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

Bronco Blue

September 7th, 2010
8:44 am

I always love the comment that Boise state can’t beat the likes of Florida, Ohio State or Alabama.. Well that is what has said about every BCS team that Boise state has played. The Results are always the same.. Win. Argue until your blue in the face but Boise State is just doing what it does best is win one game at a time. If they want a true system get a playoff & let it be decided the way it should be until then put some Orange & blue on & join Bronco Nation.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
8:44 am

Jacksonville State should be mentioned in the title hunt too.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
8:46 am

sorry but Im not covinced that the Broncos could survive in a conference like the SEC week in and week out. Hawaii was champs of the WAC 2 years ago and we all saw what happened there.

5IML

September 7th, 2010
8:47 am

SEC,

Jack St is not eligible for the BCS title. They are an FCS team (which makes the loss even more embarrassing for Ole Miss).

5IML

September 7th, 2010
8:49 am

If Boise ran the table and played in the BCSCG, they would be following the model created by USCw earlier this decade. The Pac-10 was horrible back then. USC played three ranked opponents at most, during the regular season.

Gen Neyland

September 7th, 2010
8:49 am

Boise St is no App St. As Coach Barney Fife of Mayberry A&M would say, ” Beat me once, shame on me. Beat me twice, shame on me.”…Boise St reminds me of Las Vegas. A super city of fun and games built in the middle of nowhere without competition, but bring ‘em to Jersey City and they can throw dice with the best of ‘em…

Paul in RDU

September 7th, 2010
8:50 am

If BSU (or TCU for that matter) being in the BCS Championship game over a 1 loss champion of the ACC, Big 10, Big XII or SEC is what is needed to blow up the Bowl Cartel Series, then I will be hoping they are picked.

dawgcrzy

September 7th, 2010
8:51 am

Did anyone see the two un-sportsman like calls the refs did’nt call on Boise? One was when he pointed to the crowd after the TD,the other when he handed the ball to a VT player after being tackled. Big 10 refs, go figure.

quantumslip

September 7th, 2010
8:51 am

There’s a flaw in the “could they play in the SEC” argument: by being in the SEC, they would have better players and talent, which in theory would elevate them to the level of SEC teams. Whether Chris Petersen could work with SEC-level talent is another question, but it seems like he’s a pretty good darn coach.

cuttysark

September 7th, 2010
8:54 am

What a great game! If an SEC team has 1 loss, they still have an excellent shot of going to the BCS National Championship Game because at this point Boise will have to hope that Va Tech has a great season which will help them in the computer rankings. Too many variables to ascertain at this point, but college football is the best game going. Go to http://isportsweb.com for articles on Georgia Tech Football. Nice article Tony.

George Stein

September 7th, 2010
8:57 am

I think SEC folks had better hope Ole Miss doesn’t win a single conference game this year. If they win even one, the league should be embarrassed.

jury

September 7th, 2010
8:59 am

Both teams looked second-tier last night, two welter weights staggering around a bar. Both were equally poorly trained. BSU looked like they spent the off-season in “How to hold and avoid the call” classes.

Paul in RDU

September 7th, 2010
8:59 am

5IML – USC can’t be blamed for their conference schedule – no more than UGA can be blamed for not playing ALA and LSU this year.
As far as their OOC schedule the years they played in the MNC is concerned – USC play ND every year and in 2004 they beat VT @VT and BYU @BYU. In 2005 they won at Hawaii, beat Fresno State and destroyed Arkansas (the famous SEC speed held them to 70 points)

chazzo

September 7th, 2010
9:01 am

BSU only plays one other ranked team. Much will depend on where V. Tech and Oregon (St?) are ranked going into the bowl season. If an SEC team or ACC team or any other team has one loss and has played 4-6 ranked opponents who are still ranked at the end, then of course the schedule plays into it.

I say let’s burn another season. We really won’t know for sure who the best team is, but let BSU play for it. Bring on the playoff!!!

