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

A Big Dog Pile

September 7th, 2010
10:31 am

VA Tech is 1-26 against top 5 opponents

Boise did not prove anything last night

VT did prove something,

they proved they will be at least a 3 or 4 loss team in the sorriest conference in America

Load your line up, play man coverage, and you will stop the run, and cause Tyrod to panic

VT will lose to GT, FSU, Miami, and possibly UNC count on it

HugoStiglitz

September 7th, 2010
10:32 am

Of course Boise should get in if they are one of two undefeated teams. They have proven themselves time and time again. Hopefully it causes alot of crying from SEC or Big 10 fans and maybe college football will finally enact a legitimate postseason.

Atticus

September 7th, 2010
10:32 am

This is a JOKE to even ask. Boise plays TWO teams from BCS conferences? Georgia plays 10. Any SEC or ACC or whoever school would deserve it over Boise. They are a good team, no doubt. Deserving of a national title, no way!

Play more teams from BCS conferences and play some ranked road games before you deserve consideration. For every game like the Ok Fiesta win or Utah over Bama win, you have Hawaii getting run by Georgia or UF destroying CINN.

Disappointed

September 7th, 2010
10:34 am

Makes me sick that one half of the national championship game has already been decided after week 1. My favorite sport has turned to ruin.

Atticus

September 7th, 2010
10:35 am

Harvey, do you really think Richt would have AJ Green practice if he knew he was done. Come on, use your brain.

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
10:38 am

Hugo, why make this a Boise vs SEC argument. Do you think Boise could survive an Tech’s ACC schedule? Go to the link below and check out their schedule. When you get through laughing, you will change your tune.

Boise can’t help that they play in a conference my high school could compete in, but voters should factor in how that 12-0 record really came about.

Sam

September 7th, 2010
10:39 am

Hey, not a tech or UGA fan: The Pac 10 had no interest in Boise. Boise could have lobbied and begged all it wanted, but adding Boise to the Pac 10 would have done NOTHING to improve the Pac10’s TV deal. Also Boise is not even close to the academic caliber school that the other Pac 10 schools are (not to mention Utah and Colorado). Boise is still a pretty young 4 year school. Yes, the academic rep does matter.

Boise won. They were physical. Any team facing them in a bowl game is in for a hard game especially looking at their record with all that time to prepare.

secbama

September 7th, 2010
10:41 am

Hope Bama, Boise, and Ohio State go undefeated and Bama/Boise State play for marbles. I want to hear Herbstreit wine and cry about his Buckeyes being left out of title game.

HugoStiglitz

September 7th, 2010
10:41 am

WonderDawg, I didnt make it a Boise vs SEC argument. I said that I hope SEC or Big 10 fans are the ones really upset at the end of the year. Those two groups of fans tend to be the loudest and angriest fans in college football and maybe they could make enough noise to get somebody to seriously look at the system.

Paul in RDU

September 7th, 2010
10:43 am

Latest SEC power ratings from Chris Lowe – UGA ahead of UF (which looks correct right now) and Ole Miss #12, behind Vandy

http://espn.go.com/blog/ncfnation/post/_/id/26287/sec-power-rankings-13

T3

September 7th, 2010
10:44 am

Two weeks ago that Boise State would beat VT.

I will also go on record and predict that Boise State will not go undefeated and will lose to either Hawaii, Fresno Stat, or LaTech.

KeithB

September 7th, 2010
10:45 am

Bob

September 7th, 2010
10:45 am

No they dont, get in a conference thats not full of cupcakes then we will talk, playing one or two average bcs schools does not cut it and your anytime, anywhere lie as well, why dont you add in the part where you asked for $900,000 to travel to teams stadium?

BSU beat a bad VT team that will end up finishing 3rd or 4th in the ACC, why they were ranked 10th is just insane, its time to do away with pre season polls.

Big Jim

September 7th, 2010
10:46 am

Win every game on your schedule=NATL Championship game. If you can’t do it, then move to another conference.

Kb

September 7th, 2010
10:47 am

Tony,
Its time to ask the question does the ACC deserve an automatic BCS berth?

Delbert D.

