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

Alphare

September 7th, 2010
3:33 pm

Beast,

BCS is a four-part point-system using (1)national polls, (2)computer rankings, (3)strength of schedule and (4)won-loss record.

If BSU and TCU win out, they definitely have #1 and #4 in their favors as shown in the latest AP poll. SOS are not in their favor. So it’s a 2-1 in their favor with #1, 3 & 4.

Computer Ranking is a mixed bag of win/loss, winning margin and SOS. My guess is about 0.7 to 0.3 not in their favor.

So, all in all, SOS considered, the odd is about 2.3 to 1.7 in their favor for a 12-0 BSU/TCU vs a 1-loss BAMA/OSU.

Of course, they have no chance against a 12-0 SEC team because of the SOS.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
3:35 pm

Just the FACTS,

Yes. All things being equal they probably will just pencil in the sec champion for one slot. Going by the facts nobody should have a problem with this. The facts are that the SEC consistenly has the best nonconference winning %, the best bowl record, and 4 straight bcs titles shows that all things being equal the SEC champion should get one of the 2 bcs slots.

OB-1

September 7th, 2010
3:35 pm

gdawginkalamazoo

September 7th, 2010
3:29 pm
OB-1 IMO the ACC is the conference to watch this year. Two great games to watch with VT and NC playing in the prime time and I expect to see a battle for the ACC title this year. Should be some good football.
***********************************
UGA Dawg in Kalamazoo, Mi. huh,and I thought I was lost being in St. Joe, Mi.rootin fo the Hoos, go figure.

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 7th, 2010
3:40 pm

GT is 1-9 against UGA that is exactly my point!

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
3:41 pm

Tide Rising

Sounds like the Big Boys from the SEC only like playing in their back yard. Have it at a bigger stadium near Boise like the game last night.

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
3:43 pm

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
3:30 pm

Well stated

G8R GRAD

September 7th, 2010
3:44 pm

“Houston, we have a problem!”

:-D

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
3:47 pm

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 7th, 2010
3:40 pm
GT is 1-9 against UGA that is exactly my point!

Did football start at UGA when MR took over a the head coaching position? I think all UGA fans like to forget about the years before MR especially the the Jim Donnan years.

Patrick

September 7th, 2010
3:47 pm

I understand the argument that the stadium only holds 32,000 people; however, that can’t be your only argument, Tide.

They played at a “neutral” field last night and handled the circumstances. It’s obvious that they don’t fear the bright lights and big cities.

Unfortunately, like I said earlier, they are handling their business in an efficient manner. And until they find themselves in a “bigger” conference they will continue to extend the offer to play these bigger schools either away or on a neutral field.

You can only penalize them so much for scheduling out of conference games with the likes of the PAC-10 northwestern schools.

And do you really think the PAC-10 would want someone like BSU to be invited to their conference and potentially have them make waves? I mean that’s why they went after the BIG-12 schools because they are all “established” and rich with “tradition.”

Let’s give BSU the same opportunity and see what happens!

Beast from the East

September 7th, 2010
3:48 pm

Tide,
I agree that the BCS does get it right most years of matching up the #1 and the #2. That’s really all it was designed to do. It’s not a perfect system, but until the money makes sense for a play-off, then it’s the best we have. Personally, I don’t see that happening for a long time…..if ever. Too much money to be made from the bowls coupled with the potential loss of regular season interest like in basketball.

Boise Dawg

September 7th, 2010
3:49 pm

I have been talking to a lot of BSU fans today and not one has stated they think an undefeated BSU team should definitely be in the BCS championship game. I think the sentiment for most is we feel pretty good if Boise State can run the table they should get into a BCS bowl game (Rose Bowl?). Most years this has not been a given. The fans in Boise understand where the WAC stands. Do the fans want to be in a better conference? You better believe it… this is a progression though and it could take another 10 years of success for them to make the next step.

The fact that we are even having this debate is remarkable. Heck Boise State wasn’t even a Division I (FBS) team until 1992. Their progress in the last 15 years has been amazing and good for college football.