ACC Fan

September 7th, 2010
9:05 am

Let’s be real here. How can you honestly deny a team the opportunity to go to the BCS Title if it now goes 12-0 being a pre season top 5 team. Anybody that knows football and is true to themselves can see that these Broncos can play with any team in the nation period.

People stop trying to make excuses for the SEC and so on with a 1 loss team and give it a rest. The PAC 10 refused to invite Boise St. to the conference and all because they would have a new top team year after year. Now on with it and let’s finish the season before we start assuming anything.

If the Broncos go undefeated then without a doubt they should be in the title game.

For real SEC FAN?

September 7th, 2010
9:06 am

A weak WAC opponent? Did you watch the same game I did? Boise is not a weak WAC opponent. Dang good football team. Don’t let you’re hate for the ACC cloud you’re judgment.

Sam Houston

September 7th, 2010
9:07 am

Now everybody is going to say Va Tech was over rated. They were VOTED that high by the same people that VOTE on who is going to play in the championship game. It’s a shame, but nobody has ever won the national championship on the field. To even participate you have to be VOTED in.

Lewis Grizzard

September 7th, 2010
9:08 am

Norman said: “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.”

Norman, the other conferences have no say-so. They must submit.

m

September 7th, 2010
9:10 am

We don’t know for sure if Boise will be national champs…but we do know for sure that Jacksonville St. is the undefeated and undisputed sec champs. The sec sucks.

Alphare

September 7th, 2010
9:10 am

Depending on which team is the 11-1 SEC team, if it’s BAMA/FL, the 12-0 Boise won’t be in NC picture, if it’s Auburn/UGA, Boise will be in.

Remember UGA was SEC champs twice but didn’t play in NC in either year? remember Auburn was 11-0 but didn’t in NC?

Remember FL was 10-1 twice and played in NC in both years? Remember LSU was 10-2 and played in NC?

Posters found an excuse to put FL/BAMA/LSU in the NC picture, but when it comes Auburn/UGA, they will find an excuse to leave them out. When Auburn/UGA is on top, they will say SEC has a down year.

Posters do the same thing for Ohio State, TX and OK. They are the beauties and they are perceived to be in the contest.

I have no bone with UGA or Auburn, but this seems to be the reality to me.

Lewis Grizzard

September 7th, 2010
9:12 am

M, “Mighty Ole Miss”?? They were ranked 7th in the conference. Nobody but Ole Miss fans (and probably not even they) called Mississippi “mighty”. Just an average team in a great conference.

GaGator

September 7th, 2010
9:12 am

Tony

Explain to all those fans screaming for a Football Play-Off system instead of the
Bowl Games, which we are about to get to a playoff via the conference championship
games. The SEC, Big 12 (10), ACC, and Big East have them now, the Big 10 (12), the Pac-Ten (12) will soon have them.
Through in a couple at large teams and it should be apparent who
deserves to go to the BCS Championship Game. Further more if there was a play-off system, an entire year of debating the merits of who should go would be lost and all the
fun that goes with the debating.

If the NCAA ran the playoffs like in basketball, all the money would go to them, as it is
now, all the money goes to the schools and there conferences. So I don’t think the NCAA
running the show will fly.

5IML

September 7th, 2010
9:13 am

Paul,

I’m not blaming BSU for being in a weak conference, just making a observation.

In 2004, when USC played them, ND, BYU, and VaTech were unranked. USC played only 2 ranked opponents during the regular season–Cal and Az St.

If a team can play a weak schedule and still make it to the BCSCG, more power to ‘em.

UGAlien

September 7th, 2010
9:14 am

Well at least we know that VT is not the fastest car in the Ford Pinto 500. Bet that’s FSU.

