After its Week 1 defeat on the road at Michigan State, the chances for Boise State to reach a BCS bowl for only the third time in school history seemed bleak.
Chris Petersen and the Broncos fell out of the Top 25 and faded from the national spotlight after failing to deliver their normal signature win in a season-opener against a BCS-league power.
Fast forward to the current picture after the first set of BCS standings were released earlier this week and the Broncos—who checked in at No. 22—are still a long way from achieving that goal.
Their weak conference schedule ensures that another loss would doom their BCS hopes, but that same slate enhances the Broncos chances to run the table and finish 11-1.
The fact that four of its six remaining games come against teams that have one win each to this point in the season gives Petersen’s squad a great chance to build momentum and quietly climb up the rankings.
The only daunting task left on its slate comes on the season’s final weekend when they travel to Reno to face league rival Nevada—who is currently 6-1 and tied with the Broncos atop the Mountain West standings.
The only other game remaining against a team with a winning record will come when a 4-3 San Diego State club visits the blue turf on Nov. 3.
Would an 11-1 Boise State team be deserving of a BCS bowl bid?
The offense—which has been a shell of the record-setting units Petersen had with Kellen Moore under center—is getting stronger each week, with new starting quarterback Joe Southwick steadily improving as the season has progressed.
The Mountain West’s top defense and running back D.J. Harper have been the catalysts that have helped the Broncos run off five consecutive wins since the season-opening loss in East Lansing.
After losing a wealth of talent to the NFL from last season’s squad, most pundits across the nation expected a rebuilding year for the Broncos.
While that sentiment has been an accurate one to date, Petersen has been able to win ugly in a rebuilding year—which is a sign of how strong his program has become.
It goes without saying that Boise State will need some help to keep climbing up the BCS standings—and they would be in line for a bid if they win the Mountain West and finish inside the top 16 of the final standings.
With the second half of the season left to play out, chances are decent that there will be enough chaos across the nation to help them ascend to that plateau as long as they do their part by winning out.