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

Otto

September 7th, 2010
11:35 am

VT’s DL grew up alot in that game. IMO in week 3 VT would have handled Boise St.

I do hope VT falls on their face to take away from the Boise win.

However, part of me hopes Boise makes the BCS title game against an SEC champ and it turns into UGA/Hawaii.

Boise State in Athens

September 7th, 2010
11:36 am

Boise State played UGA in Athens about 4 or 5 years back and simply was blown out; although the UGA def. allowed third and 4th stringers to eventually play and Boise did rally for some points, only to lose like 44-28 or something. They were humiliated and that was a better comp on how they do vs only average SEC teams like UGA was that particular year. The knew in the first qtr that they were not on the same level ………..I felt sorry for them.

Va Tech also had a huge Chi Fil A lead on UGA abot 4 years back and UGA simply blew them out too with unanswered TDs and field goals. Their fans were stunned.

Folks ………… these two teams ( Va Tech and Boise State) are not heavy weights anymore than a UGA has been and I am a UGA grad. All three progrmas are decent middle weights, not heavies. Sorry it is so true. UGA might be one small notch above them head to head AND with their 3 Sugar Bowl and 2 Capitol One appearances lately, over 9 years.

Go Dogs.

Delbert D.

September 7th, 2010
11:38 am

It’s early lunchtime at the middle schools, it think.

G8R GRAD

September 7th, 2010
11:38 am

And anyone who’d care to pile-on the Gators’ performance this weekend, pleas do so now:

WE LOOKED LIKE A BAD NFL TEAM IN A PRESEASON GAME!

(We are in SO much trouble)

Halsey

September 7th, 2010
11:39 am

Look at Boise’s schedule. 9 of their 12 games are against teams that BCS conference schools get criticized for scheduling. People call a team like San Jose State a weak opponent for Alabama. San Jose State is the type of team that makes up most of Boise’s schedule.

5IML

September 7th, 2010
11:39 am

Does Ole Miss do the Hotty Totty cheer whether they win or lose? Does the cheer even have anything to do with score?

3rdn8

September 7th, 2010
11:40 am

Question for the crowd.

Apparently the argument against BSU is their overall SOS. Various computer models determine rankings by computing the season’s results, and SOS is a major component in the tabulation.

We don’t have (and am afraid will never have) a true playoff.

Would people be more willing to accept the outcome if the BCS eliminated the human component, and relied totally on computer models?

I suspect not.

G8R GRAD

September 7th, 2010
11:40 am

More than 3 losses looks like a foregone conclusion after Saturday!

Big L

September 7th, 2010
11:41 am

If Boise would just join the Pac 10 they would solve their problem. Play a big boy conference schedule and noone will doubt you. But if Boise made the championship game it would kill all playoff talk. Then the BCS would have proof a small team can do it.

WonderDawg

September 7th, 2010
11:43 am

Excuses, who’s the fool? Oregon? An elite team? With 3 losses? And barely beat Arizona in three OTs?

Again, Boise can’t really help which conference they play in, but going 12-0 with the100th toughest schedule doesn’t get them into any championship game in my book.

#1 BAMA FAN

September 7th, 2010
11:46 am

Boise has a good team but the question would be could they prepare and execute every week against quality opponents. Right now they play two or three games usually the first week or bowl games that they have extra time to game plan. It would be interesting to see BAMA play them right now.RTR

gdawginkalamazoo

September 7th, 2010
11:48 am

G8R GRAD, UF just knocking the rust off. I am suprised that Pouncey was moved to center. With all the recruiting you would think that Urban would have had a top center in place to take over, freshman or not.

On Ole Miss, it looks like Nutt should have been game planning instead of worrying about saving Messiah Masoli from the NCAA. Just got what they deserve. Mercenaries are the downfall of many a civilization.

Chris Peterson

September 7th, 2010
11:49 am

What a bunch of whiners. We found a way to work the system. Don’t blame us, blame the system… or, more specifically, blame the Big 10, Big 12, Big East, and PAC 10 for voting against a plus 1 playoff scenerio.

the real Old Gold

September 7th, 2010
11:50 am

I’m sick of fighting with these guys.. Boise in any BCS conference would be 3 deep into their depth chart trying to find enough players with all their limbs left to field a team by game 4.

