BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 01: Head Coach Chris Petersen of the Boise State Broncos watches a play against the Nevada Wolf Pack at Bronco Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Computers. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em, am I right?
One of my favorite computers, the one owned and operated by SB Nation's Bill Connelly, has been spitting out preseason rankings for every college football team there is, based on factors like returning starters, two-year recruiting rankings, and 2011 performance. Based on those criteria, his computer must hate Boise State, no? No! It kind of likes the Broncos.
Boise State is at No. 39 and is the highest ranked non-AQ team other than the obvious computer error of Houston at No. 29.
Now you're probably thinking that 39 is a lot lower than the standard 20s that Boise State has been pulling in from various preseason human polls. But keep in mind that computers are cold and calculated and they typically shun anything and everything not of royal, big conference blood. And if you thought Boise State had it rough, look at what the 1s and 0s think of BSU's conference competition.
- Nevada - No. 63
- Fresno State - No. 81
- San Diego State - No. 86
- Hawaii - No. 93
- Colorado State - No. 102
- Air Force - No. 103
- Wyoming - No. 108
- UNLV - No. 120
- New Mexico - No. 124
By the computers' count, even non-conference ritual sacrifice Miami (OH) would finish third in the Mountain West by virtue of its No. 77 ranking. Ouch.
The computers also serve to confirm the thoughts and fears that Boise State's non-conference schedule is indeed the meat and bones of BSU's 2012 season (the conference schedule, in this metaphor, would be the season's fat that nobody wants to eat). Michigan State is at No. 19, BYU is at No. 34, and Southern Miss is at No. 46.
Now let's see a computer predict the starting quarterback.