Boise State Football: Believe It or Not, the Broncos Are Back in the BCS Picture

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Boise State Football: Believe It or Not, the Broncos Are Back in the BCS Picture
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

After a thoroughly crazy, highly improbable, almost unthinkable and seemingly impossible series of events, Boise State has crept back into the BCS picture, and during their bye week no less.

As Week 13 started, Boise State was ranked No. 22 in the BCS with very little hope of climbing into the coveted No. 16 position. No. 16 in the BCS is where Boise State would have to be to achieve an automatic BCS bowl bid. Of course, they would also have to finish ahead of an automatic qualifying conference champion as well.

Before this week, the mountain that stood between the Broncos and another BCS game seemed higher than Mt. Everest. However, after a load of losses and incredible upsets, that mountain looks more like Protest Hill near the Boise State campus.

There are still some things that have to happen, but what seemed impossible Friday looks like at least a reasonable long shot at this point.

How did Boise State sneak back into the picture?

It is amazing when you look at the rankings and the results for this week. The Broncos are currently ranked No. 22 in the BCS, as previously mentioned, but what happened between them and No. 15 Oregon State is what is so crazy.

No. 15 Oregon State was devastated by Oregon 48-24. Not only that, but No. 16 Texas was beat by TCU on Thursday 20-13, No. 17 UCLA was destroyed by Stanford 35-17, No. 18 Rutgers was upset in a big way by Pitt 27-6, No. 19 Michigan lost to Ohio State 26-21, No. 20 Louisville was also upset by Connecticut 23-20 and, finally, No. 21 Oklahoma State lost to instate rival Oklahoma in overtime 51-48.

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Add to those losses No. 24 Arizona and No. 25 Washington, who both lost on Saturday, and you have BCS chaos, which is BSU's gain.

Not only did seven teams in front of the Broncos lose, but Rutgers and Louisville were two of those, which means that Boise State will certainly be ranked ahead of the Big East champion. If that happens and the Broncos land at No. 16, they will be automatically invited to a BCS bowl.

So what does Boise State have to do to make a BCS bowl game?

For the Broncos, the path to the BCS goes through Reno. If Boise State beats Nevada convincingly on December 1, it will go a long way toward helping their chances.

However, they may need some additional help.

Following right behind Boise State is another BCS buster: No. 23 Kent State is 10-1 and will be playing another potential BCS buster, Northern Illinois, in the MAC Championship game.

NIU is currently No. 26 unofficially, and either they or No. 23 Kent State could also find themselves in the mix. It will really depend on how the human votes go in the last week of the season.

If Boise State dominates Nevada and NIU beats Kent State or Kent State wins a sloppy, unimpressive victory, the Broncos will have a decent chance of making a BCS game. It even sounds weird typing it.

If, however, Kent State dominates NIU or vice versa and Boise State struggles against Nevada, then it may be a team from the MAC going BCS busting. Or, something totally unforeseen and crazy happens and none of them make it in.

At this point, nothing should be that surprising.

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