Some say it's an unfair scheduling dilemma that got the best of Boise State. Some say that if the Broncos had gotten a chance to play in Week 2 instead of having the week off following an opening-day loss, they might still be ranked in the AP Top 25. Some say that they shouldn't be penalized for losing to a team that was ranked more than 10 spots higher.
But why not? They lost, and that is that.
What it all comes down to is that the teams that want to be ranked have to win games. And in the end, Boise State was dropped from the rankings because they couldn't win. They only have themselves to blame for that, not schedules.
After their 17-13 road loss at Michigan State on opening day, the then-No. 24 Broncos dropped from the rankings. But what did they expect? They lost to a good team, and if they wanted to move up a few spots, they had to beat a good team. That's how the polls work. You can't lose and then still expect to receive just as many votes.
There are too many teams that are playing so well, from the top of the polls to the bottom: From Alabama all the way down to Arizona and Stanford, the usual suspects are dominating, and a few unexpected programs are putting up big wins.
It doesn't matter whether Boise State was in the polls for six days or 62 weeks. The Broncos didn't win when they needed to; they couldn't beat a Top-25 opponent, from a strong conference, on the road. The teams that can do that are the teams that deserve to be ranked. The teams that can do that are the best teams in college football, and those that can't are just mediocre.
There's always time for the Broncos to jump back on the horse and get themselves back into the polls. It's only been a week. They're still receiving a high enough number of votes so that if they come up with a few wins, they'll be able to squeeze back in.
And looking at the upcoming games on Boise State's schedule, that shouldn't be too difficult. Miami of Ohio. BYU. New Mexico. Southern Miss. The only big challenge in the next six weeks will come from the Cougars, who managed to sneak into the Top 25 this week.
If Boise State can knock them off, it will be right back in the mix. But the Broncos will have to work for it. They'll have to prove they can win when it counts, whether they're playing Savannah State or Michigan State. You can't lose and then expect to hold onto your spot, even if the team you lost to was pretty good.
A ranking has to be earned. You can't earn it without winning. It really is that simple. It's what makes the college football season so grueling, but it's also what makes the season so rewarding for those who can handle it.
To be one of the best, you have to play like one of the best every week. Boise State stopped doing that—at least for one week—and now they are suffering the consequences.