September 7th, 2010
10:51 am

Point #1 – There is not a National Championship Game, merely a poll-based BCS Championship Game.

Point #2 – If that flawed system produces undesirable results, then too bad, suck it up and move on.

Point #3 – All arguments against a FBS/Div 1a playoff are ludicrous, as the NCAA has playoffs in every other Division.

Point #4 – Special interests, including bowl tradition groups and apparently the NCAA itself are the enemies of a full playoff system among all FBS conference champions.

Point #5 – The NCAA should consider a 3-tier Division 1 for football *if* 64 major schools can align themselves into conferences of 16 or 8 teams: 16-team superconferences play their conference championship as the 1st playoff game, and 8-team conferences play the winner of another 8-team conference as the 1st playoff game. OOC schedules become a moot point, as their results are not counted toward all-important conference championships.

The last 2 teams left standing play for a true national championship.

Bryant

September 7th, 2010
10:52 am

25 straight regular season wins. We will beat Penn State by three touchdowns. Six games ahead where the opponent has the week off before we play them. If we run the table this year and play Boise it will not be close. Dont hate the player hate the game! RTR

meh

September 7th, 2010
10:53 am

as long Boise State has 5 teams ranked 90th or worse on their schedule they do not deserve to be in the national championship game. end of discussion.

meh

September 7th, 2010
10:54 am

and I hope they lose to Wyoming. That would be hilarious.

Nix_2_Sanders

September 7th, 2010
10:54 am

What more can Boise do? They’ve scheduled 2 top 25 teams. No-one wants to play Boise.

I’ve heard rumors that Boise is “selective” on who and where they play. Last night tho BSU was outnumbered 8 to 1 and traveled across this beautiful county.

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
10:54 am

You still didn’t answer my question, Hugo . . .

Amen to that, secbama. Kirk is a nauseating homer, even in the preseasons after OSU got pounded by UF and LSU.

3rdn8

September 7th, 2010
10:55 am

Judging any team after one (the first) game is a slippery slope. A lot of good teams such as Florida, and Oklahoma looked pretty oridinary in week one. Remember that college coaches don’t get a pre-season schedule to sort things out.

I don’t know how good VaTech is. They looked much better on offense last night, but have a lot of questions on defense.

All I know is: Boise State played and won a great game. Last year my Tide had a pretty good team, and VaTech took them to the wire.

The argument that Boise State can only win if they have six weeks to prepare is ludicrous. Every team has the same prep time. Fall camps are conducted to see who the season’s players will be, and to install new wrinkles on offense and defense. Usually the last week of preseason practice is devoted to prepping for the opening game.

Peterson is a heck of a coach.

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
10:57 am

T-3: “I will also go on record and predict that Boise State will not go undefeated and will lose to either Hawaii, Fresno Stat, or LaTech.”
*********************************************
Yeah, T-3, Boise better be wary of those powerhouses!!

Wreckem

September 7th, 2010
10:58 am

So should BSU get at shot at the NC? Sure, if they win out let them go so we can finally stop hearing about them. I’ve read several posts here that state it is not BSU fauly they are in a weak conference. I disagree. If they really want to be serious about a NC, why didn’t they try to change conferences when everyone else did out west this summer? They are comfortable where they are and they think/know they can’t get writer sympathy going 12-0 in their conference every year. They did play well last night and that one-handed catch by the TE in the endzone was exciting, but they did that against a VT team that is WAY OVERRATED every pre-season. This story is gonna get old real quick. I might have to give up ESPN for a while.

74 Dawg

September 7th, 2010
10:59 am

Can we join the WAC for just one year? Oh the fun.

A Big Dog Pile

September 7th, 2010
10:59 am

People Boise State is 7-7 against big time opponents

VT is 1-26 against top 5 teams

Boise State Take away the TCU’s and VT’s and who really have they beat

IF Boise State wants to be considered then play at least 4 schools a year that have won a National Title in the last 80 years

Gbal

September 7th, 2010
11:02 am

This argument that… ” IF BSU WAS IN THE SEC THEY WOULD HAVE MORE AND BETTER PLAYERS AND COULD COMPETE” !!!! WHAT A DUMBA$$ ARGUMENT … THEY ARE NOT IN THE SEC AND DONT HAVE BETTER PLAYERS AND PLAY IN A CONFRENCE FULL OF THE SAME. POINT – GIVEN WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY RECRUIT, THEY COULD NOT COMPETE WITH AN SEC SCHEDULE TODAY.

