This week’s rankings, as far as we know, are completely unprecedented for this time of year. Four mid-majors are currently ranked, and a fifth, our Broncos, will be ranked after this weekend. One of these five teams, barring catastrophe, will play in the BCS this year. The fight for this one spot is fierce and, in our opinion, the most interesting thing about this season so far.
Last Week's Rundown
Boise State v. the AP
We weren’t surprised that the Broncos were moved up a few spots by not playing anyone. The BCS is weird.
East Carolina over West Virginia
East Carolina and the AP fell in love last weekend and ran off to fairytale land together. AP gave her beau, the crazy pirate, a shockingly excessive early romance gift, a 14 spot in the rankings. I’m incredulous. Really? One win can move a team up 13 positions? Expect this pair to break up soon, say anytime during the Pirates midseason conference schedule. The AP will be betrayed and her heart broken. We hope a lesson is learned.
It should be noted that the coaches aren’t as easily convinced and placed the Pirates at No. 20, a notable distance away from 14.
West Virginia was punished severely, on the other hand, dropping all the way to 25. However, this is a good example of an early season loss that can easily be forgotten and forgiven by the voters over the course of the season. It will be interesting to see WVU sneak its way back into the BCS.
BYU over Washington
BYU was punished by the AP for grinding out a win on the road against a Pac-10 team. Boise State earned more votes than last week by not playing and just encouraging voters to consider their 49-7 win over spunky Idaho State one more time.
BYU did stay at 15 in the Coaches poll (which, unlike the AP, will eventually participate in the BCS rankings), but this is still a good example of a BCS nuance that must be understood and played to one’s advantage. The moral is that, for mid-majors, match-ups against lower-tier BCS conference teams are kind of a no-win scenario.
Minnesota over Bowling Green.
We don’t have much to say about this one. Bowling Green lost.
Auburn over Southern Mississippi
In last week's article, Josh and I wrote that Southern Mississippi’s objective was to keep this game respectable. A two-score loss on the road against an SEC team is mission accomplished for the Golden Eagles. Hopefully they’ll play strong in the C-USA and be a quality win for the Broncos.
Games to watch
East Carolina at Tulane
From now on, the AP will not accept mere wins from the Pirates. On the contrary, huge, highlight-filled, 70-point romps will be expected and demanded of ECU in every conference game. Welcome to the fringes of the BCS and enjoy your stay, however short it may be.
Wisconsin at Fresno State
This would be a very, very nice win for the WAC. Fresno could be looking at a 12-15 ranking with a win. Run the schedule and by the time our Broncos play (and defeat) them, the Bulldogs could be in the Top 8. Expect Fresno to lose.
Oregon at Purdue
The tune-up before the big game. The Ducks haven’t been getting much AP love despite crushing a couple teams; a win at Purdue should change that. Boise State could be playing a team ranked 12th in the country on September 20th.
UCLA at BYU
It benefits the Broncos to have BYU out of the BCS picture as soon as possible. It should happen this week.
Bowling Green at Boise State
A win of a decent margin should be enough to get the Broncos in the AP top 25.
We don’t have anything to say about the Vandals this week. When they’re not pathetic, they’re boring. More on this next week.
In conclusion, keep a close watch on the five mid-majors vying for the BCS right now. They present the real challenge for Boise State’s BCS run this year (well, Oregon might be a challenge, too).