Boise State's USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll Ranking Sets Up Possible BCS Run

Martin SondermannAnalyst IIAugust 1, 2013

BOISE, ID - OCTOBER 20:  The Boise State Broncos run onto the field for the game against the UNLV Rebels at Bronco Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

The USA Today coaches poll was released Thursday, and the Broncos are the only non-BCS conference team on the list.

Boise State garnered 420 points in the preseason poll, which placed then at No. 19 to start the season. They were just six points behind No. 18 Nebraska but 20 points ahead of former non-BCS rival TCU.

At No. 19, the Broncos find themselves in the perfect position to make another BCS run in the last year of the current system. Of course, the coaches poll is only one portion of the BCS formula, but it gives a good indication of where the Broncos will start.

According to the current BCS rules, the Broncos only have to finish No. 12 or higher in the final BCS poll to get an automatic berth. They could also finish No. 16 or better, and ahead of another BCS conference champion to earn an automatic ticket. That happened last season, which is how Northern Illinois found their way in, as they were the highest-ranked non-BCS team to finish the season. 

The journey to the BCS, however, may be far more challenging than some might think for the Broncos. Not only must Boise win its opener against a good Washington team, they will also have to beat BYU, San Diego State, Utah State and Fresno State on the road.

The Mountain West Conference will be much better this season, with four teams other than the Broncos having the potential of cracking the Top 25 at some point. San Diego State, San Jose State, Utah State and Fresno State are all going to be above average in 2013.

Not only that, but Boise State will have an additional obstacle this time around in the form of a conference championship game, should they earn a spot in that game. 

The Mountain West has now split into two divisions, the West and the Mountain. The Mountain division contains Boise State, Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah State. Boise State will have to win its side of the conference to even make it to the MWC championship game, and that won't be easy.

Air Force plays an option-style offense that gives the Broncos fits, and Utah State is going to be a very good team once again in 2013.

Still, by starting at No. 19 in the USA Today coaches poll, the Broncos couldn't ask for a better launching pad.

They say it's not how you start but it's how you finish. That isn't true when it comes to the BCS. It is where you start and where you finish.

By starting in the Top 20 of the coaches poll, Boise State is in position to control their own destiny. If they take care of business on the field, they are in the perfect place for another BCS run.