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Bronco Nation's dilemma: Utah or TCU?

Tonight's game between Utah and TCU has giant implications for Boise State's bowl future, yet there is far from a consensus on how Bronco Nation should be rooting.

  • Do they cheer for one-loss TCU to destroy Utah and ruin the Utes' BCS chances?

  • Do they cheer for undefeated Utah to beat the Horned Frogs and end the threat of TCU passing the Broncos in the polls?

  • Do they watch Survivor instead because they can't handle the pressure?

We were torn for awhile, too. Keeping in mind the best interests of the Broncos is hard when the best interests of the Broncos lie in computers and pollsters that you have no idea how they work. The mind of Craig James and the algorithms of Big Blue are completely beyond our realm of understanding.

But we drank a Sobe Drive, turned the lights down low, and forced ourselves to think this one through. Here's the internal monologue we had with ourself.

Utah self: Man, Utah has to win this game. If they don't, TCU is going to pass us in the polls because their strength of schedule is so much better. This is the only chance to knock TCU out. Utah can still lose to BYU at the end of the season and lose out on the BCS. This game isn't the be-all, end-all.

TCU self: Are you kidding? TCU needs this win like David Augusto needs platform shoes. How could anyone in their right mind root for an undefeated team to remain undefeated when you are a fan of a similar, yet lower-ranked undefeated team? You disappoint me on so many levels.

Utah self: Hey, back up off me, TCU self. I have my reasons. We have to think of the big picture here. The best way for the Broncos to earn the automatic BCS berth is for both TCU and Utah to lose before the regular season is over. If TCU doesn't lose here, who will they lose to? Air Force? Let's be reasonable. The Horned Frogs need to go down tonight if Boise State is going to be the top BCS team.

Pop-Tart self: I wonder if there are any strawberry Pop-Tarts in the pantry. Let's go look.

TCU self: Not so fast, Utah self. Your argument is flawed because you are assuming that if both TCU and Boise State win out, then the Broncos are going to get passed in the BCS. That's ludicrous.

Gangsta rap self: I believe it's pronounced Ludacris. Don't playa hate on this crunk!

Utah self: Well, who's to say that the Broncos won't get passed? The Mountain West is a stronger conference this year, and if TCU skates through it undefeated, and if their only loss is to mighty Oklahoma, then it is a real possibility that they'll jump over BSU.

TCU self: You're an idiot.

Utah self: No, you're an idiot.

Anchorman self: Agree to disagree? When in Rome.

TCU self: Anchorman self is right. No one knows what's going to happen a month from now in the BCS. We need to root for the winner of this game who will matter the most right now. We need to root for Utah to lose and TCU to win.

Utah self: Incorrect. TCU poses a bigger risk for the Broncos at this point. If Utah doesn't lose tonight, then they're going to lose in the season finale against BYU. I don't even know why we're talking about them any more. You can't let the polls sway the way you cheer. TCU is coming fast, and if they don't lose tonight, then this BCS race is over.

Pop-Tart self: Oh, never mind. I found them. They were in the cupboard. Who likes theirs extra toasty?

TCU self: You're right about one thing, Utah self. The Utes will have a tough time getting past both TCU and BYU. The only problem is that I don't think we can handle another three weeks of speculation about Utah being the best BCS team if they win tonight. Plus, we'd have to worry and agonize all over again when Utah plays at BYU since it will be their last shot at a loss. Talk about pressure. I think Kevan's too soft to handle the stress.

Stuffed animal collection in a stuffed animal hammock self: I resent that.

Utah self: So let me get this straight: You're rooting for TCU tonight because you can't wait three more weeks for Utah to lose even though a TCU win might propel them past the Broncos in the polls and potentially ruin BSU's BCS chances? You're rooting for TCU out of self-aware softness?

TCU self: Yeah. That's about right.

Introverted high school self: Is there something wrong with self-aware softness?

Utah self: No. I just wanted to be clear.