And should one of the two slots for the year be given to a team withsuch a weak schedule.

Alphare

September 7th, 2010
11:05 am

Paid a little attention to the ways tackles were made during the weekend, not impressed at all with many of the defense coaches’ works. Lots of players got it wrong.

I feel I can do a better job coaching some of the kids up. The problem is how do I get such a job. You don’t have to pay me a ton of money like you are paying now. Contact me if you have an opening.

help, I live in Ga

September 7th, 2010
11:05 am

Good job Boise State. Now play, Oregon, Florida, Alabama, LSU on the road, Georgia on the road, South Carolina on the road and then we’ll let you play the weak part of your schedule against Kentucky. This is one SEC teams schedule.

The result will be this: you are a good team but will probably lose 3 games at least. You will also lose about 6 starters to injuries.

Boise State is kinda like Florida State in the 90’s. They were good and they won bowl games. The reason they won bowl games is that they were not banged up because their starters played a couple of quarters a week as they ran up the score then rested.

How bout this: You can keep your week-a_s schedule and maybe we’ll let you in as the 8th team in a playoff.

Until then, get a conference and get a schedule.

Alphare

September 7th, 2010
11:07 am

Boise State may be 7-7 against big time opponents, isn’t Ohio State 7-0 against SEC?

But Herstreit picks Ohio State to win NC. I think Boise State is more deserving than Ohio State.

Reality

September 7th, 2010
11:09 am

What a silly question to ask at this point!

Boise State beat VA Tech. Fine. However, no one knows at this point how ‘real’ VA Tech is this year. What if VA Tech loses every game (no, I don’t think it will happen)? Won’t that make Boise State’s win over VA Tech less impressive?

Also, Boise State still plays one of the easiest schedules in all of College Football – ranked something like 100th most difficult. Even if they go undefeated, they should not play for the title.

Boise State simply must increase their strength of schedule in order to play for the title. Otherwise, doesn’t it make sense for teams to go independent and then schedule the easiest teams?

Do we really want to encourage that?

Christian Dior Dogg

September 7th, 2010
11:11 am

Tony, what did you think of the Hokies’ uniforms? I thought they made a daring statement – just like our beloved Dawgs did when they wore those little black jerseys!

Pffft.

September 7th, 2010
11:12 am

How the heck could anyone hear Kirk Herbstreit pick OSU to win the NC with Urban Meyer’s balls on his chin?

Laughing

September 7th, 2010
11:15 am

The Broncos are the luckiest team in the history of college football. Somehow when the broncos play, their ranked opponents are suddenly downgraded to “over-rated” or “unprepared” and make an uncharacteristically large amount of mistakes. Just for that week though – If the Broncos had played them any other week there is no way they would win. On top of it, the officiating crew seems to always go blind or mentally handicapped and make asinine calls that are always in favor of the Broncos… Although subtle at times, LOSERS always play the luck card.

Delbert D.

September 7th, 2010
11:16 am

When the SEC finishes eating their own with this year’s good teams in both division, along with quality OOC opponents in some cases, there may not be a 1-loss SEC team going into the final poll for the BCS.

kauai dawg

September 7th, 2010
11:16 am

I think Boise is a very good team….but to know now the only legitimate or potential loss is Oregon State… that is sad. Couldn’t do it week in and week out in a stronger conf.

As Joe Friday would say “Just the facts mam”

Hoping this year is like a few years back when week in and week out a top 1-2 team lost to shake things up. Maybe Boise will stump their toe against a Hawaii or San Jose St.

Go DAWGS

UGA VII

September 7th, 2010
11:18 am

Boise State would be the dawgs by 4 touchdowns, take their panties, and stuff them into the Clark County Jail.

Delbert D.

September 7th, 2010
11:18 am

Christian Dior..- The VT uniforms looked like something out of a fantasy war game, and Boise State looked like their were wearing practice uni’s.