Beaufort Tiger

September 7th, 2010
9:14 am

Here’s what people forget in this argument… nobody wants to play Boise! Boise had to travel across the country just to play Va. Tech which wouldn’t agree with a home-away-home offer from Boise, only agreeing to a “neutral” site (hardly neutral). Boise showed up and won.

These guys deserve to be in the national title discussion, so long as they win out. Period.

Pago Pago Dawg

September 7th, 2010
9:14 am

“dawgcrzy”…..yes I saw those two plays that should have been a penalty. The Boise State guy shoved the ball into the VT guy and I wondered where the flag was?

CharlotteGator

September 7th, 2010
9:15 am

VERY impressed with the athleticism and play from Boise St. last night. They definitely proved me wrong. I think #22 Martin was my favorite player on the field . #6’s run, Kellen Moore, and the WR’s were all great, but I really liked the way Martin ran with toughness and grit. He was a stud and I’d take him on my team any day. Liked Tyrod Taylor’s play for the most part, but the VaTech O-Line and D didn’t play very well. Great game, and as much as it pains me to say this, I think Boise St. deserves their shot.

Can’t wait for the slate of games this weekend. Most looking forward to UF-USF (default due to my bias), then UGA – USC (vested interest in both teams since they’re in the east), and then OSU – Miami (most athletes on the field this weekend). The Penn State – Bama and FSU – Oklahoma games will probably get DVR status as I think Bama will win handily and I can’t bring myself to root or care about either Oklahoma or FSU.

So glad college football is here and in full swing.

McDawg

September 7th, 2010
9:16 am

12-O Boise will be in the BCS championship this year

Bryan

September 7th, 2010
9:19 am

One of the commentators said it best last night…all Boise’s big wins come when they have time to prepare….wanna see them beat back to back good teams without there being a month or two in between…then talk to me about Boise…blah

Also VT is not that good

ugaclassof2004

September 7th, 2010
9:20 am

I want Boise State to go undefeated, because then they’ll play a real team in the BCS Title game and get hammered. Title games like this will force the BCS to move towards a playoff system, at the very least a plus one format.

Lewis Grizzard

September 7th, 2010
9:23 am

TDone, UGA’s point was that 2005 was the last time Georgia played Boise. Boise was ranked high coming in and they got spanked. Last night, they played a sub-standard team from a mediocre conference and squeaked out a win. A powerhouse that does not make.

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

September 7th, 2010
9:24 am

The SEC/ACC team (expecially the SEC team) should go over an undefeated Boise IN THIS SYSTEM.

If we had an 8-10 team playoff, with Boise winning its way through, I would have no problem letting them play for the NC.

However, since we don’t, I can’t see a Boise team, as good as it is, play for the NC while playing only two ranked teams (assuming Oregon St. doesn’t lose again next week and drop outta the rankings) and I certainly can’t see them going over a 1-loss SEC or ACC team.

And if you guys really think we’ll get a playoff by (potentially) screwing good teams over and showing the BCS bigwigs how broken the system is, 2004 called and said, “THEY DON’T CARE.”

Don’t get me wrong, Boise’s a good team, but as long as they play in that crap conference, they shouldn’t get a shot at the NC in the current BCS system. And moving to the MWC was smart … until Utah jumped to the PAC 10 and BYU said it was going it solo. Boise’s still gonna be at the kid’s table. They’ll just be in a different seat.

Father of 5

September 7th, 2010
9:27 am

Boise should be #1 RIGHT NOW! The polls are a joke. Pitt starts #15, loses to an unranked Utah, but remains ranked #15 — while Utah is unranked!?!

Boise St, TCU, Utah, and Houston all deserve to play in the MNC game over one loss teams from any conference. College football is the best game on the field, but it is girls figure skating in the grand scheme — some fat guys in the expensive seats decide which one is the prettiest, completely ignoring what happens during the competition. What a joke.