They’d be: (1-5) vs. the SEC West; (2-4) vs. the ACC Coastal; (3-5) in the Big “10″….. They might win the Big East, but that’s a stretch. I’m not even so sure they’d go undefeated in the ConUSA.

Delbert D.

September 7th, 2010
11:51 am

Whose turn is it to take on Boise State in a Week 1 BCS elimination game next year? Texas? Ohio State? Florida?

3rdn8

September 7th, 2010
11:52 am

Argument for using the Legends Poll.

I prefer the Legends Poll. Last year the pollsters included Frank Broyles, Vince Dooley, Gene Stallings, Pat Dye, and many others (I think there are twenty of them) of the same pettigree.

They actually watch the games, and discuss various outcomes in a conference call.

These are guys who know CFB. They understand nuances like playing on Thursday nights, travel, back-to-back big games, etc..

All-in-all, it is one of the best, and most knowledgable formats going. It certainly beats the Coaches Poll, where most of the voters haven’t seen half of the teams they’re voting on.

Dumbo

September 7th, 2010
11:52 am

Say what you want about the BCS, but Coach of the Year has gotta go to Jack Crowe, for having the cajones to say either we win or lose, but this is the last play…..don’t believe their are but a few coaches would take that chance

SEC - SouthEasternCrybabies

September 7th, 2010
11:53 am

SEC fans are tops in the nation – for making excuses and rationalizations. They spend all of their time and energy caressing their own egos (among other things) and trashing other conferences. I hope Boise makes it to the BCS championship game just to give SEC fans the acid reflux they so richly deserve.

Observer

September 7th, 2010
11:54 am

Don’t knock Boise. They have played and won some big games over the last few years and they are well deserving of the hype, but they have to help themselves stay in WAC and schedule the toughest opponents you can find or move from the conference (maybe PAC10 or BIG 12) and then show what you are made of! Don’t knock the SEC schools because of some soft out of conference scheduling, because the BCS created the system the SEC is just playing by their rules!

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
11:55 am

Boise State would jump at the chance to join the Big 12 or the Pac 12. Problem is… neither of those confrences want them. Heck, the MWC didn’t want them until this summer.

And for all those bama fans out there… I seem to recall you getting whipped by Utah. And didn’t Wyoming beat Tennessee a couple of years ago in Knoxville? Most SEC fans are delusional in thinking the SEC is far superior. Has it been the toughest conference over the last few years? Probably… but there really is less of a discrepancy between conference strength than most will admit.

Jacksonville State anyone? Or how about the might UL- Monroe? Ring any bells Tide fans?

TonyBFan

September 7th, 2010
11:56 am

How many games does Boise have to win to be considered legit? Let’s see… LSU, of the mighty SEC West, barely beats a half-ass Carolina team playing walk-ons so Butch Davis can save redshirts this year. Now, what if LSU beats Alabama and wins the SEC and VaTech rolls into Chapel Hill and routs UNC on the way to the ACC? THEN? I know it’s not possible, LSU beating Bama and Auburn, but IF it were to happen, and Boise runs the table, could we talk about it? I’m just asking?

ViningsTiger

September 7th, 2010
11:59 am

Auburn got knocked in 2004 for scheduling Citadel. Look at Boise’s schedule and most of the teams on it are teams that others criticize the SEC teams for playing.

Boise always plays these big games either the first game of every season or the bowl game, giving them ample time to preapre for them. Let them play an upper tier SEC school in week 4 or 5 and see how they do.

meh

September 7th, 2010
11:59 am

Tony, you forgot a reason they won 50 over the last 4 years. They’ve only played like 5 teams ranked over 40th.

3rdn8

September 7th, 2010
12:01 pm

Speaking of Jack Crowe (he is a Bama grad, so I’m a little biased).

I listened to his interview on the Paul Finebaum show. This is one class act. He got a raw deal at Arkansas, but never complained. He just took his show to the hinterlands of college football, and got busy doing an outstanding job.

