Much apologies for last weeks hiatus. My ego envisioned numerous 'Nuggies switching on their TV's Saturday to watch afternoon football and immediately feeling emptiness and confusion on who to cheer for. Luckily, I only let my ego see the light of day in sarcasm and humour, because that would never happen.
Look ahead of a Saturday slate of important games to invest your interest.
Rules on choosing which teams to cheer for
- Boise State's opponents need to keep winning to boost national perception and strength of schedule.
- Teams ranked ahead of Boise State in the BCS (for now, Coaches Poll) up to rank 16 need to lose, as well as the highest ranked Big East and/or, possibly later, the ACC champion.
- The opponents of the teams Boise State plays need to win (when they are not playing Boise State's opponents). For the BCS computers, this is important. For the human voters, this is sometimes important. For example, Stanford beat USC = Stanford is great. Washington beat Stanford = Stanford sucks. LSU beat Auburn in similar disappointing fashion = LSU is great.
- 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
Hawaii @ BYU - Friday 6:00 pm - ESPN
Who to root for: BYU
BYU fans are reeling over their offensive woes even more than Boise State fans. Can you believe they're contemplating coaches changes and requesting another quarterback plays? Can't even imagine Boise State fans ever doing that. It's a big mess in Happy Valley. Both BYU and Hawaii are Boise State opponents, but BYU recently carries more national respect (and a better record) and has the better opportunity to be the SOS beacon for Boise State.
Michigan State vs. the Ohio State - Saturday 1:30 pm - ABC
Who to root for: Michigan State
Michigan State's defense is still playing Top 10 football, but their loss against Notre Dame and lack of offense in basically every game they've played has the nation taking them out of Title and even Rose Bowl consideration. MSU needs to thwart Urban Meyers offense and contain the predictable-in-that-he's-unpredictable Braxton Miller in order to win.
Southern Miss vs. Louisville - Saturday 6:00 pm - CBS Sports Network
Who to root for: Southern Miss
It will take a lot for Southern Miss to defeat Louisville. But a rooting guide is all about getting our hopes up for a possible upset. A Southern Miss win would also grant us the bonus of knocking the current Big East conference leader lower or out the Top 25. Rutgers, you're next!
This week's games at a glance
Additional team to root for. Cheer for teams in bold. Ranking is based on Coaches Poll. All times are in MT.
Saturday Morning Games
- #24 Baylor @ #7 West Virginia - 10:00 am - FX
- Indiana @ (#26) Northwestern - 10:00 am - Big Ten Network
- Miami (OH) @ Akron - Noon - ESPN3
- Colorado St @ Air Force - Noon - Altitiude
- Nevada @ Texas State - Noon - Longhorn Network
Notes: Baylor is closer to Boise State in the rankings, so cheer for West Virginia. Northwestern isn't ranked in the Coaches Poll, but has 27 more votes than Boise State. Does it seem like the Coaches are trying really hard to keep the Big Ten relevant?
Saturday Afternoon Games
- #16 Clemson @ Boston College - 1:30 pm - ESPN2
- Cincinnati @ #25 Virginia Tech - 1:30 pm - ESPNU
- #124 Idaho @ North Carolina - 1:30pm - FSN/ESPN3/Gameplan
Notes: Do not watch the Idaho game. Laughing at the scoreboard will suffice.
Saturday Evening Games
- #10 Texas @ #22 Oklahoma State - 5:50 pm - FOX
- UNLV @ Utah State - 6:00 pm - ESPN3
- #23 Wisconsin @ #20 Nebraska - 6:00 pm - ABC
- San Diego State @ Fresno State - 8:00 pm - PUSH.
Look in your magic crystal ball and predict which team will have a better season. Root for this team.
- #21 Oregon State @ Arizona - 8:00 pm - PAC-12 Network
Notes: Cheer against Chucky Keaton? Impossible! Ok, maybe just this one week (until next week when they play BYU). Wisconsin is still ranked in the Coaches Poll which continues to convince us that coaches shouldn't vote in polls. We'll have to cheer for Nebraska to get them out of the picture completely. The same goes with cheering for Texas: we'll take the next opponent in our sites. Right now that is Oklahoma State.
- Wyoming - Bye
Boise State's opponents
The teams that Boise State has and will play have not been very successful, accumulating only 20 wins to 26 losses. Michigan State and Nevada are leading the group each with 3 wins and 1 loss, but our SOS is being weighed down by 0-3 Southern Miss and 4 other teams with 1 win each.
Luckily, things will improve when we move to the Big East next season. There are still the dead weights in win-less Houston and Memphis, and 3 other teams with 1 loss each. But undefeated Louisville and Rutgers look to give us good competition. As of now, the future Big East members (sans Boise State) have 19 wins and 18 losses.
The opponents of the teams Boise State plays have been keeping up their part of the bargain as well, amounting 118 wins and 71 losses (weighted*).
* Wins and losses are weighted by if a team plays multiple opponents on our schedule. For example, 3 of Boise State's opponents play Texas, so their 3-0 record indirectly contribute a 9-0 record to our SOS. Conversely, Idaho's 0-4 record contributes an 0-8 record -- Something we're all fine with.
Boise notched a good win last night when Washington took down #9 Stanford. Boise State plays the Huskies on Sept 7th next year. And while UW's and other future opponent records will not affect Boise in the polls this season, how each team finishes this year will lead to pre-season poll conjecture. Hooray, conjucture!
Washington looks hopeful at a 3-1 with a strong (Justin Wilcox) defense. We're well acquainted with BYU and Southern Miss -- can we buy out that Southern Miss game, maybe? However, FCS UT-Martin has opened the season 3-1, with a win against FBS Memphis and a loss to FBS NIU.