With two weeks of college football in the books, the landscape of teams to cheer for and against is starting to take shape.
Before outlining which teams’ seasons have added significance, it is important to understand the methodology behind the madness. Not the BCS methodology mind you, but the "Mr. Badger" methodology, which has one goal in mind – getting the Broncos to a BCS Bowl game (and if possible, the National Title Game).
Much like he did when explaining the complicated BCS system itself, my pet bespectacled Badger (aka Mr. Badger) has no trouble explaining the intricacies of his "Badger methodology" either, but I tend to get lost around the 10-second mark of either explanation. So please don’t ask me to explain it to you... Mr. Badger is the true mastermind.
Therefore, from the Badger’s mouth to your eyes, here goes. Mind you, this post took 4 days, 10 tea sessions, and one overnight rock-n-roll session with Mr. Badger to put together. So no, I do not have a very long attention span.
Boise State’s Rooting Guide can be divided into seven parts, in descending order of importance:
- Your Boise State Broncos!
- Boise State’s Opponents
- Current Ranked Teams
- Mr. Badger’s Mascot Teams
- Opponents of Boise State’s Opponents
- Prior Seasons’ Marquee Opponents
- Future Season’s Marquee Opponents
Part 1 is self-explanatory, even to me: Boise has complete control of its own win-loss record (no matter how hard the NCAA tries to pull us down). The good news: Win out, and a BCS Bowl bid is ours (The CFB world is Fair and full of rainbow-snacking Unicorns). The bad news: Win out, and we are also last in line for the National Title game (The CFB world is Unfair and full of used fast food fried grease-chugging Mark Mays). Mr. Badger!!! Control yourself!
Our Broncos will have their hands full Friday night (6PM MT – ESPN) against a very tough – and underrated – Toledo team. Toledo is what Fresno wants to be. The Rockets not only schedule tough opponents every year, they beat them. From 2006 to 2010, Toledo has taken down a different AQ team each season:
- Kansas (2006)
- Iowa State (2007)
- Michigan (2008)
- Colorado (2009)
- Purdue (2010)
Do the Rockets have your attention now? The Glass Bowl will be rocking on Friday night. Send all your positive vibes their way!
Line: Good Guys by 20
Root For: Good Guys – by a lot! But I'll take a Win any day.
Part 2 is where the "Haters" love to bust in and crash our party, drinking all our Blue GatorAde and eating all our churros. True, our Strength of Schedule is not that of Florida or LSU. However, there’s little we can do about it. We’d love to play in the SEC or PAC-whatever, but the last time I checked the mailbox, it was still empty. All we can do is play our in-conference schedule and schedule teams - often years in advance - that agree to play us and give us at least some of the revenues generated. Oh, and hope that when we actually play them, they are both: still any good, and don’t renege on their agreement. So for all you "haters" out there, I think HateMay had it right when he referenced Axl Rose and his "anthem of anger": Get in the Ring. Uh-oh… Mr. Badger now says he’s ready to "Get in the Ring" with any of our haters out there.
OK, quick side note… Mr. Badger just played that song for me, which started an entire marathon of Guns n Roses songs for "my enjoyment". Needless to say, Mr. Badger got into the music (and the Jack Daniels) and had himself a good ole time. As a result, my living room looks like, well… an angry, drunk Badger just got through with it.
The things I do for this blog.
