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Top 25 analysis: Predicting Boise State's remaining ranked opponents

Top 25 Polls Letterman
Top 25 Polls Letterman

Boise State and TCU are the only non-BCS teams in the Top 25 of the two major polls, so with a remaining schedule of all non-BCS teams, don't expect the Broncos to get a whole lot of help in the strength of schedule department. TCU will look good on the old resume, but who else is there?

I'm glad I asked. Here's a look at the remaining teams on the Broncos' schedule that might be ranked when BSU plays them.

  • New Mexico and UNLV will not be ranked, probably not for the next five years. 
  • Colorado State could be 4-1 when the Rams host the Broncos on October 15, but it would take four wins over teams that aren't Northern Colorado and New Mexico for voters to take notice (Harris Poll voters on the other hand ...).
  • Wyoming could get off to a 5-1 start with wins over Utah State and UNLV. But then the Mountain West schedule will hit for reals, and the Cowboys will likely just be playing for a New Mexico Bowl by the time they face the Broncos in late November.
  • Fresno State is 2-2 and plays at Ole Miss this weekend. The Bulldogs will not be ranked by October 7 unless half of the NCAA is ruled ineligible (the good half).
  • San Diego State has TCU and Air Force for its next two games, so maybe if the Aztecs can win both they will get back to receiving votes in the polls. Of course, if SDSU wins both, then TCU will drop out of the Top 25 and Air Force will never see the Top 25. So forget I said anything.
  • Air Force has three winnable games before the Boise State showdown, so the Falcons could conceivably be 5-1 and on the cusp of the Top 25. 

See? Not a whole lot of help there.

Fortunately, rankings can be viewed in present time and future time. The Broncos might not face many ranked opponents on game day, but when the season is over and we're celebrating our BCS bowl berth, things could look a lot better. Georgia could be back in the Top 25. Toledo and Tulsa could be ranked if they challenge for their conference championships. If the WAC winner is either Fresno State or Nevada, the Bulldogs or Wolf Pack could be a candidate for some votes.

And hey, if things don't fall Boise State's way, it wouldn't be the first time. As Coach Pete likes to say, "Only worry about what you can control."

Note: I think he means bribes.

Official Top 25 polls - AP, USA Today, and last year's BCS Poll

More poll data available at the ESPN website.

Football Rankings


Official worst best voter / person of Week Four


Scott Wolf, Los Angeles Daily News

Traditionally this space is reserved for the voter who really screwed the pooch on his weekly ballot, but I thought I'd give someone credit for a job well done this week. 

USC beat reporter Scott Wolf is the only voter to have Boise State as the No. 1 team in America, keeping the Broncos there despite impressive wins by Alabama, Oklahoma, and LSU. The man has convictions. He was one of two voters to start Boise State at No. 1 in the preseason poll. Arkansas' Tom Murphy was the other, but SEC speed finally got the best of him.

The Boise State love from Wolf is also impressive because he has done something that not even Boise State's own beat writer would dare to do. The Idaho Statesman's Chadd Cripe has the Broncos as the No. 4 team in the country. The OBNUG Top 25 poll (spoiler alert, below) even has the Broncos at No. 4, and we're a bunch of unapologetic homers.

This is the part where I hesitate to mention that Wolf is also in the lead for worst voter of the week at the Pollspeak website. And he has an odd fascination with cheerleaders. But other than that, this guy is totally legit.

Official OBNUG Top 25 poll

If you can't see the image below, go to Google Docs to get the full OBNUG Top 25 breakdown.


Others receiving votes: Cal, Florida State, Fresno State, Texas Tech

Explanation: The OBNUG Top 25 poll uses a points-based ranking system to determine its order. Each pollster receives 50 points to distribute to teams as he or she sees fit. The max points that a voter can award a team is 10 points. The minimum is one point. There is no voting for Idaho allowed.

When it comes to polling, I think it's safe to say that the consensus among OBNUG Top 25 voters is that impressive wins over quality opponents trump all. This explains the two SEC teams at the top of the rankings despite our SEC-opposite bias and the Broncos being at No. 4 despite our BSU love affairs. Don't worry. We'll vote with our hearts and not our minds before this thing is said and done.

Clemson and Illinois take the biggest jumps this week - the Tigers on the strength of beating Florida State and the Illini on the strength of beating Western Michigan by a field goal. Texas A&M and Arkansas fall the farthest, probably because no one really liked them in the first place.

Transparency is king

Meet your voters for this week, and guffaw in delight at how foolishly you think they voted.