Paul in RDU

September 7th, 2010
9:28 am

5IML – ND, VT and BYU may have been down when USC played them but they are all traditionally strong and you and I both know that those kind of inter-regional match ups are made years in advance. That’s the breaks however.
BTW – If your guys in crimson go undefeated this year they will certainly have earned a position in the BCS Championship game – kudos for scheduling PSU (to go with the “unusual” SEC schedule – someone in Birmingham has it in for you).

Sam Robards, Dawg Fan

September 7th, 2010
9:30 am

Also, the questionable (read: bad) officiating on that last drive certainly didn’t hurt Boise’s last-minute comeback.Yeah, Bud Foster’s defense blew it, but they were put in the position to win by the refs.

And here I thought only SEC refs protected teams. Though since there’s no preseason “Battle of Undefeateds in Atlanta” storyline this year, I expect the SEC officiating to be a little more even.

kinggator

September 7th, 2010
9:34 am

good for college football. If Boise St. makes the title game, one of the major conf. will be left out, which will finally make the college prez.’s realize we need a playoff!!

How about TCU vs Boise St.!! Now that would make ‘em scramble!!

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
9:35 am

Foxsports.com’s Thayer Evans wrote: “”With Boise State’s toughest remaining game at home against No. 24 Oregon State on Sept. 25 …”
**************************************************
Boy that says it all, doesn’t it? One week into the season, and all Boise has to play is one more “tough game.” Boise is very good, but when I see them in a conference having to play 8 or 9 “tough games,” and coming out with one loss or less, they’ll get my vote (if I had one). Heck, UGA plays 3 of the top teams in the country . . . in November (Florida, Auburn, Ga Tech) alone!

GTville

September 7th, 2010
9:39 am

Boise can only play their schedule. No major conferences are knocking on their door asking them to join. They must go 12-0 which is not easy.
The powers who eventually create a playoff will pick teams by vote, not by win to get in, so there will still be a huge discussion. 2 loss teams from big fan base schools will get in playoffs.
11-1 big conference team should probably go before Boise, but you need to see what WAC teams do this year and what VT and Oregon State do.

5IML

September 7th, 2010
9:39 am

Paul,

ND hasn’t been any good since the late 90’s. BYU has a good year, here-and-there. VT has been consistently good. But, I’m not trying to argue for or against 2010 BSU or 2004 USC.

Regarding BAMA, although it was SJSU, the game answered a big question I had. Special Teams looked pretty solid. If we can get consistent kicking, I will expect another undefeated season.

PMC

September 7th, 2010
9:40 am

You know Tony, the thing is Boise State is an extremely well coached football team and they do have some very good players. The idea that they couldn’t survive in the SEC is sort of bollocks because if they were in the SEC and not the WAC they would have a lot more players. Houston Nutt and Tyrone Nix just proved how bad an SEC defense can look when they aren’t ready to play anyone anyway.

Is Boise State good enough to play for a title. Certainly. DO they deserve it playing a terribly weak WAC schedule + a very tough game last night and an ok Oregon State team…. I don’t know. It depends on what else happens this year.

Jeff

September 7th, 2010
9:43 am

Boise’s conference is such a joke there is no way to accurately rank them. If they played in the SEC they would never go undefeated.

T3

September 7th, 2010
9:43 am

Top things learned over the weekend:

1. Les Miles is DONE at LSU.
LSU playing against UNC using 2nd & 3rd teams. John Chavis’s VINTAGE “Prevent Defense” almost cost LSU the game.

2. The SEC looks over-rated this year.
Vandy: Train Wreck – Confirmed
Tenn: Train Wreck – Waiting to happen
LSU: Decent players, crappy staff, and coach who is “dead-man walking”
Ole Miss: Karma has arrived in Oxford. And she’s PISSED.
Florida: WTH ??

3. Barnhart = BCS PROPOGANDIST
Once again Barnhart bemoanS how BoiseSt has “screwed up this BCS.”
The BCS = Bowl Cartel System. Its just one big fraud.