Since we know who our opponents are, there are a few teams that will be watched very closely by the Bronco Faithful. Unfortunately, many of these teams have already fallen flat on their face. Luckily, we are only in week 3 and there is still time to redeem themselves. This is how we hope they fare for the rest of the year:
- Georgia (Beats Georgia Tech; Wins SEC East Championship; wins SEC Championship Game)
- Toledo (Beats Syracuse; Wins MAC East; wins MAC Championship game)
- Fresno (Beats Ole Miss; beats all WAC teams; win WAC Championship)
- Nevada (Beats Texas Tech; beats all WAC teams except Fresno)
- Air Force (Beats Navy; Beats Notre Dame; beats lower-division MWC teams)
- TCU (Beats SMU; Beats BYU; Runs Table until date with Boise State)
- San Diego State (Beats Washington State; Beats Michigan; beats lower-division MWC teams)
Saturday’s intriguing matchups include:
3 Stars – Colorado State vs Colorado –11:30AM MT – Fox Sports
Line: Buffs by 7.5
Root for: Rams
3 Stars – San Diego State vs Washington State –4:30PM MT – The Mtn
Line: Aztecs by 5.5
Root for: Aztecs
3 Stars – Tulsa vs Oklahoma State - 8PM MT – Fox Sports
Line: Cowboys by 13.5
Root for: Golden Hurricane
2 Stars – New Mexico vs Texas Tech –1:30PM - Versus
Line: Red Raiders by 21
Root for: Los Lobos
1 Star – UNLV vs Hawaii –8PM MT – The Mtn
Line: Rainbow Warriors by 20.5
Root for: Runnin’ Rebs
1 Star – Wyoming at Bowling Green –10AM MT - NA
Line: Falcons by 9
Root for: Cowboys
Part 3 – Hoping for the collapse of all ranked teams except us is the purpose of this third section. Since it’s hard to believe a national title game would exist these days without an SEC team, we’ll probably have to root for the SEC whenever it plays other ranked AQ teams. (If you can bring yourself to do so, that is.) Our best chance for a National Title Game appearance would be edging out a 1-loss AQ team that is not from the SEC.
With that in mind, here are some fun teams to root for this weekend.
3 Stars – (3) LSU at (25) Miss State – Thurs 6PM MT – ESPN
Line: Tigers by 3.5
Root for: Bulldogs
Why? If LSU loses, we (might) move ahead of them in the polls. This can’t be a bad thing, although at the end of the day I highly doubt the Broncos would be placed ahead of a 1-loss SEC team in the NTG. Remember: Mr. Badger believes a SEC team will be in the NTG no matter what, so unless every SEC team has at least 2 losses, we might as well eventually pick a pony and hope we meet ‘em there in January. Until then, root for 'em all to fall.
3 Stars – (1) Oklahoma at (5) Florida State – 6PM MT – ABC
Line: Sooners by 3
Root for: ‘Noles
Why? Even though the Sooners would fall below us (probably), and the ‘Noles would jump us (realistically), there’s a much better chance of Oklahoma running the table than the ‘Noles. I’m just not sold on Florida State yet. Oklahoma, on the other hand, scares me. But it's still early.
3 Stars – (6) Stanford at Arizona – 8:45PM MT – ESPN
Line: Cardinal by 10
Root for: Wildcats
Why? Stanford has an excellent team, an excellent QB, an excellent chance of running the table, and is the most likely team to take our spot in the NTG should there be only 3 undefeated teams left. Go 'Cats!
3 Stars – (7) Wisconsin at Northern Illinois – 1:30PM MT – ESPN3
Line: Badgers by 17
Root for: Huskies
Why? The Badgers are scary good this year. It never hurts when one of your better opponents falls in a trap game. Could this be one of them?
3 Stars – Navy at (10) South Carolina – 4PM MT – ESPN2
Line: Gamecocks by 17
Root for: Gamecocks
Why? Although we’ll be rooting against the Gamecocks later in the season, we want them to win this one. Were they to lose to Navy on the heels of beating Georgia, the ‘Dawgs loss would look even worse than it is. This is an important game for the Broncos.
3 Stars – Washington at (11) Nebraska – 1:30PM MT – ABC / ESPN
Line: HuskERS by 16.5
Root for: HuskIES
Why? The Huskers have a realistic chance of running the table – and leap-frogging us. Not good. In a rematch of last year’s Poinsettia Bowl, the Huskers will be looking for revenge. Can the doggies make it two in a row?
