I realize that a lot of people looked at the Fiesta Bowl matchup last night and thought one thing—blowout. I admit, at one point, so did I. After all, Boise State is a WAC team with little credibility this season as far as quality opponents go while TCU was supposedly a team worthy of it's hype and then some.
Well, last night proved one thing about TCU: They aren't ready for their BCS close-up.
The Frogs came into the game looking shell-shocked and ill-prepared. Sure, they may not have said that they wanted to play Florida or Texas but they certainly exuded that idea with every breath they took leading up to this game.
If it wasn't the cocky swagger of their fans, then it was their players talking a little smack. TCU linebacker, Daryl Washington, stated that the Frogs would "have their way" with Boise quarterback, Kellen Moore.
Obviously, the Frogs were believing their press and paid for it in the end when they faced a Boise team that was obviously more prepared to face them the second time around.
That said, Boise's 17-10 squeaker has set the world afire again with talk of "we deserve a shot" and that has me saying, "puh-leeze." A win over TCU last night does not make up for the sisters of the poor schedule they played this past season (total record of all opponents, prior to the bowl, 71-77).
Alabama, Texas, and Florida all played significantly tougher schedules than the Broncos and earned their shot at the national title. Argue all you want about Boise's win over Oregon and Florida's scheduling of Charleston Southern. Boise played an out-of-conference schedule that featured Bowling Green, UC-Davis, Tulsa, and Miami-OH. All of which combined had a record of 19-29.
Boise State is not a BCS-caliber team, despite what people keep trying to tell you. They are a good team with a good coach who have the misfortune of playing in a weak division. Period.
So, what about that big win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta? "We Beat Oklahoma!" is the cry from the blue turf of Idaho. To that, I say, Oklahoma is often given too much of a boost by media types who are in love with Bob Stoops. The Sooners have been nothing but a huge BCS disappointment since they won in 2001, and it's a travesty how they continue to be rewarded for their mediocrity.
The Oklahoma program may be storied and great in the eyes of those who love them. The bottom line is the Sooners have been choking in big games since 2003 when they were unfairly given a title shot after being blown out in the Big XII game by Kansas State.
That said, Boise's 43-42 (OT) win over them in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, although impressive, just seems to be par for the course for an Oklahoma team that needs to spend more time researching how to be a BCS team than being undeservedly treated as such.
Now, I can hear the chorus of boo's directed at me right now. Boo's that deem me amongst the other uninformed "haters" of the BSU Broncos. I have no doubt that it's attitudes like mine that make it hard for a team like Boise State to get ahead in the BCS world.
After all, it's not the Bronco's fault the top teams are too scared to play them, is it? Boise's willing to foot the bill for a non-return home date and they can't find any takers. How can I explain that, right?
To that I say, that's all fine and good to believe that the Broncos have the other 118 teams running scared but what I see is a WAC team with a BCS complex. I've seen Boise play teams that media types consider "legitimate" and they've been unsuccessful:
2000: 10-2 Boise loses to both Arkansas 38-31 and Washington State 42-35
2001: 8-4 Boise loses to South Carolina 32-13 and Washington State 41-20
2002: 12-1 Boise loses to Arkansas 41-14
2005: 9-4 Boise loses to Georgia 48-13 and Boston College 27-21
Boise didn't schedule any teams of note in 2006, 2007, or 2008. They did beat Oregon in Eugene in the '08 season, and they should get credit for doing so. That said, Appalachian State beat Michigan in the Big House and East Carolina beat Virginia Tech in 2007—upsets happen.
The Broncos want respect; they have it. The BCS has seen fit to invite them to the BCS Bowl party. However, to give them too much credit for beating TCU—a team, mind you, that they had faced and beaten before—is a dangerous proposition.
In the last 10 years, Boise has owned the Mountain West, particularly Wyoming (4-0), BYU (2-0), and TCU (2-1).
By contrast, their record against the SEC (0-4), Pac-10 (4-5), and ACC (0-1) tell a different story. They do have a couple wins against the Big XII but one of their opponents was Iowa State—a notoriously underachieving program.
That game last night was a good one for Boise State fans because their team's defense showed up and made a statement against its opponent. However, the calls that are now being made on its behalf for a BCS playoff or a shot at the national title are without merit and need to end.
Boise State is a good football program. No doubt. However, to say that their track record puts them on the same level as an Alabama or a Texas is nonsense—nonsense that not even the Boise players themselves believe.
When asked by Fox's Chris Myers if the Broncos had made a case for No. 1, the tight end stated "probably not."
Finally, a guy with a little perspective.