No. 23 Boise State at No. 13 Michigan State—August 31, 8 pm EDT, ESPN
We've already talked a little about this game, but now it's time to focus on why Michigan State could lose.
It all really boils down to something quite simple: It's Boise State.
The Broncos have been trying, in vain, to prove that they belong on a list of the best programs in the country each season. Still, the know-it-all, know-nothing pundits like to hammer the “body of work” argument over and over until we can all recite it, verbatim.
The problem with that argument is that Boise State gets a couple of cracks a year at those top programs, and succeeds. And, of course, it's not as if the coaches and players have any control over the rest of their conference. You play the games scheduled and hope the rest of the nation notices how much better you are.
Unfortunately, folks in the AQ conferences are too snobbish to even consider Boise State, even though they managed to defeat SEC East champion Georgia last season, 2010 ACC Champion Virginia Tech in 2010, 2009 Pac-10 Champion Oregon in 2009, a 10-3 Oregon team in 2008 and 2006 Big 12 Champion Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.
In all honesty, remembering that Boise State can't control its conference schedule, what else does Baron VonHolierthanthou of the AQ elites want from the Broncos?
At least Michigan State has the courage to not only face Boise State, but enter into a multi-year contract with the Broncos which includes MSU traveling to Boise in 2022 with Boise State heading back to East Lansing in 2023.
Other than Oregon and MSU, name some other top AQ programs willing to play Boise multiple times or even once in Boise.
Why? Because Boise State is capable of beating any team on any field on any day, even if that team is an AQ conference champion hopeful that hasn't lost a home game in a few years—like Michigan State.