Because of the nonsense we all know as the BCS Formula, Boise needs help from other teams to make it to the Promised Land. Some teams pulled through for Boise State this week, while others did not. Join me after the jump for a look at which teams earned a "Dougie", in honor of Doug Martin’s effort and results – and which pulled a "Fresno", in honor of Fresno State’s uncanny ability to underachieve. Plus, vote for which team you believe helped Boise's case most this week. Once again, special thanks to Loque for suggesting the "Dougie Awards".
Congratulations to the winner of Week 5’s "Readers’ Choice Dougie Award": Virginia Tech, who blew past then-ranked #23 NC State 41-30. Who will win this week’s "Readers’ Choice Dougie Award"? Only your vote will tell.
Week 6 in Review
Needless to say, it was an excellent week for Boise. Not only did our SOS improve, but one of the three teams above us in the rankings lost. Only one other WAC squad played an OOC team this week (New Mexico State), and amazingly - they won (we won’t dwell on the fact their opponent was New Mexico).
Boise’s Non-WAC opponents had a terrific week too, going 2-1. While lowly Wyoming lost, both VaTech and Oregon State not only won, but also covered the spread. Their victories impressed the voters, placing Oregon State at #24 and Virginia Tech at #28 in the AP poll. Nice job Beavers & Hokies!
Four undefeated teams lost this weekend, leaving just 12 undefeated squads:
· Ohio State
· Michigan State
· Oklahoma State
The Rockets put up more of a challenge than I’d expected, but thankfully Coach Pete had our boys prepared and ready to fight all four quarters. I do not know the status of Toledo’s quarterback, but let’s hope his injury is minor and he has a complete and speedy recovery. Other than that, the weather was good, the boys played well, and I can’t complain about a 57-14 victory. Overall, it was another great weekend of football for Bronco Nation!
Not all of this weekend’s results were pretty, however. Several teams pulled a Fresno. Keep reading for the details. And vote for this week’s Readers’ Choice Dougie Award.
Games that Hurt the Broncos (Fresno Candidates)
Iowa State, who was completely crushed by undefeated #10 Utah (68-27)
Why? While Iowa State was not favored, they were only 6 point underdogs. Such a win makes Utah look good – real good. We don’t need any more undefeated teams looking real good at this point in the season. Wouldn’t it be a (BW) to get passed up by the Utes? I don’t even want to think about it. The only saving grace? Utah pulled a rabbit out of the hat for the non-AQ’s by beating yet another BCS team. Ho-hum. Parity has most definitely arrived.
Colorado, who forgot how to play against #24 Missouri and lost (26-0)
Why? Mizzou is one of the remaining undefeated. The Buffs had the chance to take them out, but pulled a Fresno. I guess Hawk got too comfortable with the notion Colorado fans might want him to stick around another year.
K-State, who folded in the second half against #7 Nebraska (48-13)
Why? The Wildcats had the chance to make Nebraska look beatable. Instead, they vaunted Nebraska into the NCG discussion. BW! BW! BW!
#18 Michigan, who lost – at home – to their number two rival #17 Michigan State (34-17)
Why? The undefeated Spartans are suddenly the Big Ten’s media darling. RichRod began to coach like RichRod again (not well), and in the process left the Broncos with yet another BCS team to fight with for top votes. Here's hoping RichRod can at least take down its number one rival - Ohio State.
Kentucky, who had the Tiger by the Tail, but fell to #8 Auburn (37-34)
Why? Auburn remains an undefeated SEC team. Need I say more? Kudos to the Wildcats for making Auburn look beatable, however. That should keep the voters at bay for at least a week or so.
#14 Florida, who completely choked against #12 LSU (33-29)
Why? Who does not prepare for a fake field goal when it’s from 50+ yards? Urban Meyer, apparently. So much for "coaching genius". Why is Bronco Nation still dealing with the threat of an undefeated LSU squad? Will someone please end this madness once and for all?
Fresno State, who could not pass up the opportunity for their 2nd Fresno this year, losing to the underdog Rainbow Warriors (49-27)
Why? BSU had high hopes its date with the Bulldogs would not only be covered by the national media, but mean something. Instead, we will only have more coverage of Boise's great quality of living to look forward to. Doesn’t Pat Hill have some WAC Sports Broadcasting to do? Any broadcaster’s better than Dick Tomey – and any coach at Fresno State is better than Pat Hill. I’m sure Pat is a good guy, but his time at Fresno has passed.