Given that Boise is now 2-0 in BCS bowl games how can anyone say they are’t deserving. If havoc enuses and we are left with several 1 and 2 loss teams and Boise gets into the championship game, then I think that is great.

It is a long season and I don’t care what anyone says about the WAC. Boise State could easily lose a game. Nevada probably has the best chance as they have come the closests in recent years and should have another dangerous team this year.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
3:50 pm

Just the facts,

I would have no problem playing Boise. We’ve played neutral site games the last 2 years against Clemson and VT and a neutral game against Boise would be fine. Its just that if we were to play a neutral site opponent I would prefer playing a Clemson, Virginia, or UNC for example for the simple reason that those states have some premier talent that we would get exposure to in the recruiting process. Idaho has little talent and most of Boise’s top players come from California so it wouldn’t serve any purpose for us to play those teams instead of someone like VT. For example the VT game we played last year gave us some good recruiting exposure and we ended up getting a commit from 5 star qb Phillip Sims from Chesapeake, VA. That is the big reason I would rather play a VT than a Boise. There’s really not anything in it for us to play Boise compared to playing someone like VT or Clemson.

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
3:51 pm

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
3:35 pm
Just the FACTS,

Yes. All things being equal they probably will just pencil in the sec champion for one slot. Going by the facts nobody should have a problem with this. The facts are that the SEC consistenly has the best nonconference winning %, the best bowl record, and 4 straight bcs titles shows that all things being equal the SEC champion should get one of the 2 bcs slots.

Your partially right on that. The last 4 years have proven that the SEC has been the top conference but i wasn’t like that until the last decade or two. Miami, OSU, USC, ND used to be the top dogs. Hell ND has a deal with the BCS.

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
3:54 pm

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
3:50 pm

I do understand that but to settle all the nay sayers, just play them and beat them. Play the game in a pro football stadium as close to Boise as possible just to satisfy the Home game thing. that would give both teams good national exposure. Do it on a night like last night with no other game. I’m sure there would be plenty of viewers.

HugoStiglitz

September 7th, 2010
3:55 pm

Tide Rising, the BCS did not work last year 2009 (Boise had a claim) or in 2004 (Auburn) or in 2003 (split MNC), or in 2007 (several teams had a claim). There are probably more then that. You cant say for sure which was the best team in these years because they didnt have to prove it. They won a vote, which is basically just guessing, and may or may not have been accurate.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
3:57 pm

Patrick,

Stadium size isn’t my only reason why we wouldn’t be that excited to play Boise. Its also for recruiting reasons like what I just posted to Just the FACTS. It serves us no purpose in terms of recruiting to play Boise as opposed to a state team like VT or Clemson where we get exposed to some pretty good high school players. That’s all.

Beast,

I could potentially see a plus one or 4 team playoff. There have been a few years where 3 or sometimes even 4 teams were undefeated and a 4 team playoff would have worked. But I don’t recall every seeing 5 undefeated teams. There has to be a cutoff somewhere and I don’t really think a 5th team every has much of an argument. Sometimes a 3rd or 4th team has a legitimate reason to complain but rarely if ever a 5th team. Can anyone really think of when a 5th team really had a reason to complain about not getting in the bcs title game?

1eyedJack

September 7th, 2010
3:59 pm

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Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
4:02 pm

Hugo,

2003 you may have an argument but that’s it and in that case the 2 teams split the title. 2004 I agree on.

2007 LSU head and shoulders was the best team available to play 1 loss Ohio State. They won their conference and as far as non con goes they whupped VT 48-7 and VT finished 5th that year. They lost 2 games on the road, both in double overtime to bowl teams.

As for 2009 Boise didn’t have much of an argument with once again what was an atrocious schedule. They beat one really good team in the regular season Oregon which got whupped solidly in the Rose Bowl and they beat TCU. Do you honestly think Boise last year would have beaten 10 bowl teams as we did including the #1 team Florida and #2 Texas? Do you really believe that?

