As Stewart Mandel pointed out, I have some bad news for Boise State fans. We're likely to be leaped by a Big Ten opponent this week. The SI.com columnist points out that Michigan and Wisconsin are nipping at Boise State's heels, but it's worse. 22nd ranked Michigan plays Nebraska, who's BCS score just missed being ranked and stands at 26. At this point, a Michigan win would benefit us more than a Nebraska win, but Nebraska just may leap Boise State anyway.
Luckily, it's not all bad news in this weeks rooting guide. Without further ado...
Before we review the "rules to rooting" this week, I'd like to point out one thing that takes immediate interest. With the official BCS rankings out and comparative schedules leveling out, teams will not take large leaps as they did earlier in the season. So far, the largest a team has moved has been 9 spots. Therefore, we will be tracking teams 9 spots ahead and 9 spots behind Boise State's BCS ranking.
- Boise State's scheduled opponents need to win to boost both national perception and strength of schedule. Looking ahead to multiple 1-loss opponents does not figure a bright future for Boise State's ranking in the computers.
- Teams ranked in the BCS from #16 to Boise State's rank need to lose, as well as the highest ranked "Big 6" team (currently, the Big Ten, Big East, and ACC). Boise State is the favorite team in the polls to jump, so teams slightly ranked lower also need to lose.
- Because out of conference football games are scheduled years in advance, it is important to track how well our future opponents and remaining Big East members do.
- Anyone who plays Idaho.
Games of the Week
Cincinnati @ 16 Louisville - Friday 6:00pm on ESPN
Who to cheer for: Cincinnati
I have this pinned as my upset of the week, and not just because of my blatant Boise State homerism. Louisville seems to be losing it's stride and my poll shows both teams weighted margin of victories (shameful self-plug here) quite similar.
Michigan State @ 25 Wisconsin - Saturday 1:30pm on ABC or ESPN2
- and -
24 Ohio @ Miami (OH) - 1:30pm on ESPN3
Who to cheer for: Michigan State and Miami (OH)
Boise State's OOC schedule is looking pretty bad. No team is above .500 and any hopes of having these teams compete for their conference championship are almost nill. However, both Michigan State and Miami (OH) play teams that immediately threaten Boise State's ranking.
Tennessee @ 13 South Carolina - 10:00am on ESPN
Who to cheer for: Tennessee
Not because we like Derek Dooley. In case you were wondering, we don't. Thank goodness Justin Wilcox moved to
greener purpler pastures. South Carolina is a full 8 spots ahead of Boise State, but a loss to Tennessee could be enough to put them behind the Broncos.
14 Texas Tech @ 3 Kansas State - 1:30 on FOX
Who to cheer for: Kansas State
I'm finding the them of this week to be to cheer for any team in the top 10 to beat anyone else ranked below them. This would help Boise State much more than creating havoc at the top of the polls. So, that's our new mantra it seems. "Go Top 10 (even though we secretly hate you)!"
Our opponents' schedules at a glance
Cheer for teams in bold. All times are MT.
- Nevada @ Air Force - Friday 6:00pm on CBS Sports
- Southern Miss @ Rice - 11:00am
- BYU @ Georgia Tech - 1:00pm on ESPN3
- New Mexico vs. Fresno State - 1:30pm on Comcast/Time Warner
Cheer for team in the MWC with a wining record. New Mexico had momentum .. then lost to dream-wrecker Air Force.
- Hawaii @ Colorado State - 5:00pm on Root
Pick em! They both suck equally as bad.
- UNLV @ San Diego State - 6:00pm on TW
Other important games to follow
- 18 Clemson @ Wake Forest - 5:30pm on ESPN
- 23 Texas @ Kansas - 10:00am on FSN
- Iowa @ 36 Northwestern - 10:00am on ESPN2
- Colorado @ 4 Oregon - 1:00pm on the PAC12 Network
- 2 Florida @ 10 Georgia - 1:30pm on CBS
- 9 USC @ 27 Arizona - 1:30pm on ABC/ESPN2
- Duke @ 12 Florida State - 1:30pm on ESPNU
- Kent State @ 15 Rutgers - 1:30pm on ESPN3
- Washington State @ 17 Stanford - 4:15pm on the PAC12 Network
- 20 Texas A&M @ Auburn - 5:00pm on ESPNU
- 5 Notre Dame @ 8 Oklahoma - 6:00pm on ABC
Oklahoma 1 more loss than Notre Dame.
- 22 Michigan @ 26 Nebraska* - 6:00pm on ESPN2
As mentioned earlier, both teams are likely to jump Boise State with a win.
- 29 Louisiana Tech @ NMSU - 6:00pm on ESPN3
- 11 Mississippi State @ 1 Alabama - 6:30pm on ESPN
- 7 Oregon State @ 44 Washington - 8:15pm on the PAC12 Network