Down went Wisconsin and down went Oklahoma, and suddenly Boise State is back in the national championship conversation. I can feel the ulcer already!
With the latest BCS standings in tow, I do my best to predict and project the whereabouts for Boise State this bowl season, and when we look back on this post a month-and-a-half from now and it is 100 percent wrong, I will deny everything. To the projections ...
Most likely scenario of the week ...
The prevailing wisdom seems to say that the Broncos will find themselves in the Sugar Bowl when all is said and done. A lot of this is predicated on the LSU - Alabama loser not ending up in the national championship game, a discussion topic that I think I'll save for a later, saner time.
Go ahead and pencil the SEC champion into the BCS championship game. At that point, by BCS law, the Sugar Bowl would get first dibs on the remaining teams to replace its lost SEC champion. Assuming LSU is the one who falls into the Sugar Bowl, here's how Pre-Snap Read's Paul Myerberg views things:
Would the B.C.S. love to pit Boise State against an SEC foe? I'm not sure. But if West Virginia wins the Big East and Oregon edges out a few teams to gain an at-large bid, the committee would have no option but to send Boise to New Orleans. Remember, L.S.U. has already played both the Mountaineers and the Ducks.
The pool of candidates for the Sugar Bowl could include Boise State, Oregon, Stanford, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, or Nebraska. I think the Broncos are the sexiest of the bunch, but I have an objectivity problem.
If the season ended today ...
National championship game
The rest of the BCS picks with conference champions and, therefore, fixed picks in bold.
- Rose Bowl = Stanford vs. Michigan State
- Fiesta Bowl = Oklahoma State vs. Oregon
- Orange Bowl = Clemson vs. Cincinnati (a conference champion, but with no guaranteed spot)
Yes, I realize I just put Oklahoma and Boise State in the Sugar Bowl of all places, but with both SEC teams in the title game, the Sugar Bowl is going to have a wild blue yonder of choices. And what else would it do? Oregon vs. Cincinnati? Barf.
In honor of a Bronco-Sooner rematch, here is your token Bob Stoops picture of the week:
Now about that national championship talk ...
With losses by Wisconsin and Oklahoma, the Broncos are now only losses by Kansas State, Stanford, Clemson, LSU/Alabama, and Oklahoma State away from being one of the top two undefeated teams in the country. This has people talking:
In order to get to No. 2, then, the Broncos not only need to win out, but also need at least four of the those five - Clemson, Stanford, Wisconsin (ed's note: lost on Saturday) and the winners of LSU/Alabama and Oklahoma/Oklahoma State - to drop at least one game as heavy favorites. Then, they need both voters and computers (which are only allowed to assess the relative strengths of schedule, and are expressly forbidden from taking into account the lopsided final scores that set Boise apart) to override all existing precedent and take a shot on a team from a Have-Not conference over a one-loss team from the SEC, Big 12 or Pac-12.
In other words, fat chance. But still, a chance.
End of days scenario
While a BCS berth sure would be nice, Bronco fans may want to mentally prepare for the possibility of less-than-BCS. Let's say the crazy NCAA uncovers a Henna tattoo ring inside Bronco athletics and declares the entire roster ineligible. Only player doppelgangers are allowed to compete on the field, and Skyler Poofaker, Myron Gout, and Lamar Sailor lose multiple times in their final five games. This could be our new reality:
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Chances are if Boise State loses a game or two the rest of the way, TCU will be conference champion and go to the Vegas Bowl. The Mountain West runner-up goes to the Poinsettia to face the WAC champion (presently Nevada), so the Broncos would probably land in the Independence Bowl versus ACC No. 7 or in the Armed Forces Bowl versus CUSA No. 3. Either way, no thanks.
Let's have a playoff
There are too many quality college football teams this season to simply decide things with a two-school, one-game championship. America needs a playoff. And a Euro Disney. What follows is an NCAA postseason according to my favorite playoff format and a playoff format that Craig Thompson just read about in Death to the BCS (16 teams, 11 conference champions, five at-larges, seeds from the AP).
- No. 1 LSU vs. No. 16 Arkansas State
- No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 15 Nevada
- No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 14 Toledo
- No. 4 Stanford vs. No. 13 Cincinnati
- No. 5 Boise State vs. No. 12 Houston
- No. 6 Clemson vs. No. 11 Oklahoma
- No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Kansas State
- No. 8 Arkansas vs. No. 9 Michigan State
Where do you want Boise State to end up? Are you hoping for a Sugar Bowl against an SEC school? Will you be happy with anything other than the Independence Bowl? Share your thoughts in the comments.