Profilepic_small_mediumKevan Lee: Oklahoma (10), LSU (10), Alabama (10), Boise State (7),
Stanford (4), Oklahoma State (4), Oregon (3), Wisconsin (1), Clemson (1)

Truecrime_prater_small_mediumNick Kroes: Oklahoma (5), LSU (5), Boise State (5), Alabama (5), 
Oklahoma State (5), Stanford (4), Wisconsin (4), Clemson (3), Baylor (2),
Florida (2), Illinois (2), Oregon (1), Nebraska (1), South Carolina (1),
Virginia Tech (1), Michigan (1), Texas (1), South Florida (1), Georgia Tech (1)
Kellenmoorepoint_copyedit_small_mediumMKingery: LSU (7), Oklahoma (6), Alabama (6), Boise State (6), Oklahoma 
State (5), Stanford (4), Wisconsin (4), Nebraska (4), Virginia Tech (2),
Oregon (2), Clemson (2), Texas (1), South Florida (1)
Myson_bsu_small_mediumLoque: LSU (7), Alabama (5), Clemson (4), South Carolina (4), Oklahoma  State (3),
Nebraska (3), Baylor (3), Boise State (2), South Florida (2), Illinois (2), Michigan (2), 
Georgia Tech (2), Iowa State (2), Stanford (1), Texas (1), Florida (1), Wisconsin (1), 
Virginia Tech (1), Houston (1), Kansas State (1), Texas Tech (1), Oklahoma (1)
Bsu_trumpet_logo_small_mediumD_summit: LSU (6), Alabama (6), Boise State (5), Oklahoma (5), Stanford (4),
Oklahoma State (4), Wisconsin (4), Oregon (4), Florida (4), South Carolina (3), 
Baylor (2), Nebraska (2), Texas A&M (1)
Reflectivity_mediumreflectivity: Oklahoma (10), Alabama (9), Boise State (8), LSU (7), Stanford (5),
Wisconsin (4), Oklahoma State (3), Nebraska (2), Clemson (1), Virginia Tech (1)

Noel-diggity_mediumNoel.Diggity: Oklahoma (8), Alabama (7), Boise State (7), Stanford (5), 
Oklahoma State (5), Wisconsin (4), Nebraska (4), LSU (3), Michigan (2), Oregon (2),
Virginia Tech (2),  Fresno State (1)
Masin-mud_mediummasinmud: LSU (5), Oklahoma (4), Alabama (4), Boise State (4), Stanford (3),
Wisconsin (3), Oklahoma State (3), Nebraska (3), Clemson (3), Michigan (2),
Virginia Tech (2), Baylor (2), Illinois (2), Florida (2), Michigan State (2), South
Carolina (1), South Florida (1), Georgia Tech (1), Iowa State (1), Texas (1), Kansas
State (1)
Greekpadre_mediumgreekpadre: LSU (8), Oklahoma (6), Alabama (4), Boise State (4), Stanford (4),
Wisconsin (2), Oklahoma State (2), Nebraska (2), Oregon (2), Clemson (1), Virginia 
Tech (1), Arkansas (1), South Carolina (1), Florida (1), Baylor (1), Georgia Tech (1), Michigan (1),
Illinois (1), Texas (1), Houston (1), South Florida (1), TCU (1), Arizona State (1), Cal (1)
Jrig_mediumJrig: LSU (9), Boise State (7), Oklahoma (6), Alabama (5), Stanford (5),
Wisconsin (4), Oregon (3), Oklahoma State (2), Nebraska (2), Virginia Tech (1),
South Carolina (1)
Statguy_mediumstatguy: Oklahoma (6), Boise State (5), LSU (5), Alabama (5), Stanford (4), 
Wisconsin (4), Oregon (4), Oklahoma State (4), Nebraska (3), South Carolina (3),
Virginia Tech (2), Clemson (2), Florida (2), Texas A&M (1)
Rand-mcnalley_mediumRand McNalley: Boise State (8), LSU (5), Alabama (5), Wisconsin (5), Oklahoma (4),
Stanford (4), Oklahoma State (4), Oregon (3), Texas A&M (3), Baylor (3), 
South Carolina (2), Virginia Tech (1), Florida State (1), Arkansas (1), TCU (1)
Kmd1_mediumKMD1: LSU (8), Alabama (7), Oklahoma (6), Boise State (5), Wisconsin (3),
Oklahoma State (3), Stanford (3), Nebraska (3), South Carolina (2),
Virginia Tech (2), Clemson (2), Florida (2), Oregon (2), Texas A&M (1), Baylor (1)
Nate-peters_mediumNate Peters: LSU (7), Alabama (5), Oklahoma State (5), Oklahoma (4), Boise State (4), 
Wisconsin (4), Oregon (4), Florida (3), Baylor (3), Nebraska (2), Texas A&M (2), 
Arizona (2), Arizona State (2)
Kmd1_mediummikrino: LSU (10), Alabama (9), Oklahoma (9), Boise State (7), Oklahoma State (5), 
Wisconsin (5), Stanford (5)

Abstained from voting due to washing their hair: OBNUG Intern, greekpadre.

Your turn - Help shape our BlogPoll and right our wrongs

What do you think of our Top 25 poll? See some ways that it can improve? Like, maybe putting Boise State at No. 1, for instance? Share your thoughts in the comments.