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What Mandel thinks about our schedule....

3

A lot has been made of Boise State's schedule this year (as always) but has anybody really addressed the issue of how well Boise State has scheduled in the nonconference (a.k.a., the games they actually chose to play)? Georgia (tied for first in the SEC East), Toledo (first place in the MAC), Nevada (first place in the WAC), Tulsa (tied for first in Conference USA) and Fresno State. Considering how hard it is for them to get BCS conference teams to play them on fair terms, is this pretty much the toughest schedule Boise State could have come up with? -- Alan Bushell, Belleville, Ontario Because there are still so many other undefeated teams, and with all the attention right now on LSU-Alabama, I'm guessing few have even bothered to look at Boise State's schedule. We're so conditioned to bash it out of instinct. Many would be surprised to learn the Broncos have played a tougher schedule to date (according to both Sagarin and Jerry Palm's ratings) than Alabama and Stanford. Obviously that will soon change with the Tide playing LSU and the Cardinal playing Oregon. And one thing that really hurts Boise this year is the lack of a looming late-season game against a ranked opponent like it had last year with Nevada. Its three best remaining foes are TCU (6-2), San Diego State (4-3) and Wyoming (5-2), none of which are likely to be ranked come game time. The Broncos are never going to win any strength of schedule arguments, but I do get annoyed when the critics insinuate they're voluntarily shying away from tougher competition. They only get to choose five of their opponents, and while there's obviously an element of luck involved, they did a pretty decent job this year. They played a respected SEC program in its backyard. There are no FCS teams on the slate. All five played in bowl games last year and at least four of them will again this year, several in better bowls.

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