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
11:19 am

Unfortunately, like every year it is going to come down to the voters and what they think about the entire body of work. For those complaining about BSU’s weak schedule they are not in an ideal position. Style points are going to matter and every game from here on out will be judged not just if they won, but how they won.

Do they deserve to play for the BCS championship? Who the heck knows at this point. It all will depend on so many different variables, including how well Va Tech and Oregon State do the rest of the year. It has already hurt BSU that Oregon State lost to TCU. I say it is a long shot at best… but I’d love to see them play another major team in one of the BCS bowl games. Go Dawgs and Go Broncos!

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
11:22 am

Laughing – What asinine call are you referring too? I didn’t see one call or non call that benefitted Boise State. I did see two non pass intereference calls in favor of Va Tech though. Twice at crucial moments the Va Tech DB hit the BSU receiver just before the ball got there without a call.

help, I live in Ga

September 7th, 2010
11:25 am

Ok. We are going about this the wrong way. Let the Boise Boys play TCU in the Media Championship Game. That would solve all of this in one year. Wait. Think about it. This is exactly what this sport needs. Let the Boise Boys play the Texas Christians in the official National Champ-eenship game.

What would happen next??? We would have an 8 team playoff within a few years. So everybody suck it up for this year. Boycott all sponsors of the Mythical BS Championship game. Encourage your favorite sports writers to vote for schools with weak schedules from weaker conferences.

This is an easy solution to a complex problem.

Go Horned Toads!!!

Go Blue Fields!!!

Bama who? Florida who? Ohio State what?

Excuses

September 7th, 2010
11:25 am

Last year, after BSU embarrassed Oregon in the season opener, everyone took the wait and see approach. Hey, let’s wait and see how good Oregon really is – After that performance they’ll probably lose a lot of their games. What happened?… Oregon obliterated nearly everyone on their schedule and became the PAC 10 champs. Did that help the Bronco’s case? Nope, turns out Oregon was only an elite team from week 2 on. If Boise had played them any other week… Blah blah blah. Listen up nay-sayers!… Boise is good, and if you can’t admit that, at least stop making tired old excuses based on logic developed on your elementary school playground. You’re only making yourself look like a fool.

Snellville GT

September 7th, 2010
11:28 am

Before last night’s game, I feared VT. After watching the whole game, I know Georgia Tech is going to beat VT this season, and would also beat Boise State, if they played them.

Score Check

September 7th, 2010
11:29 am

Strength of schedule matters. If you don’t believe it then just ask Auburn.

Score Check

September 7th, 2010
11:32 am

The ACC has looked pretty weak in week 1.

UNC looses to a bad LSU team
UM looses to a Service Academy team
VT looses to an overrated BSU team

Gimme a break

September 7th, 2010
11:32 am

You can’t reward them with a chance to play in the MNC for playing 1 tough game a year. There is no excuse for them not to blow out every other team they play this year. VT has been dominating a weak a$$ ACC for the past few years anyway and has been WAY overranked. Boise did look good. They are well coached. Invite them to play in the SEC, BIG 12 or the much improved ACC conferences and they are a 3 loss team easily.

Score Check

September 7th, 2010
11:33 am

correction

UM struggles against a Service Academy team

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
11:34 am

Snellville GT – Boise State’s biggest weakness is their pass defense. (they really miss Kyle Wilson) The biggest suprise last night for me is that Va Tech didn’t try and exploit it more. Their run defense on the other hand is very stout and they have great speed on the line and at line backer and their DBs tackle very well.

Unless Ga Tech has developed a passing game I am unware of… I think Boise State would be a total mismatch in favor of the Broncos.

Gimme a break

September 7th, 2010
11:34 am

Excuses- the PAC 10 isn’t much more competitive than the WAC. I wouldn’t put too much stock in the fact that they beat ORegon.

G8R GRAD

September 7th, 2010
11:35 am

On point:

Let Boise State play in the Sugar Bowl.

Off point:

The very definition of “Poetic Justice” is

Jax State – 49, Ole Miss – 48 ! ! !

Wow, what a “diffrence-maker” Masoli turned out to (not) be !