A lot of the interview was about his friend Houston Nutt. CFB needs a lot more guys like Jack Crowe,

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
12:03 pm

VinningsTiger – In 2008 Boise St. beat Oregon (in Eugene) with only 1 week to prepare. The game was in late September if I recall….

ManUp...

September 7th, 2010
12:06 pm

As a GT grad, I can say that I actually think the ACC showed a big step forward as a conference this weekend. Our top two games were indeed losses (UNC-LSU and VT-Boise), but they were close, exciting games that came down to the wire. Remember GT-LSU from just two seasons ago? Not close. Not exciting. Additionally, our bottom teams all handled their business this weekend, which is more than we have been able to say in the past. No losses to inferior competition, and Maryland surprised us with a win over an arguably better Navy team (although Navy crapped their pants against the Terps’ D-line in the redzone almost all game).

Now as for the SEC’s top teams – still the best. Bar none. But the SEC’s bottom? Well, I think good things are on the way for MSU and Kentucky, but Ole Miss was quite a surprise. Vandy…I’m not sure what to think about that one. What is Northwestern if not the Vandy of the Big 10?

I’m not saying the ACC is better than a certain other conference, but I think this year the conference is more solid top-to-bottom than ever before, and I think an undefeated ACC champ should get the nod over an undefeated from the WAC, MWC, Big East and maybe Pac-10. I think they also get the nod over a 1 loss SEC, Big Ten or Big 12.

Here’s hoping the ACC holds its liquor against tOSU and OU. I think Kansas will be a W for GT and USC an L for UVA.

Directions

September 7th, 2010
12:07 pm

Saw a note last night that VT had only two players on defense that played in at least two games last season. I think VT will get better defensively as the season goes, but they still lose at least two more games. VT is a good team, but not a contender by no stretch of the imagination. Good win by Boise State, but enough with this national championship talk until they play at least three legit teams on their schedule.

coachx

September 7th, 2010
12:07 pm

Boise State needs to play more then 2 solid teams in their 12 game schedule for an undefeated season to really mean something.

Sure they are good team but Iike TB said, there are a lot of good teams.

It would be nice if the Atlanta Falcons could play 2 NFL teams and then 10 Arena League teams to make up a 12 game schedule. They would have a darn good chance of going undefeated too. Then skip the Conference Championship Game (the closest thing college has to a playoff system) with automatic Super Bowl birth. Plus they would not be as beat up, physically, as other teams playing better football teams week in and week out.

I really don’t even get how this is a major arguement. There are better things to discuss.

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
12:07 pm

Also, BSU was supposed to play Virigina Tech the first weekend in October. It was Va Tech and ESPN that insisted on moving the date to Labor Day. BSU resisited at first, but finally agreed when they were able get their open date moved to this Saturday.

Gator CHOMP Champ

September 7th, 2010
12:07 pm

Keep the BCS! What could be superior to having computers and voters subjectively decide who belongs in college football’s Super Bowl? About as absurd as saying the Georgia Bulldogs will beat UF this year, or the next, or the next, or the next….

HugoStiglitz

September 7th, 2010
12:09 pm

ViningsTiger, lets see an upper tier SEC team actually agree to play Boise St, especially after they ruined Va Techs season last night. I would give any SEC team credit if they scheduled them. UGA is the only SEC team that has agreed to play them in the last 8 years.

Buzz

September 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

UGAlien, is that the same Ole Miss that ducked GT? We would have scored 100 on their defense.

byu

September 7th, 2010
12:12 pm

least we forget didnt utah dismantle that same bama team that won last years nc?

as far as nc vs lsu goes….. that it took a total effort by an lsu squad at full strength to essentially beat the 2nd team offense and defense of a decimated nc team speaks for itself. you sec homers cant explain those two games away no matter how hard you try. which brings us to jacksonville state. lmao.

as far as the nc game brackets go…. as long as espn has a contract with the sec it will always be the sec in one bracket and everybody else in the other. that is what happens when espn conducts an infomercial on the sec 24 7. after awhile folks start to buy into the hype.

many feel that the sec is balanced this year and they will beat each other up. so its possible the team that wins the sec could have 2 losses.

does that mean that espn will spin that ‘wheel of destiny’ for the sec as they did for the acc last year?

of course not…….. they never dis the sec. it would be refreshing to see espn compare the arrest records, graduation rates and the ncaa violation committed by the sec vs the other conferences.

the sec is really not a college football conference as much as it is a semi pro league.

amg

September 7th, 2010
12:13 pm

Settle football on the field, a loss is a loss, no excuses. The SEC played SW missouri girls school for the blind this weak and most of there non confrense games are just as silly. The SEC is way over rated. The ACC champ or SEC champ should have to be undefeated or not play in the BCS championship, so one loss teams are OUT. no more BS two loss teams that are backed by money making it. Those days need to end and a playoff would settle everything.

Big Jim

September 7th, 2010
12:14 pm

For the nimrods in former slave states, your teams aren’t better than everyone else’s.
Join an easier conference and stop taking credit for the accomplishments of FLA/ALA/TENN!
1980 was a LOOOONG time ago.

one or two tough games does not a

September 7th, 2010
12:20 pm

schedule make.

lets see this same boise state team play 3-4 brutal games in a row.

for instance i would like them to play gt last 4 games and see how they do.

at vt
miami at home
duke
at ugag

any team that can make it through that stretch of games undefeated has my vote.

as it stands now… boise played ONE tough game and now they have a few weeks to heal and prepare for oregon state. than they have a stretch of cupcakes until the bowls.

while they played great they are not deserving even if they go undefeated. they never really get beat up like teams with tough schedules do.

CalGatorBrotha

September 7th, 2010
12:20 pm

Boise won that game …if they so happen to win all their games I say let em go to the title game…vs whoever is the next best team…and settle it….end of story

kyle

September 7th, 2010
12:23 pm

if Boise State is the only undefeated team or one of only two at regular seasons end, then I say let them play in the title game. I also think it depends on how VT fares, if they end up 12-1 and win the ACC then Boise is obviously legit. But im tired of hearing about the “should a non bcs team play in the title game”, let them play and see what happens

i guess white men CAN jump

September 7th, 2010
12:27 pm

as i saw it…

a team of many white players and a few black players beat up a team of many black players and a few white players.

Pffft.

September 7th, 2010
12:27 pm

Buzz…GT could not put up 100 on half the highschools around here. THey certainly couldn’t put up 100 on Ole Miss. If anything GT squeaks out a victory just as J-ville State did.

Big Jim: RIIIIIght. The SEC and our sham of a conference should aspire to Big 10 standards where THE Ohio State University gets an automatic BCS bowl by playing 2 tough games a year…3 when the scheduling gods don’t smile on the buckeyes. Frankly I am suprised that more people aren’t comparing OSU to Boise State here. They are the same in my mind. Conference Championship next year…at least OSU will have to earn it for a change.

If you don’t live in the south…good. If you do…half of the interstates will take you back up north. We don’t need you, your condescension, or your lack of courtesy. Good Day.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
12:30 pm

Last night’s win makes Boise 5-3 against bcs conference teams since 2005.

So if that record is reflective of how they would do playing in a bcs conference then they would be 5-3 in the SEC or ACC which is decent but not great. Certainly not good enough to play in the title game.

Overall strength of schedule has to be a big factor since Boise essentially is playing a 2 game season this year with 24th ranked Oregon State coming up. Could anyone imagine how much complaining folks would do if an Alabama or Georgia won one big game against VT, one game over a better than average Oregon State team, and then beat San Jose State or Louisian Lafayette caliber teams the next 10 weeks to get into the big game? Wouldn’t be fair would it?

