or Pac 10 and beef up their schedule.

Griffin

September 7th, 2010
8:25 am

A 12-1 SEC team should go to the NC before Boise. Boise should go the the NC before a 12-1 ACC team. The ACC is just not that strong of a conference. We saw that last year when the week before the ACC Championship, their two best teams got beat by the 4th and 5th best teams in the SEC.

JDW

September 7th, 2010
8:25 am

I think last night proved that VA Tech can’t cut the mustard against a well prepared, motivated but inferior opponent. If they don’t improve quickly they will lose three more. Boise is a nice little team of guys that could not make it in the real big time of college football. They carry a chip on their shoulder and on a given night, with some breaks and calls, they can get by a quality opponent. But, no rational voter should think they have proven themselves worthy of a championship appearance by winning games against teams in the WAC. After all most people accuse teams in the SEC, Big 12 etc… of scheduling patsies when a WAC team pops up on the schedule.

GTJeff

September 7th, 2010
8:28 am

Absolutely not. Playing one good team a year & 11 creampuffs should not get you into the BCS game.

5IML

September 7th, 2010
8:28 am

Congrats to Jack St.! If only Samford had stayed within 50 of FSU, the little guys from Bama would have had a banner weekend.

GT - 1st Place ACC Coastal

September 7th, 2010
8:28 am

VT loss will help GT win the ACC once again as it will likely be a tiebreaker in the ACC Coastal, the nation’s most powerful division. After last night I am certain we could hang with anyone from Bama to OSU.

Moore wasn’t all that, Nesbitt still should be the Heisman front-runner after his 3 TDs rushing against a formidable South Carolina St. defense.

Reality

September 7th, 2010
8:28 am

Two Big Points here…

1. The ACC teams are playing ooc teams that are ranked ahead of them. In those games, they are now 0-2. This include UNC close loss to an SEC team, and the VA Tech loss to Boise. Both opponents were favored to win, and they won very very close games. However, the ACC hate-ers will simply point to the 2 losses without recognizing the ‘rest of the details.’

2. VA Tech may not be as good as everyone thinks. They handed Boise State 17 points to start the game. As always we must wait until the season plays out to judge the teams.

CF is Great!

September 7th, 2010
8:29 am

The sad point is that, just like last year, Boise plays one game against a worthwhile opponent to start the season and then just shows up the next 11 games and thinks they should be in the title game. And this will be after going 12-0 and allowing about 25 points per game to teams that couldn’t score in a brothel. One game doesn’t validate a schedule or a team.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
8:29 am

The ACC is trying to do damage control. THE ACC had a weak WAC conference team beat an overrated Va. Tech.

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

September 7th, 2010
8:30 am

Tony
Boise St was very quick this off season to jump to the Mountain West even they knew there was a possibility 1 or 2 of the teams there could leave for the PAC 10 or BIg 12. Why didn’t they campaign for a spot in the PAC 10 instead of settling on another 2nd tier conference? I think they like being able to play the victim card instead of having to play a good team every week it makes people feel sorry for them. By the time they get in the Mt West BYU & Utah will be gone and how long before TCU will be ask to join the Big 12.

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
8:31 am

Come on Tom Crawford, what can a sportswriter do to challenge the BCS, when Michael Adams, UGA’s president and NCAA executive board member, was voted down when he tried to just get a conversation about a playoff going?

Not much career advancement in being a Don Quixote . . .

anotherdawg

September 7th, 2010
8:31 am

Boise State fan or not, they are a fun team to watch. but, it’s a little early to talk about the NC game at the end of the season. If they are number 2 at the end, I think you have to give them a shot. I know that don’t play a SEC schedule, but neither does Ohio State.

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
8:34 am

You’re right, Reality, Va Tech ’s first half looked very familiar to me – like about a dozen UGA games the past two years.

You can’t spot a good team points with stupid penalties and turnovers and expect to win, although the Hokies almost did.

Eddy

September 7th, 2010
8:35 am

12-0 boise without a doubt. they have earned it if they do that. and you say 12-1 sec or acc. so a team can go undefeated into their champ game and lose it and then play for the nat champ. mope. so your assumption is for them to lose prior to the nat champ.
i don’t see any acc or sec teams going undefeated this season. maybe a big 10. iowa or oh state but they always seem to lose somewhere they shouldn’t. i think boise will and will play somebody. and it will be a great game. they have proven they deserve a chance. people said years ago you play no one. well now they have 2 tough games on their schedule. sorry but that’s no different than other conferences at times. AND if boise played in your sec, they would get sec recruits. and be even better. not sure why some of you are hard headed and don’t understand this.

Pago Pago Dawg

September 7th, 2010
8:35 am

We’re not sure if we would want the DAWGS to play Boise State again!

5IML

September 7th, 2010
8:36 am

Not a tech,

Boise probably unofficially asked the Pac 10 but the Pac-10 said no thanks. Why would the Pac-10 add Boise–to corner the Idaho tv market? That’s my guess because its not like the Pac-10 is a tough conference. If the were in the Pac-10, BSU would probably lose 3 conference games every 2 years and go to the Rose Bowl every 2 years.

RxDawg

September 7th, 2010
8:37 am

Look at the schedules played and this isn’t even a question.

GeezusDawg

September 7th, 2010
8:38 am

…. unless the 12-1 SEC team is Ole Miss. Then Boise should go.

ForsythDawg

September 7th, 2010
8:40 am

As I said in another post – this is JUST like Hawaii in 2007. Everyone gushed over them and they unfortunately made it to a BCS game where they were embarrassed! The same thing will happen to Boise State this year. I think that several conferences should be forced to drop to Division II. They just can’t compete.

MURPHY

September 7th, 2010
8:40 am

Boise played well and deserve to be in mention with BCS Championship.They have a great head coach and are a well prepared team. I think it would be fun to see this team play a SEC team in the BCS. To the argument on them rated higher than a SEC team at the end of the year,I do believe the SEC team that is 12-1 should be rated higher due to schedule and the fact they played a conference championship game.I have respect for Boise and their staff but would like to see them play a little tougher schedule. I remember not to long ago they came to Athens and got blown out by an average UGA team.

Bubba Big Lips

September 7th, 2010
8:40 am

Va Tech is overrated as usual.