Monday, September 28, 2009

Boise State In The BCS Championship Game?

The Boise State Broncos are ranked #5 in the AP Poll and in the USA Today Coaches Poll. My question is-- Why? Do the Broncos have a conceivable chance of playing for a national title?

If they end up 13-0, the math says they should if certain scenarios play out-- but somehow I get the feeling they won't, even if, the scenarios play out.

First off all, there are 3 SEC teams ranked ahead of them (#1 Florida, #3 Alabama and #4 LSU). Only 1 of those 3 will survive in the SEC, which is good for Boise State. Florida plays at LSU and LSU plays at Alabama. If LSU survives those two games-- then they're in business, but I highly doubt it. So once LSU gets knocked out, Boise State should creep up to #4.

Ok, lets continue--

Then there's the Big 12 showdown between #2 Texas and #8 Oklahoma. If Oklahoma beats Texas and Boise State continues winning, then the Broncos should move up to #3-- right?

Then #1 Florida and potentially #2 Alabama (or LSU) play the SEC championship game and one more gets knocked out. An unbeaten Boise State by now should move up to #2-- right?

Mathematically they should, but in my opinion, it ain't going to happen.

If Texas wins, obviously they'll remain #2, but if Oklahoma wins, I can see the Sooners leapfrogging Boise State even though the Broncos will still be unbeaten.

Even USC and Virginia Tech, if they continue winning will probably leapfrog Boise State.

This notion that a team from a lower-tier conference has a shot at a national championship, to me, is a fallacy. For teams who don't play in the power conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 10 and the Big East) a spot in the BCS Championship Game is just wishful thinking. Even the Big East has become a lower-tier conference. They have two teams (Cincinnati and South Florida) who are 4-0 and Cincinnati is only ranked #10 and South Florida isn't even ranked.

So I never quite understood why they even bother including teams (except of course for Notre Dame) outside the power conferences in the rankings. Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, Sun Belt and WAC should have a separate league and play for their own title.

I know it sounds cruel but it's a reality. With the strength of schedule component in the BCS formula, for a school from these lower conferences to play in the championship game would require a complete collapse of every school in the power 6. They may get 1 spot in a BCS Bowl Game-- but that's about it.

If Boise State goes undefeated and Oklahoma knocks Texas out of the #2 spot, technically they should play in the national title game against whoever comes out on top in the SEC. At least that's what you would assume by their #5 ranking-- but somehow I get the feeling they'll be leapfrogged by a couple of one loss teams.

So my question remains--why are they in the rankings in the first place?

Photos courtesy of the AP


  1. I sure hope they make it to the BCS Championship game. I placed a bet on them in Vegas. I was originally going to bet on Oklahoma (my team) but the odds were so low that the pay-off wasn't worth it.

    If they are ever going to make it, this is the year. With so many of the elite teams looking on par with each other, highly unlikely as you said for more than one to come out unscathed. I am counting on that and that Boise has played well against the big boys in BCS bowls, as well as they travel well and bring in pretty good TV ratings.

  2. This is definitely their best chance, if they stay unbeaten. But I'm suspicious of the system. Somehow I get the feeling that they are going to get leapfrogged.

    I agree that they've built a great resume and quite frankly I hope they do make it. But I just don't trust the system. I guess we just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

    Oklahoma's season rides on the Texas game. If they win, they are back in it. If they lose, their national title hopes are pretty much over.

    Good luck, it's a gutsy call. We'll keep monitoring the rankings as the season progresses and see if they get leapfrogged.