This season could be different. Boise State doesn’t have to climb over scores of teams to get into position to contend for a spot in the BCS title game, spots determined in large part by the coaches’ poll and the Harris poll.
Boise State was third in the coaches’ poll this week, moving up two spots. The coaches also had Alabama first and Ohio State second. The Harris poll is not released until October.
“We’ve just got a long tough hard season, and the bull’s-eye will continue to grow, and it’s just going to be one game at a time,” coach Chris Petersen said.
Not hard enough to satisfy some people.
Boise State plays at Wyoming in two weeks and gets a visit from Oregon State, which opened its season by losing 30-21 to TCU, the week after. The Beavers from the Pac-10 look like the best team left on Boise State’s schedule, but the Broncos have lost one regular-season game on their blue turf home field since 2001. Toledo also visits Boise State.
As for the Broncos’ WAC competition, well, it’s been almost no competition for the Broncos the past decade. Boise State has won seven WAC titles and is 73-4 against conference opponents from 2000-09, a .948 winning percentage that is by far the best of any major college team.
Texas is second-best with an .841 percentage (69-13) in the Big 12 over that time.
Feeling it has outgrown the WAC, Boise State will be leaving the league after this season and joining the Mountain West.
The best teams the WAC can throw at Boise State this season are probably Nevada and Fresno State, though Hawaii and Utah State flashed potent offenses while losing their openers to ranked foes.
Fresno State comes to Boise on Nov. 19. The next week the Broncos have a road game at high-scoring Nevada that on paper seems to be their toughest remaining test.
They finish with Utah State at home on Dec. 4, the same day the SEC and Big 12 play its conference championship games.
If Boise State runs the table do they deserve a spot in the BCS championship game? Ahead of an unbeaten Big 12 or Big 10 champion? How about a one-loss SEC team?
Unless the Broncos take an unexpected stumble, the debate will rage all season.