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Boise State's Championship Dream

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Boise State's Championship Dream
(Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)

One fan's nightmare is Boise State's dream. This could be the year. Come Jan. 7, the Boise State Broncos might be playing in the BCS National Championship.

After watching No. 4 Ole Miss, No. 5 Penn State and No. 6 Cal lose to unranked opponents, Boise State moved up to No. 5 spot in both the AP and Coaches Poll on Sunday. Most years, mid-major teams like Boise State spend an entire season climbing the polls. Not this year. It's only Week 6.

Looking ahead, the Broncos should have little trouble finishing the season 12-0. Not a single ranked team remains on the schedule. In fact, the toughest game left might be against Tulsa on Oct. 14, a team that got beat by Oklahoma 45-0.

But despite the seemingly easy schedule, college football fans can be sure Boise State will be pushing for much more than just a BCS bowl bid this year.

After Boise State's upset over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and Utah's win over Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, the perception of mid-major programs have changed.

Teams like Boise State are bold enough to demand more now. And if bowl selection weeks comes around and Boise State is undefeated, surrounded by a bunch of one-loss teams, it might just happen.

That being said, the Broncos still needs a lot of help. Standing in front of Boise State are No. 4 LSU, No. 3. Alabama, No. 2 Texas and No. 1 Florida. If two of those teams remain undefeated, they will play for the National Championship, no questions asked.

Furthermore, if one-loss teams like USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma finish the season strong, one of them would probably be favored to jump the Broncos in the rankings.

After all, that's what happened last year. Utah was the only undefeated team in the country, but the Utes settled for the Sugar Bowl, while Florida and Oklahoma, both one-loss teams, played for the national championship.

After Utah defeated Alabama, however, there was a mini-uproar. Clearly having proved themselves against a top program, many fans wondered if Utah was perhaps unfairly excluded.

At that time though, no one justified having a mid-major program jump over a BCS program, despite that team having one loss.

But that's the scary part, and it's what separates this year from past years. This year, a one-loss team would have to jump Boise State, not the other way around. Would the pollsters have the nerve to let a one-loss team jump an undefeated team, especially with visions of the 2008 Utah Utes dancing in their mind?

Of course, from a BCS perspective, Boise State won't be given a lot of credit for their strength of schedule. But the one major program that Boise State did play was Oregon, a team the Broncos embarrassed on Sept. 3 in Boise. That very same Oregon team blasted No. 6 Cal, 42-3.

That could give Boise State a little push in the minds of the computers. Taking into account that 2/3 of the BCS is based on human polls, the Broncos won't need a huge push from the computers. Clearly, Boise State has won the approval of the human pollsters.

If it all comes together, would it be enough to give Boise State a shot in the national championship? For the first time ever, it's a genuine possibility.

 

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