Boise State football lost one game too many.
When a BCS contender’s schedule is full of scrubs, it must go undefeated to deserve a major berth. Even if the Broncos trample their remaining opponents, their loss to Michigan State in Week 1 should be more than enough to keep them out of the Rose, Orange, Sugar and Fiesta Bowls.
Don’t tell the coaches that, though.
On Saturday, Boise State embarrassed lowly 1-7 UNLV by the score of 32-7. What was its reward for doing exactly what it should’ve been doing to inferior opponents all season long? On Sunday, the Broncos moved up four spots in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll all the way to No. 18 (via ESPN).
That’s a complete joke.
They’ve competed against one ranked team all year long. That ranked team, the Spartans, isn’t even on the Top 25 bubble anymore after going 3-4 since the season opener.
Boise State only defeated 4-4 BYU by the score of 7-6. It beat 4-4 New Mexico just 32-29. The only schools it's trounced—Miami (OH), Southern Miss and the Rebels—have a combined four wins in 2012.
But despite the fact that the Broncos' resume is that pitiful, the coaches voted them ahead of Stanford, Michigan, Texas and West Virginia—four two-loss teams with far more impressive victories as well as letdowns that occurred against much stronger ballclubs.
At the rate the coaches are allowing Boise State to skyrocket up the rankings, it could sneak into BCS contention if it wins out. And considering there are three one-win teams remaining on its schedule, doing so is practically easier done than said (and no, that isn't a typo).
An 11-1 regular season may impress the coaches, but it shouldn’t be enough to boost the Broncos into a respectable bowl game, because they haven't knocked off a single respectable opponent and won’t all season long.
At least the AP is thinking clearly, as Boise State is No. 21.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.