Welcome to Panic-ville, USA; just last week known as Boise, Idaho. While a drop in the BCS rankings brings panic and despair throughout the land, a ray of hope shines brightly to the south upon Rice Eccles Stadium. Utah has a chance of to knock off the Broncos’ non-AQ frenemy, TCU. With the same kickoff time as Boise State’s matchup with Hawaii, Bronco fans are sure to be flipping through their TV manual trying to learn how to use their picture-in-picture technology only to find out they don’t get CBS College Sports anyway. Complied below is a list of several desired results which will help Boise State’s ranking in the race to finish as the top Non-AQ and secure at least a BCS bowl bid. Keep in mind some of these results would only add up to thousandths of points in the BCS equation. We've seen how annoyingly close the BCS standings can be. Saddle your Bronco up Cowboys, do the Hokie pokie, squash a Frog, save a Beaver from a trap, and make a rug out of a Bear.Category: The Obvious
Utah over TCU: This game is huge. If this happens, Utah will be in Boise State’s position and will have fans blogging about all the results Utah will need to catch Boise State. Utah picked the wrong year to schedule Pitt and Notre Dame if they wanted to bolster their non-conference schedule. Also, willingly playing San Jose State is never good for the cause. I’m not saying that BSU has no chance of falling behind Utah, but the Bronco’s SOS will only improve from this point on and Utah has little time to impress the voters after the TCU game. I am doubting the voters will jump them ahead of undefeated Boise State and their SOS will not help them enough in the computers.
Virginia Tech over Georgia Tech (28-21) (Thursday night on ESPN): The Hokies gave Bronco Nation quite a scare even with Ga Tech running a backup QB all 2nd half. The hope is that the computers will start respecting Virginia Tech the more they win because currently they are only ranked in 1 of the 6 computer polls. Boise State badly needed Virginia Tech to win this football game, and they did.
Oklahoma State over Baylor: TCU is hanging its computerized hat on the Baylor win. Had Texas taken care for the Bears last week, I firmly believe Boise State would still hold an advantage over TCU in the BCS. Oh, and Baylor being good has given Craig James the excuse of ranking the Frogs above the Broncos, and he loves it. When BCS guru Brad Edwards stated the case for Boise jumping back over TCU, he emphasized that it would depend a lot on how Baylor and Virginia Tech finish their seasons.
Fresno State over La Tech: But both are in the WAC you say. This really is a wash with the computers, but if Utah beats TCU we can assume they won’t jump Boise State this week regardless of how are past opponents look. The issue becomes the final games of the season being against quality wins to remain ahead of the Utes. Plus, Fresno is apparently our friend as evidenced by Gene’s wimpy 2011 scheduling solution.
Oregon State over UCLA: On the road, but the Beavers should still handle the Bruins. This won’t help BSU in their fight with TCU, but it certainly will with Utah.
Wyoming over New Mexico: Finally a game Wyoming can win. Every time Wyoming loses to a MWC team it hurts us but does not affect TCU/Utah since the winning opponent is also on their schedule.
Category: Not So Obvious (Thousandths of points)
UTEP over SMU: SMU has been a solid opponent for TCU for SOS. Their loss is TCU’s loss.
Purdue over Wisconsin: Obviously we want highly ranked teams to fall, but this is all about BSU’s ranking compared to TCU/Utah. Boise State opponent, Toledo, has their signature win over Purdue. SOS accounts for records of opponents’ opponents.
Colorado over Kansas: Hawaii’s loss to Colorado is bad. Let’s not make it look worse.
North Carolina over Florida State: UNC is on Va Tech’s ACC schedule. Florida State isn’t.
Army over Air Force: Hate to root against the MWC, but have to this year. Also, Hawaii beat Army. Army also played two opponents of BSU opponents... but they also play Notre Dame which is a Utah opponent. None the less, Army over Air Force.
Miami over Maryland: Terps not on Va Tech’s ACC schedule. Miami is.
Nebraska over Iowa State: This is an interesting game seeing that we’d like Nebraska to be a less attractive at large pick for a BCS bowl. Iowa State pulling the upset would give credibility to Utah’s out of conference schedule, we don’t want Iowa State to become Utah’s version of Baylor if Utah beats TCU.
Cal over Washington State: I wouldn’t even mention this game if it weren’t for Cal being the two faced home/away team of the century. Cal hasn’t won a game on the road and hasn’t been beaten at home. We need this trend to end in Pullman as Nevada’s computer numbers aren’t all that bad with Cal being their signature win.
Texas Tech over Missouri: 1-loss Missouri is somehow ranked 4th in the computer average. TCU is 3rd and BSU is 5th. A Missouri loss would leave room for BSU to move up, but not TCU.
Arizona over Stanford: Toledo lost badly to Arizona. The more Arizona wins, the less bad that loss becomes for Toledo.
USC over Arizona State: Both share Oregon State as a common opponent, but USC also shares Hawaii.
Ohio over Buffalo (34-17) (Thursday night ESPNU): Toledo already played and beat Ohio but does not play Buffalo on their MAC schedule. These small computer victories could make a difference in the end.
Illinois over Michigan: Illinois is the last game on Fresno’s schedule and its in Fresno.
Category: Thousandths of Thousandths of Points
UNLV over BYU: Simply trying to think of a reason to root against the Cougars. UNLV has 4 shared opponents with BSU. BYU only has has 3.
Murray State over Tennessee Tech: Tech is TCU’s FCS opponent. Their performance isn’t worth much, but its worth a sprinkle of computer dust.
James Madison over Richmond: The Dukes are 4-4 this season with a win over Virginia Tech. I have a feeling that had Va Tech not fumbled on their way to a game winning drive, Tech would be ranked in the top 10 right now and we’d be laughing as TCU and Utah helplessly tried to catch up. Like I said, the computers will not excuse this loss for Va Tech. They are getting absolutely hammered.