G8R GRAD

September 7th, 2010
12:35 pm

Thanks, gdawg:

Add to his new role as center, Pouncey’s asked to “pull” for our running game.
I’m not aware of any center asked to perform such double duty.
More than once, it was evident that Mike was thinking more about (or anticipating) his block than the snap.
Being a former guard, I can understand the coaches wanting to enlist his talent, but at what cost?
I think this weekend’s game showed us that it’s too much.
As troubling is the under-performance of our running game.
To wit:
Minus Demps’ 72 yard scamper and excluding 55 yards lost to bad snaps, the Gators had 82 yards rushing on 25 carries, or 3.3 yards per carry!
:-(

The Important Components

September 7th, 2010
12:35 pm

Boise State Bowl History:

1999 – 3 pt win over Louisville
2000 – 15 pt win over UTEP
2002 – 18 pt win over Iowa State
2003 – 3 pt win over TCU
2004 – 4 pt LOSS to Louisville
2005 – 6 pt LOSS to Boston College (They also got hammered in Athens by 4 TD’s)
2006 – 1pt win over Oklahoma (An Oklahoma team that lost to Texas & Oregon)
2007 – 3 pt LOSS to East Carolina
2008 – 1 pt LOSS to TCU
2009 – 7 pt win over TCU

So basically BSU’s entire bowl record includes wins over traditional powers TCU, Louisville, Iowa State, & UTEP along with their signature win over a 3 loss Oklahoma team on the last play of the game. Where are the wins over USC, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, LSU, Auburn, GA, FL, Texas, Miami, FSU, Nebraska, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc?

Does Boise have a win over a team who has won a MNC in the last 50 years?

So this team beats a VT team that lacks a win verses a real power in the last 10 years……….and they aren’t NC material? How is the Oklahoma game relevant and their trip to Athens isn’t?

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
12:36 pm

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.

Tony

Refresh my memory but didn’t UGA lose 2 conference games in 2007, which put Tenn. in the SEC Championship game. Why would anyone think UGA got passed over for not being in a conference championship. They weren’t good enough to be in that game, which by default keeps them out of the National Championship. I know it’s not a requirement to win your conference championship to get into the BIG game but it seems quite obvious. I know UGA had a great team that year but they in no way should have been thought of to be in the NC game. LSU had two losses but they were both in overtime and they qualified to be in the SEC championship. Tennessee got in because it routed UGA during the season. Correct me if i’m wrong but i believe i’m stating Just the FACTS.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 7th, 2010
12:37 pm

Strength of schedule is their biggest problem. Holy cow. IMO I don’t think they get by Oregon State next week which would remove any question of a BCS title game. Pretty damn week line-up.

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
12:38 pm

Tide Rising – Lets assume that an undefeated or 1 loss Alabama squad is a lock for the BCS title game this year.

Who would you rather face in the title game? Undefeated Boise State? Or a 1 loss Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma… ect.. No wrong answer here.. just curious?

As a Georgia fan in that situation I would rather play and beat an undefeated Boise State team.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 7th, 2010
12:40 pm

But I guess we will see after they play the game.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
12:41 pm

byu,

While you’re going back in the past to mention that Utah beat Bama why don’t you also mention that Bama beat BYU a few years back? Why did you not mention that Bama is 5-1 against the WAC?

Utah did not beat last year’s Bama team. They beat an 08 team that wasn’t particularly interested in the game anyway after losing the chance at being in the big game and being paired with Utah as opposed to playing Ohio State. Do you really think we were excited to play Utah over Ohio State?

People like yourself just don’t get it. Teams like Utah and Boise are excellent teams and can get up, put it all together, and beat bcs conference teams like Alabama as they have proved. The key is can they do it on a consistent basis and the answer is a resounding no. Could they play an SEC schedule and go unbeaten or one loss in an SEC season. The answer is an emphatic no. Winning one or 2 big games a year doesn’t make you worldbeaters. It just means you won that one game.

Nurse Rachet

September 7th, 2010
12:45 pm

SEC Fan Have you lost your mind???? ACC is over-rated based on the loss last night. What a dimwit you are. It was a great game and neither team deserved to lose. Take your SEC hype and go stick your head in the toilet. Let’s see if Ga will schedule them now pal or any other SEC team for that matter.

gdawginkalamazoo

September 7th, 2010
12:45 pm

Just the FACTS, you are correct UGA didn’t deserve a sniff at that NC game. IMO you have to play the entire season you cannot take any games off like UGA did against SC and UT that year. Hopefully Richt has learned that lesson and won’t let up at anytime during any game this season.