BoiseSt still has 11 games to go, and just as I had predcited BoiseSt to beat VT, I will predict that BoiseSt will lose to one of these 3 this year: Hawaii, Fresno State, or LaTech.

ONLY A PLAYOFF SYSTEM WILL RESOLVE ALL DISPUTES.

Not some +1 ssytem after the bowl games.

A REAL playoff system, you know like that used by
EVERY SINGLE OTHER COLLEGE SPORTS AT EVERY SINGLE LEVEL.

What I’d like to see is Barnhart and his ilk argue how unfair and unproductive playoff systems are in every other colleg esports. You know, perhaps why March Madness is bad for B-Ball and shuld be eliminated in favor of a cartel system that would keep teams like Gonzaga and BUtler out of teh NCAA tournament.

Lewis Grizzard

September 7th, 2010
9:43 am

quantumslip said: “…by Boise being in the SEC, they would have better players and talent, which in theory would elevate them..”

If your theory was correct, Mississippi State would be a contender every year. No, if BSU was in the SEC, it’d probably just be another “also-ran”. Plus, look at all the traveling they’d have to do from Idaho. :-)

Bungle Bee

September 7th, 2010
9:44 am

The argument is simple if Boise was in the SEC, where would they finish? I can’t see them having a better record than Bama or UF. That said, if they win the PAC 10 next year, then they’ll be in the Big game come Jan.

Sec Fact Finder( the real one)

September 7th, 2010
9:45 am

Tony, Great Great writing this morning.

The argument can also be made for LSU if you were to take Mississippi St., Auburn, and Alabama off of their schedule, yeah they beat a tough N.C. team without 16 players, but did you see them play in the first half( kinda of the same scenario as Boise St.) big half, and hang on for win.

We can also make the case for GT or BC or any other ACC school, take away FSU, Miami, VT off their schedules and let them play 10 cup cakes and two tough outer conference games and see how anyone would come out.

The issue is always, I can take any team with decent talent and prep them for 6 weeks and give another team a good game if I know the weeks after I play them I can relax and coast through until January 1. The big picture is pretty clear, Oregon St. will need to pull off an upset to take this bunch out of the picture…..

CrackDaddy

September 7th, 2010
9:46 am

If LSU is a top tier SEC team, then their razor-thin victory over a one-armed UNC team says something about the relative stength of the two conferences. From what I saw, if UNC gets its key players back (they lost their top offensive and defensive players for that game: Little and Draughn on O, and Quinn and Austin on D), they will have one of the deepest teams in the land. There performance on Sat against LSU, even without their top playmaker (Little) and their two top RB’s, proves that their O has improved leaps and bounds over last year. They hung 412 yards on the LSU pass defense. Yates is going to be a top QB this year given the maturity of his receivers and the now healthy status of the O-line. I wouldn’t count them out of any game if the star players return.

Todd

September 7th, 2010
9:47 am

Boise still doesnt deserve to be in the game. Va tech isnt a huge win and they only barely won. playing cupcakes in this system shouldnt allow to play in the championship game just cause you have captured the hearts of people. I say NO to Boise

Old Ball Coach

September 7th, 2010
9:48 am

No, BSU should NOT go to the NC over a 12-1 SEC Champ because of strength of schedule and VT isn’t a top 10 team. This was a very bad showing for a potential ACC Champ.

the prof

September 7th, 2010
9:50 am

Beefed up their schedule???? With who….two top 20 teams and nobody else even in the top 40??? Let them play a real schedule, week in and week out, and then lets see if they end up unbeaten!

UGAlien

September 7th, 2010
9:50 am

ACC Fan, what are you smoking this morning? The Bronco’s most certainly CANNOT play with any team in the country… and expect to win, that is. They played a crappy team from the crappy ACC last night. Stop trying to pump them up and make them look like it was something special to beat VT. Hell, Ole Miss would have even beat VT last night.