3 Stars – (15) Michigan St at Notre Dame – 1:30PM MT – NBC
Line: Irish by 4.5
Root for: Spartans
Why? The Michigan State opener next year will be awesome. We want the Spartans to follow up last year’s success with another great season, building anticipation for another incredible Road Trip. Later in the season, we can cheer for the Spartans to drop a game or two so there’s no chance they jump us in the polls. For now though, there’s nothing I’d like more than to see the Irish drop 3 in a row - yet another sign today’s college football ain’t your daddy’s college football.
3 Stars – (17) Ohio State at Miami (FL) – 5:30PM MT – ESPN
Line: Hurricane by 2.5
Root for: Canes
Why? Hate is a strong term, and even Mr. Badger can’t bring himself to use it here. But it’s close. ‘Dem Buckeyes are just… wrong. Because one of our opponents (Toledo) nearly took them out, we don’t want the Buckeyes to completely blow their season. But we don’t want them anywhere near a perfect year either. Blow hard Canes! I thought I told you to control yourself Mr. Badger!!!
Part 4 is an interesting section. Mr. Badger claims he has many Mascot friends throughout the college football world – as well as a few enemies. I’m thinking it’s more like a few friends and many enemies. At any rate, in order for me to get all of Mr. Badger’s "wonderlicious knowledge" (as he likes to remind me on a near-hourly basis), I am supposed to ask the Nuggies to root for one of his games every week. So here’s Mr. Badger’s "Mascot game of the week"….
Florida A&M Rattlers vs. South Florida Bulls
It should be no surprise that Mr. Badger does not like snakes. His fur is getting all puffed up just thinking about it. Quick, get him a Corona. And pray that the Bulls stampede the Rattlers.
Part 5 - While we always want our opponents to do well, and our opponents’ opponents to do fairly well, there are a few teams that we are already forced to pay particular attention.
½ Star – Baylor (nipped TCU) – plays SF Austin. Should be a blowout.
½ Star – Oregon (crushed Nevada) – plays Missouri State. Ducks' 2nd team should see a lot of action.
½ Star – Cal (beat Fresno) – plays Presbyterian. Who finds these teams?
3 Stars –Nebraska (got by Fresno) – plays Washington (see above). While we’d normally want them to do well (per this section), because they have the chance to jump us, we want them to LOSE!
Part 6 - Wishing for our prior years’ marquee opponents to do well doesn’t do much for our computer ratings, but it sure helps with perception. And perception is reality. Mr. Badger can vouch for that: he once took a skunk to a drive-in movie date just by painting a line down his back. Reality hit him hard once she figured out his skunk breath was not from being a real skunk. She wasn't happy - and let him know it in no uncertain terms. Talk about a car odor that you can't get rid of.
½ Star – Va Tech (2010) – plays Arkansas St. I’m sure Frank will not allow his boys another FCS letdown.
½ Star – Oregon (2008 – 2009) – plays Missouri State. (see above). Another auto-win.
Part 7 – Upcoming opponents' strength of schedule won’t do us much good this year, but it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next year. (I got so sick of all the talk of Georgia’s "horrible" 6-7 season leading into this year’s big matchup. I want people to start talking about the Michigan State - Boise showdown as soon as Bowl Season ends!)
3 Stars – Michigan State (2012) – at Notre Dame - 1:30PM MT – NBC
Beating Notre Dame would be oh so good for so many reasons! (see Section 3 above)
2 Stars – Miami OH (2012) – at Minnesota – 1:30PM MT – NA
Watch out Red Hawks. Those Golden Gophers are looking to take it out on someone. Best wishes to Coach Kill, but let’s hope the Red Hawks prevail. A win would mean a lot to our matchup next year.
2Stars – BYU (2012 thru 2015) – plays Utah – 7:15PM MT – ESPN2
Toss up. Wanna live on last year’s glory – or prepare for the future?
1 Star – Southern Miss (2012 – 2013) – plays SE Lousiana – 5PM MT – NA
The Golden Eagles should feast on SE Louisiana for an easy W. Hey, a win's a win.
Well, that does it for Week 3. Happy Watching.
Who will you be rooting for this weekend? Got a favorite in the Oklahoma - Florida State game? Think having a badger for a pet is a bad idea? Share your thoughts in the comments.