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
4:04 pm

ACC is weak. They have won only two measley BCS games. Va. tech is weak,Clemson is weak and Ga. Tech is weak. The proof is in the pudding……

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
4:07 pm

I really think there is only one way to solve this issue. That’s to have BSU play the best team in the nation. If they get whooped, then the issue is resolved. We can’t just sit here and assume that one team will beat another just from looking each other conference and where their located. It has to be settled on the field. Boise should get a shot for once and see it they can really measure up.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
4:07 pm

The SEC will be in a championship game until a team from one of the other crap conferences beats them. You cant make a team bench its best player because you want to win and you cannot bench a conference for being too good and not allowing others to vie for the top spot.

Patrick

September 7th, 2010
4:08 pm

TIDE

I don’t think the recruitment argument holds much water. C’Mon Man!!! It is the SEC – that speaks for itself.

BSU had had to make it’s name the last 20 years and you can’t argue that they have not made it work these last few years.

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
4:09 pm

Also, Boise did not look that good, they squeaked by a 1-dimensional VT team with a QB that either ran around until he got tackled or threw the ball as far as he could. at the end of the game, why did the Georgia Tech the series and try to get 40+ yards when they only needed 10?

Alphare

September 7th, 2010
4:10 pm

“Houston we have a problem, it’s Nutt”.

Nutt is amazing, most good coaches would have things in good order in their 3rd year. Well, not Nutt, he needs NCAA to decide his QB until the last minute.

How can this guy even have a head coaching job is beyond me.

seth

September 7th, 2010
4:14 pm

Boise state will never belong in the National Championship..They played an overrated Virginia Tech team and beat them on their last drive. They barely pulled out that win and tried hard to lose it. And now they wont be challenged at all through the rest of their season. so yes they probably will go undefeated again but no way in hell are they worth a BCS Title game bid..no way at all

Patrick

September 7th, 2010
4:14 pm

Next year when BSU joins the MWC conference they will be in the same conference as TCU. That will improve the quality of the conference and whichever team wins that conference can lay claim to a big BCS game (assuming that team is undefeated).

Last year BSU defeated Oregon in prime time, then blasted Maimi (Ohio) – the same team that had Florida on the ropes Saturday sans Tebow – 48-0.

They have set out a goal and all they have done is win, win, win…

SOUTHGADAWG88

September 7th, 2010
4:14 pm

The point is the ACC has not won many games against top shelf SEC teams.The last time an ACC team was a serious threat was when Mark Richt was at FSU

HugoStiglitz

September 7th, 2010
4:16 pm

Tide Rising, you are kinda illustrating my point. If there is an argument at all then the system doesnt work. Its also very hard to use strength of schedule as a reliable metric when it is completely subjective. So what do you end up with? Old men in offices guessing who they think the best is. Actually its usually the old mens assistants that fill it out. The BCS is a flaw in design and will very rarely get it right beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Just the FACTS

September 7th, 2010
4:18 pm

SEC Fan

September 7th, 2010
4:09 pm
Also, Boise did not look that good, they squeaked by a 1-dimensional VT team with a QB that either ran around until he got tackled or threw the ball as far as he could. at the end of the game, why did the Georgia Tech the series and try to get 40+ yards when they only needed 10?

VT had passing:186 yds w/ 2 TDs, rushing: 128 yds w/ 2 TD. doesn’t seen 1-dimensional to me.

Boise didn’t look exceptional but even though they had mistakes they still won.

Heels Rock and Rule

September 7th, 2010
4:28 pm

UNC is my new favorite team. Bashed to death by the media and other haters, and playing w/one arm, they came within a c—-hair of leveling LSU. They currently have the 10th rated class for 2011, and they are gaining charisma because of their grit. I see their future as very bright; the scandal has perhaps strengthened them. the UNC AD has said he doesn’t foresee any of the players being dismissed from the team.

