Each week, the BCS Bros. will handicap the Broncos' chances of landing in college football's ultimate crapshoot. Speaking of crapshoots, the Vandals will also be mentioned regularly. Zing!
It's barely September and already things are shaping up nicely for a Boise State BCS run. Many, it seems, don’t believe us. So let us present our case again.
1. It is very likely that either Fresno, BYU, Boise State, Utah, or possibly East Carolina will be in contention for the BCS at the end of the season. The team in contention will either be undefeated or have one loss (possibly two, but that’s unlikely).
2. A top 12 ranking is all that is needed for a guaranteed bid. In 2006, the Broncos were ranked 12th by mid-October. BYU is pretty much already there. A one loss mid-major (provided it’s the right kind of loss) could conceivably be in the top 12. An undefeated mid-major would almost certainly be.
3. The Big East and ACC look weaker than ever (e.g. Wake Forest is the ACC’s best team). There is a decent chance of one of these conferences producing a champion ranked lower than 16th. If that’s the case, the top mid-major need only be in the top 16.
4. It seems apparent to me that of the four or five teams in contention, BSU has the lightest schedule. A close game at Oregon and key losses by other mid-majors would put BSU in prime position to gain another BCS payday.
Last weekend’s rundown
Boise State over Idaho State. As expected this game didn’t do much for the Broncos as far as the rankings are concerned. They only got two more votes than last week, but this is a good win for voters to look back on later in the season.
Bowling Green over Pitt. Wannstedt’s apathy, it seems, is contagious. Pitt dropped entirely out of the rankings and looks set to underachieve the rest of the season, which means they’re the favorites to win another outright Big East title. Bowling Green looks solid and got some AP love. They will be a quality win for Boise State in two weeks.
Utah over Michigan. This was surprising and not surprising at the same time. Utah looked pretty solid and went from being unranked and unnoticed to a surprising 22 spot on the AP. Goes to show how much one game can affect the rankings. Fickle Michigan fans are already reminiscing about the Lloyd Carr years. Being a Michigan fan has to be a crushing experience every year. I literally can’t think of a team that is more unkind to its fans than the Wolverines.
Fresno over Rutgers. A nice win that voters loved, placing the Bulldogs at 21 in the AP. If Fresno runs the table with their non-conference schedule, they deserve a BCS bid. But they won’t. And they’ll lose to the Broncos anyway. Fresno will never make the BCS with Pat Hill as their coach. For several reasons.
LaTech over Mississippi State. A very nice win for the WAC resulting in a slight boost for BSU’s perceived strength of schedule.
Next week's games to watch
- Southern Miss at Auburn. A BSU opponent. Hopefully they can keep the game respectable.
- BYU at Washington. This is a very losable game for the Cougars that would be tough to explain to BCS voters (e.g. BSU 2007).
- Bowling Green at Minnesota. This one is big. With a win over Big 10 pushover Minnesota, BG could easily be looking at a 24/25 AP ranking. Home match-ups against ranked teams are a rare and sweet rankings bonus for the Broncos (assuming the Broncos continue to be unbeatable at home).
- Idaho State at Idaho. Just kidding! This game has no BCS implications whatsoever. It does have a voyeuristic quality to it, however, like slowing down to look at a car wreck on the freeway. You feel guilty, but you do it anyway.
Idaho rankings update:
Last weekend was a mixed bag of good and bad for the Vandals' BCS run. The bad was their game against Pac-10 basketball powerhouse Arizona, in which the Vandals put on a phenomenal display of indifference and ineptitude which resulted in a loss so horrifically bad that the human race as a whole took a step backward.
The good news is that although news and highlights of Idaho’s substantial shortcomings were gleefully broadcast to every voter by the BCS-biased media, the Vandals shouldn’t take a hit in the rankings. Of course, numerically speaking, a drop in the rankings would be impossible, as a ranking worse than dead last is technically unachievable (although a loss to ISU this weekend could do the trick).
So in terms of the BCS, things are still OK for the Vandals. For one, the Vandals still have four weeks or so to impress voters before the rankings even come out. Also this is just an early, non-conference loss on the road. In other words, the "best" kind of loss for non-BCS teams. With their 12 straight losses and child-like playing style, it’s easy to write them off right now, but a mere 10 straight convincing wins could easily have the Vandals on the fringe of the BCS discussion.
So don’t count Idaho out just yet. Center Adam Korby said after the game that the Vandals "didn't show the team we are." This ominous phrase definitely suggests that Idaho is hiding some sort of secret weapon. And so our advice to the Vandals this week is simply this: unleash the secret weapon. It could be a walk-on punter, or it could be an ancient Incan artifact with paranormal powers, it doesn’t matter. But if it makes you better, do it and do it now.
Have a great week everyone!