Boise State must win Thursday night against BYU in order to remain relevant in the 2012 college football rankings.
The game also holds the entire direction on where this season is heading in the balance. If the Broncos win, a BCS bowl bid is not out of the realm of possibility. A win opens up the door to the possibility of an 11-1 season. With a record like that, and the increasing odds that undefeated teams ranked ahead of them are destined to lose, there is no telling what can and will happen before the end of the season.
Let’s face it, though, the rest of their schedule is underwhelming in the eyes of the BCS scoring system. They MUST win the rest of their games if that is to even be a remote possibility.
While expectations may have been lowered for the team after the departures of Doug Martin and Kellen Moore, Boise State has played relatively well to this point. However, losing to BYU in prime time would send them to a visibly bad 1-2 record—an impression many would be hard-pressed to forget as the rest of the Broncos' schedule isn't very impressive.
A week ago, a last minute dramatic comeback bid fell short as Utah defeated BYU. This week, both teams will be playing for their season. That’s a factor the Broncos cannot overlook.
BYU also has everything riding on this prime time Thursday night matchup. For the Cougars, though, the BCS may be a stretch.
Still, they have the strength of schedule necessary to make a run if they are able to string together some big victories against Boise State, Oregon State and Notre Dame as well as win the rest of their scheduled games.
Both teams need to win Thursday night but Boise State even more so due to the program’s lack of strength of schedule in its remaining games.