With so many games to follow during Week 6, which ones matter - and why? Which teams can help Boise the most? What would be their impact?
Last week, readers voted the showdown between #23 NC State and VaTech as the game that would impact the Broncos the most. Luckily, the Hokies handed the Wolfpack their first loss of the year. #7 Florida at #1 Bama was the readers’ second choice. Unfortunately, Bama ran away with the game. Which teams will do their part this week?
Join me after the jump for this week’s list of games that should be followed by any respectable Boise State fan.
One Doug Martin Games – Kinda Impacts Boise
Miami (OH) at Cincinnati, 5PM MST – ESPN3
Line: Bearcats by 17
Root For: Bearcats
Why? Fresno State’s premier win of the season was against the Bearcats. The better Cinci looks, the better Fresno’s SOS looks. Although the Bearcats stand at 1-3, there is still a chance for them to win the Big East, which won’t even start for them until next week.
Two Doug Martin Games – Impacts Boise
UCLA at California, 1:30 MST, no TV
Line: Cal by 7
Root For: Golden Bears
Why? Nevada’s marquee win is against the Golden Bears. The better they finish the season, the better Nevada’s SOS becomes.
San Diego State at Brigham Young, 4PM MST – No TV
Line: Aztecs by 5
Root For: Cougars
Why? As much as I’d love to see BYU slip into oblivion this season, I can wait until next year for that. Because both Nevada and Utah State put a whoopin’ on the Cougs, I’ll be rooting for them to finish strong.
#10 Utah at Iowa State, 5PM MST – No TV
Line: Utes by 6
Root For: Cyclones
Why? It would not be out of the range of possibilities for the Utes to jump our Broncos if they finish the season undefeated – particularly with a resounding win over TCU. I do not want to take any chances – no matter how remote.
Colorado at #24 Missouri, 5PM MST – No TV
Line: Tigers by 12
Root For: Buffs
Why? One less undefeated team is one less for our Broncos to worry about. Plus, one of Hawaii’s losses came at the hands of the Buffaloes. A strong Colorado squad will help the Rainbow Warrior’s SOS. Every little bit helps.
Three Doug Martin Games – Really Impacts Boise
#7 Nebraska at Kansas State, Thursday 5:30PM MST - ESPN
Line: Cornhuskers by 11
Root For: Wildcats
Why? Nebraska has a good chance to run the table and jump our Broncos. K State, while undefeated itself, has much less of a chance to do the same – even with an upset over the Huskers.
Central Michigan at Virginia Tech, 10AM MST - ESPNU
Line: Hokies by 22
Root For: Hokies
Why? A loss to the Chippewas – even though they are an FBS school – would destroy any credibility VaTech has built up over the past 3 weeks with wins over ECU, BC and then-#23 NC State.
#17 Michigan State at #18 Michigan, 1:30PM MST - ABC / ESPN
Line: Wolverines by 4
Root For: Wolverines
Why? The Spartans have a much easier schedule the rest of the way – and with both teams at 5-0 – the Broncos want the Spartans to pick up their loss while they can. While both teams will face #15 Iowa, Michigan still has Wisconsin and Ohio State to get through.
#8 Auburn at Kentucky, 5:30PM MST – ESPN2
Line: Auburn by 6
Root For: Wildcats
Why? Auburn is undefeated – and dangerous. Few people are thinking of the Tigers, but they should be. Running the table and beating the Tide to finish the season is a very real possibility. The Wildcats, at 3-2, have a chance to surprise the Tigers who may be looking ahead to next week’s matchup with #11 Arkansas.
#12 LSU at #14 Florida, 5:30PM MST – ESPN
Line: Gators by 6
Root For: Gators
Why? The Tigers need a loss – bad. I’m sick of LSU’s prominence in the polls, despite such sloppy play. Let’s hope the Gators win – barely. We don’t want people getting too worked up over Florida’s “one-loss” record.
Hawaii at Fresno State, 8PM MST – ESPN3
Line: Bulldogs by 11
Root For: Bulldogs
Why? We want Fresno State to be 7-2 when they roll into Bronco Stadium Nov 19th, with their only losses to Ole Miss and Nevada (hopefully). Hawaii does not need to be number 3. A 7-2 Fresno squad will bring much-needed eyeballs to our Friday night ESPN matchup.
Four Doug Martin Games – Seriously Impacts Boise
Indiana at #2 Ohio State, 10AM MST, ESPN
Line: Buckeyes by 22
Root For: Hoosiers
Why? A loss – or even an ugly win – by the Buckeyes might be enough to slip below our Broncos. Ugly wins won’t be enough this year – even by the Buckeyes. At 3-1, the Hoosiers have the ability to make it close, even if they are playing at The Horseshoe.
#1 Alabama at #19 South Carolina, 1:30PM MST – CBS
Line: Tide by 7
Root For: Gamecocks
Why? An Alabama loss would surely move the Broncos ahead of them in the polls. Wouldn’t it?
#3 Oregon at Washington State, 3PM MST
Line: Ducks by 36
Root For: Cougars
Why? An ugly win (I’m not even considering a loss) by the Ducks should theoretically give voters pause before ranking the Qwackers above our Broncos again.
Oregon State at #9 Arizona, 4PM MST – Versus
Line: Wildcats by 8
Root For: Beavers
Why? Our two highest-profile wins this season (thus far) are over VaTech and Oregon State. The Beavers have to look strong for people to take our wins seriously. This will be a tough game for the Beavers in hostile enemy territory. A win by the Beavers is not just a boost to the Broncos, it’s a boost to all non-BCS teams, as the Horned Frogs also had their way with Oregon State this year. As much as we may not like it, we’re tied at the hip with the Frogs this season.
San Jose State at #21 Nevada, 8:30PM MST - ESPNU
Line: Wolfpack by 39
Root For: Wolfpack
Why? I hesitate to even put this on the list. The Wolfpack should be up by 30 at the half and not look back. Anything less will be a failure. Continued wins will keep the Pack ranked – something the Broncos desperately need.
Check back on Monday for game results.
My pick for Impact Game of the Week:
Oregon State at #9 Arizona. If the Beavers pull off an upset of the ranked Wildcats, the Beavs can be considered a legitimate contender in this year’s stacked PAC-10 conference. The pollsters will use any excuse they can to discredit our Boys in Blue. Falling to the Wildcats would put the Broncos in a precarious position.