Auburn Man

September 7th, 2010
4:38 pm

Well I was impressed last night. Boise as much as I don’t want to say it looked tough as nails and VT looked both horrible and good. I’m glad Auburn doesn’t face either one this year. As far as the BCS goes I would say there is still a better chance than not of one undefeated SEC team in 2010. If that happens TCU will not get the slot for the title game. I would like to see Boise in a game with a true contender not just a fading no longer a top ten ACC team that is not nearly as good as they were a few years ago. If Bama goes undefeated they will most certainly meet Boise State and if they do look out Boise cuz your gonna get what you wished for and we’ll see how you look against a confirmed National Championship team. Sorry TCU….no I’m not. Just go back home and live in the dark lonely shade of Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

Richard

September 7th, 2010
4:41 pm

Does Boise at 12-0 deserve a spot over a 12-1 (insert any friggin conference champ you want here)? I don’t understand how this is a question.

And unless your conference invited Boise State to join your ranks, or your AD scheduled them, stop whining. All Boise State has done is gone out and beat down everyone. You think the regular season is a big playoff? You say the regular season is the most important in college sports? Fine. I give you the team that did nothing but demolish everyone along the way.

The only injustice about Boise is that they weren’t in the title game the year they were the one of only two undefeated teams.

WVMountaineer

September 7th, 2010
4:42 pm

Here we go again, propping up the ACC is the limelight.

Their six year BCS average since picking up Miami, VTech and BCollege still stinks.
Check it out.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
4:52 pm

Patrick,

Stadium size and recruiting exposure are 2 pretty valid reasons. If you don’t believe that bit about recruiting exposure then you haven’t looked at what we reaped out of those 2 games against VT and Clemson. We got 5 star Sims, 4 star def end Alfy Hill althought the NCAA denied his admission, and right now the top recruit in the country Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina will pick either Bama or South Carolina. You can’t tell me the games against VT and Clemson didn’t give us huge recruiting exposure in those 2 states.

Auburn Man

September 7th, 2010
4:54 pm

I didn’t see the same game as the guy who thinks Boise didn’t look good last night.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
4:56 pm

Hugo,

There will always be some subjectivity in the voting but for you to say that strength of schedule is a subjective variable is inaccurate. Strength of schedule is very measurable- look at the wins and losses of Boise’s schedule vs the wins and losses of someone like Alabama’s schedule. It aint rocket science to see with empirical evidence that the sec teams that Bama plays along with Penn State is a significantly stronger schedule than what Boise will play. As a matter of fact it aint even close or debateable for that matter.

Tide Rising

September 7th, 2010
4:59 pm

Auburn man,

I thought Boise looked very good. They are a tough, well disciplined ballclub. Very good and I’ve always liked Boise. I just don’t think that with a 2 game schedule that they should get a spot in a bcs title game as opposed to a 1 loss bcs conference team. And based on what they’ve done against bcs conferences since 2005- 5-3 including last night’s win I think they would be a 2-4 loss team in a bcs conference like the SEC or ACC. And that is not good enough to deserve to be in the title game.

thwg

September 7th, 2010
5:03 pm

Can’t wait to hear from homer SEC Fan after Spurrier dismantles the puppies this weekend. Please be sure to come back and post SEC Fan. But don’t stop being the typical UGA fan where you guys are gonna win it all every year, otherwise we don’t have anything to laugh about at our parties. It’s gotta be tough when football is all you have, particularly when you will never be a NATIONAL program like Texas, Florida, Bama, Penn State, OSU, USC and now Boise State. Gotta be tough watching teams like TCU and Boise and Iowa blow by you and to accept the fact that no one outside the state of Georgia or the Southeast at best could care less about UGA – you’re not even part of the conversation, but you don’t even realize it. Typical and very entertaining.

Auburn Man

September 7th, 2010
5:04 pm

Tide Rising….I agree with the idea two tough games shouldn’t get them a shot. But it will this year. My only hope from all; this is that it finally lights the fire to a play-off system.

thwg

September 7th, 2010
5:06 pm

BTW, I’m a Bama fan. Let’s see, how many national champtionships does UGA compared to Bama??? Hell, 50% of the population wasn’t even born the last time UGA won that championship in 1980 which they never would have if not for GT tying ND. Are we still talking about Hershel and ‘run Lyndsey run’? Pitiful and an embarrasement to the SEC quite frankly.

Auburn Man

September 7th, 2010
5:08 pm

In 2010 if Boise were in the SEC they would likely lose to Bama, UF, UGA, Arkansas. I wont put my dog in the hunt because our defense looked too suspect Saturday. But those are but four teams I say are significantly better than VT.

Patrick

September 7th, 2010
5:22 pm

Tide-

How exactly did you get exposure for playing Clemson? Did these kids just get wind of Alabama because of 1 or 2 games? Or do you think they knew who the Alabama Crimson Tide was because of your deep tradition in college football and the SEC, in general?

My argument today is that people who are such homers for their team and their conference that you guys don’t think any team is good enough for your team or conference.

The current system, as some have stated, has flaws. And teams like Boise St are left to do what they can in order to gain attention and respect. I’d love to see them in the PAC-10 but why isn’t the PAC-10 inviting them?

Barack Dawg

September 7th, 2010
5:34 pm

Norman – I hope you are not an Oklahoma fan whose team has choked how many times in the BCS. If so you need to make sure you clear it with Texas before you talk.

None of the other conferences want to see the SEC in the Title Game because it means they will lose. The SEC is 6 – 0 in the NC game. That is exactly why we should be there. We own the last 4. Until you beat us, you can’t claim the title biatches.

Bamafan

September 7th, 2010
5:36 pm

I think Ole Miss has a HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM!! RTR

Barack Dawg

September 7th, 2010
5:37 pm

Patrick – that is simple. They don’t meet the standards in any area to qualify to be in the PAC-10. Primarily that is academic based. They are only good at football and that is questionable based on their schedule. How big is the market in Boise? Not big. Therefore they don’t provide any monetary incentive either. Regardless they are screwed.

They should go independent and if they get to the BCS game then they keep the $15M from the game if they are so sure they are that good. Otherwise, if they get money distributed in the WAC then they would risk that. But if they can put the money where their mouth is outside 2 games a year then they need to bring it.

Barack Dawg

September 7th, 2010
5:39 pm

We can end all of this now. Let TCU and Boise play for the title. Let us go ahead and set it now. They don’t have to play anymore games. Just spend the next 4 months getting ready. Then we can watch as the BCS flops because no one watches.

Or we can leave both out regardless and watch as Congress wastes tax payer money to put their 2 cents in about the BCS because the Federal Government is so sure about how to fix everything. Their solution would be to take all the money from the BCS conferences and give the money to them and agree that they are all national champions who deserved recognition from doing nothing.

Take your pick. No matter what – College Football is screwed…

Preston

September 7th, 2010
5:41 pm

Let Boise play an SEC schedule and then, and only then, could they lose a game and still be considered a BCS contender. They will not have another challenge the remainder of the season. America’s love affair with Cinderella needs to end. Boise plays in a terrible conference that affords them more credit than they deserve. I guarantee you that if they had played this game mid season or after, it would have been an ugly beating from the hands of VT. BTW, why the ACC was mentioned in the headline of this discussion is laughable. A one loss ACC team isn’t worth a pimple on a 4 loss SEC team. Period. No exclamation point needed. The SEC rules. It always has, it always will, and the argument is ALWAYS settled in the BCS CG when the SEC is given the opportunity to play in it. The SEC doesn’t just win it, they win it convincingly. EVERY TIME. Check the books boys and girls. Take care… and listen to that voice of reason that’s begging the fans of Boise and the ACC to pay attention to what conference dominates when it matters most. The SEC.

HugoStiglitz

September 7th, 2010
5:42 pm

Tide Rising, it is actually subjective. Alabama gets more points for playing Penn State then Boise will get for playing Fresno St. Why? Because a group of people voted(subjective) and decided they thought Penn State was better then Fresno St. There is no real proof that they are as they dont play each other so its a guess just like the rest of the rankings.

Buzz

September 7th, 2010
5:52 pm

Hey PFFFFT, then why did they chicken (back out of) the game ??? Answer that you SEC homer.

Bubba

September 7th, 2010
5:53 pm

who says white men cant junp?