I know most people on OBNUG seem to think Boise's BCS run is done this year. That couldn't be further from the truth. Here's what the BCS says about non-AQs going to a BCS bowl:
The champion of C-USA, the MAC, the Mountain West, the Sun Belt or the WAC will earn an automatic birth in a BCS bowl game if either: A. Such team is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS standings, or, B. Such team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and its ranking in the final BCS standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls.
And this is where everybody is getting hung up since we obviously won't qualify for being that we won't be a conference champion. That is the criteria for an automatic berth for a non-AQ team, though (kinda confusing and misleading since it's only automatic IF those conditions are met).
However, the BCS under its "at-large eligibility" criteria states this:
If there are fewer than 10 automatic qualifiers, then the bowls will select at-large participants to fill the remaining berths. An at-large team is any Football Bowl Subdivision team that is bowl-eligible and meets the following requirements: A. Has won at least nine regular-season games, and B. Is among the top 14 teams in the final BCS standings
So technically, at this point, Boise WOULD in fact still qualify for a BCS bowl. Speaking practically and realistically, they still need a few things to happen though in order to get selected by one of the BCS bowls. Boise is at #11 in both the Harris and Coaches Polls. They'll be somewhere close to that in the BCS standings, give or take one position So let's do the simple math... 5 BCS Bowls=10 teams. Ok, got it. 6 AQ conference champs=4 remaining BCS slots.
Let's face the facts, the SEC WILL send 2 teams to BCS bowls. That leaves 3 remaining slots. If Houston does win out, they WILL finish in the top12 and therefore get an automatic bowl. That would dwindle it down to 2 slots remaining. But let's not count that as a certainty. After all, Houston has their 3 toughest games of the season still to play: SMU, Tulsa and (assuming they win both of those games) Southern Miss in the Conference USA championship game. I wouldn't count ANY of those games a sure victory and a single loss would drop them below Boise and likely out of the top 16.
What remains are 4 teams ahead of Boise that could get the last 3 spots in the BCS bowls: Oregon, Oklahoma, Stanford and Houston. I know, I know there's still Arkansas, VaTech, Clemson ahead of us (not to mention LSU, Okie State and Alabama) but remember the SEC can only take 2 teams to BCS bowls, so regardless of whether or not Arkansas, LSU and Alabama all finish ahead of us, only two of them will get bids and the third will get passed up for the next team for a BCS bowl.
As for VaTech and Clemson... Remember they both already have a loss and another one will send them behind Boise (theoretically). They WILL face each other in the ACC championship game and so one is already accounted for in the six AQ slots while the loser is not likely to get an at-large bid especially with 2-losses.
Oregon is already included in the Pac-12s auto bid and so that spot has already been accounted for. If you're keeping track at home, there are still 3 spots left and now only 2 teams ahead of us that can get those spots (3 if you include Houston... read afforementioned reason Houston).
An even easier path to a BCS bowl would be to hope Stanford drops one more game and falls behind us and to hope OSU beats OU in their final game of the season (a very likely possibility). That MAY put OU behind us as well. And even if they don't fall behind us, that leaves 3 spots still open and only 1 team (Oklahoma) ahead of us to take that spot.
This is all hypothetical, of course and nothing is guaranteed but there is still a very solid chance we could still get a BCS bowl game if only a few possible (and maybe even probable) scenarios happens.
Our chances of still making a BCS bowl after a loss are arguably better than our chances ever were making a BCS title game had we finished undefeated. And of course, this all hinges on Boise winning out.
And even if we don't make a BCS bowl, we always have the significantly reduced exit fee to make our move to the Big East.