Indiana, which lost by even more than the 22-point spread to Ohio State (38-10)
Why? A strong Buckeye squad gives the Broncos one more team to fight with over the #1 and #2 slots.
My choice for the Week 6 Fresno Award is...
The very team the award is named after: Fresno. Favored by 11 points, the Bulldogs lost by 22. Ugh! I was really looking forward to the Friday night tussle. Now it's probably going to be just another WAC game. Lots of tailgating. Lots of scoring - by the Broncos. And lots of defensive prowess - by the Broncos. I'm not saying this would not have happened if the Bulldogs had beaten the Warriors, but I enjoy facing opponents that put the fear of God into me - or at least some fear. Can anyone give us a challenge? Our Broncos need strong competition to keep us sharp and force continued improvement. I'm afraid the Bulldogs will not be one of those opponents.
Games that Helped the Broncos (Dougie Candidates)
Cincinatti, who beat Miami (OH) and covered the spread (45-3)
Why? Fresno’s best win of the year was against Cinci. The better Cinci looks, the stronger the WAC’s SOS.
Purdue, who beat Northwestern (20-17)
Why? Toledo's marquee win was at Purdue. The better Purdue finishes, the stronger Toledo's SOS.
California, who took down UCLA and covered the spread (35-7)
Why? Nevada’s undefeated streak includes a win over Cal. Since Cal beat UCLA, and UCLA beat Texas, doesn’t that mean the WAC’s 2nd best can beat the Big XII’s 2nd best? Well, I’d like to think so anyhow.
BYU, who nipped favored San Diego State (24-21)
Why? Both Nevada and Utah State beat BYU. I know it’s hard to admit, but the better BYU finishes the season, the stronger the WAC’s SOS.
Washington State, who covered the 36-point! spread in their loss to #3 Oregon (43-23)
Why? Hard to believe a 20-point loss would help the Broncos, but it is Washington State we’re talking about here. And they say the PAC-10 is a strong conference top to bottom. Yeah right! Who do you think would win – Washington State vs. San Jose State? OK, it was fun asking anyhow.
#19 South Carolina, who defeated #1 Alabama (35-21)
Why? Seven spots. Wow. That’s how many spots the Tide fell after losing to the Gamecocks. That is most definitely a win for the Broncos.
New Mexico State, who squeaked by New Mexico (16-14)
Why? Any WAC out-of-conference win helps. I never thought I’d put NMSU in the Dougie column, but there’s a first for everything! Way to go Aggies! Bronco Nation is proud of you.
Oregon State, who held on against #9 Arizona (29-27)
Why? Can the Beavers really live up to their potential the rest of this season? It’s a long road ahead, but knocking off the Wildcats is a good place to start. Bronco Nation is breathing yet another big sigh of relief. Get ready for a more and more of these. It’s only just begun. Doing so without James Rodgers will make it that much tougher.
#21 Nevada, who beat San Jose State in less than impressive fashion (35-13)
Why? The Wolfpack almost didn’t make it to the Dougie list, but still – a win’s a win. The Pack struggled with penalties – having two touchdowns called back as a result. While this game may not have been Nevada’s finest (they were favored by 39), think about this:
· The Wolfpack have not trailed all season.
· The Wolfpack have scored on the opening drive of every game this year.
Our date in the desert will be a lot tougher than we think. The Pack are for real. So Bronco fans had better start preparing their vocal cords now. Because our Boys in Blue are gonna need all the support they can get.
Virginia Tech, who beat Central Michigan and covered the spread (45-21)
Why? Virginia Tech is tuning its engine, getting better every week. Bronco Nation can only hope the success continues – as it marquee win of the year shines once again.
My choice for the Week 6 Dougie Award is…
A tough one. But I’m going with Oregon State. Bronco Nation only has four wins to hang its hat on (OSU, VT, Toledo, and hopefully Nevada) – and only two that will ultimately decide its NCG fate: Oregon State and Virginia Tech. Beating #9 Arizona was impressive. The PAC-10 is filled with landmines this year, and the Beavers dodged one of them this week. Too bad there’s so many more to come.
Honorable mention goes to New Mexico State, who proved it is not the worst team in the land. At least not this year.
Join me on Thursday for a look ahead to this weekend’s "High-Impact" Games.
But first, vote for this week’s Readers’ Choice Dougie: