Okay, so, we all know that Boise State have something magical going yet again this year. Currently ranked in the top five in both the AP and Coaches Polls, Boise State are finally looking to bust the BCS, this time not settling for a Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl or any of the BCS Bowls other than the BCS National Championship game.
Yes, the Broncos could finally do it. Yes, for the first time in its existence, a non-AQ conference will be represented in the BCS title game. Yes, after 10 unbelievable, consistent and productive seasons, Boise State will get its due. Finally, yes, Boise State will get the respect they deserve after all the campaigning, fighting, and video game-esque scoring games.
However, putting the Broncos in this year’s BCS National Championship game in Louisiana come January requires a string of equations and scenarios that may seem to be as complicated as the BCS system itself, but, luckily, you don’t need to be a NASA scientist to follow along and understand.
Here’s how little Boise State get to Louisiana.
Boise State Must Stay True To Itself
For any of this to happen, Chris Petersen’s bunch cannot have a repeat of their 2010 collapse against Nevada late last season. The Broncos wouldn’t have made the BCS title game regardless, but, it’s still worth mentioning. Because Boise State are in a weaker conference, every game is as important as the last. Winning by close margins against programs in the Mountain West are going to eventually hurt the Broncos, so, unfortunately, style points are going to play a huge factor in how the BCS system score them.
The premiere games left on Boise State’s schedule include home games against Air Force (October 22nd) and TCU (November 12th) and a road matchup against San Diego State (November 19th). If the Broncos run TCU off the field convincingly, and score marginal victories against the highly explosive Air Force program, San Diego State may be an easy task. Again, no program should be taken lightly.
The key to this success will be Kellen Moore. If Moore can be…well…Moore, then there should be no problems. Doug Martin is establishing himself as one of the premiere playmakers in the nation and with Moore beside him, this offense will be completely unstoppable as it has been in the past.
Run the table, rack up the points, keep the opposition’s score below 21 points per game and Boise State should cruise all the way to Louisiana…with some help.
Boise State’s Best Case Scenarios
Here’s where it gets complicated. Again, no need for the calculators, or the long division, complex fractions, ratios and quadratic formulaic equations. Let’s break it down using the current national standings (as of September 17th, 2011) where Boise State are currently ranked fourth. This is where the Broncos are heavily invested in games as mere spectators. Each game ultimately creates a domino effect that will eventually award them with the highly coveted BCS title game berth. So, let’s flick the dominos.
Oklahoma Sooners at Florida State Seminoles
Florida State Loss: If the Sooners pull off the road victory against Florida State, then the Seminoles BCS National Championship dreams would be shattered and instead, be left playing for an Orange Bowl berth. This Seminoles loss also means they no longer see themselves nipping at the Broncos heels.
Florida State Win: If the Seminoles seal off a home win, and get their revenge against the Sooners, then, Oklahoma drops in the standings, and Florida State will leapfrog Boise State into third place. A ‘Noles win also puts them in cruise control until the ACC title game where they’re projected to take on Virginia Tech.
What’s best for Boise State?
Well, it’s a tough call. A Florida State loss ultimately shakes the Seminoles from the BCS talks and pushes them down the standings with close to no chance of regaining ground. An Oklahoma loss doesn’t eliminate the Sooners from the BCS picture completely, but, it would mean the Sooners would have to win outright, win convincingly, and then need their own set of scenarios to propel them back into the mix.
Ideally, the Boise State Broncos want Florida State to win its game against Oklahoma.
Because, Florida State is more likely to drop games against the Florida Gators, the Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC title game, or, both. A tw0-loss Seminoles team will definitely be nowhere near the BCS title game.
The Wisconsin Badgers are in complete control of the Big Ten and don’t seem ready to swerve off the road to the BCS National Championship game.
Hmm…Well, this could pose a major problem for the Broncos if Oklahoma runs the table in the Big 12.
Now, remember, LSU and Alabama do play each other this season, and have the toughest schedules in the nation. One will fall, and Wisconsin could be the ones to take the loser’s spot, ultimately leapfrogging Boise State to take control of that position.
But, how can Boise State ensure they don’t let this happen?
Well, the first thing that automatically comes to mind is…Playoff system. Oops. Didn’t mean to open THAT can of worms.
Pretend you didn’t read that.
Let’s try this again.
For Wisconsin to get eliminated from the BCS title picture, Boise State will rely heavily on fellow “underdogs” to assist them.
Hopefully, lightening strikes twice for Michigan State who will look to stage an upset against the Badgers in East Lansing on October 22nd. If the Spartans can’t get the job done, who’s left?
Another wacky scenario would see the Badgers losing to Ohio State on October 29th or even Penn State on November 26th. Either case could potentially be the proverbial “kill shot” that Boise State may be looking for. With the amount of ground Wisconsin would need to make up after such a loss, the Broncos would be poised to recover Wisconsin’s BCS berth fumble, and run it all the way to Louisiana.
Realistically, Wisconsin are be the biggest pain in Boise State’s behind.
Theoretically, the only way Wisconsin and Boise State could coexist is if Oklahoma loses to either Oklahoma State, Baylor, or, Texas-all more plausible scenarios than Wisconsin losing to any Big Ten program at this current time.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Currently ranked second in the nation, the Crimson Tide may have the toughest road to the national title game than any program in any conference.
Here, Boise State will rely heavily on Arkansas’ offense that mirrors their own to thwart Nick Sabban’s plan of taking Alabama back to the BCS National Championship game. If, and that’s a big if, ‘Bama make it out of Fayetteville alive, then, they must go on the road to Florida, visit the Jekyll and Hyde-esque Auburn Tigers (who knows which Auburn team shows up that day) and, host LSU. However you want to look at it, Alabama are not the same team that won the 2010 BCS National Championship. This team will lose two or more games this season, and find themselves on the outside looking in.
How will this all pan out?
Alabama losses to Arkansas on September 24th, and or to Florida on October 1st will cause a chain of events that push the Tide out of the title picture for good.
Currently ranked third, Les Miles’ Tigers are right in the thick of things in regards to the national title picture. Yes, LSU were heavily considered in the preseason as national title contenders,but, after the suspension of quarterback Jordan Jefferson, talks of the Tigers actually making it all the way to the big game sort of tailed off. For Boise State, LSU’s schedule, just like Alabama’s, favors the Broncos.
With games against Arkansas, Alabama, Florida and West Virginia, it doesn’t look like an undefeated season are in the cards for the Tigers.
LSU will suffer defeat to Arkansas or Florida. Considering the Tigers struggled against Mississippi State, a lesser SEC program, the run and gun style that the Razorbacks bring will catch the Tigers off guard.
In the grander scheme of things, this basically means neither Alabama or LSU can make the SEC title game. If Arkansas takes the SEC West, then chances are, Boise State are almost a lock to get a BCS berth.
LSU and Alabama’s schedules are just too tough to give either program an undefeated, or even a one-loss record. Both the Tigers and Crimson Tide will lose two games, ultimately eliminating them from the BCS picture.
That just leaves…
Andrew Luck is poised to take the Cardinal to the BCS National Championship game, but, it will be Oregon who stops him and Stanford short. Because this loss will come so late in the season, Stanford won’t be able to gain any sort of make-up momentum that will slingshot them back into the thick of things.
As for the Ducks, they already have one loss on the year, but, they are still technically in the hunt.
Historically, we all know that one-loss programs have gone to the BCS National Championship game, keeping the Broncos from busting the system, but, this season, a one-loss program will not keep Boise State out.
Oh, hey, USC, we forgot about you. Wait, you’re not eligible yet to contend for a bowl game, that includes a BCS National Championship. Sorry, Trojans. An undefeated season doesn’t put you anywhere except on Boise State’s “no need to worry about them” list.
So, the final calculation?
Boise State’s BCS Brain Buster
Boise State’s undefeated season, + Florida State’s win over Oklahoma, + Florida and Arkansas victories over LSU and Alabama, ÷ by the SEC, + Oregon’s win over Stanford, x Big Ten Upset projections, -Wisconsin= Boise State busting the BCS
Boise State’s undefeated season, + an Oklahoma win over Florida State, + an Oklahoma State or Baylor win over Oklahoma, ÷ by the SEC, + Florida and Arkansas wins over LSU and Alabama, + an Oregon win over Stanford, x Big Ten upset projections, -Wisconsin= Boise State busting the BCS