It’s hard to hate on college football’s premier Cinderella story.
Ever since their famous 2007 Fiesta Bowl win, Statue of Liberty play, and Ian Johnson’s post-game wedding proposal, the Boise State Broncos have burst onto the national scene. Year in and year out, Chris Peterson leads his team to a WAC championship. Followed by the conference title is usually a vast amount of wins followed by the number zero.
In their previous three seasons, Boise State has achieved a record of 29-1. But to many, that record means little, if anything at all, considering the strength (or lack thereof) of their schedule.
But annually, as the wins continue to increase and the nation takes a little more notice with each passing week, they are left out the national championship conversation just like the freshman math genius is left out of the party of the year.
Now, the question looms as the Broncos are being mentioned as a preseason top five team in many polls: If they run the schedule without a loss, do they finally get their chance at the hardware?
In 2009, Peterson’s squad had one “quality” win in their bag—week one against Oregon.
But the rest of the schedule, in which the Broncos ran straight through, consisted of 11 teams rated 67th or worse in the CBS polls. Four of those 11 were rated 103rd or worse in the nation at the end of the day.
This season holds what looks to be a bigger test for the Broncos. Starting off week one with a Washington D.C matchup against Virginia Tech, they have a chance to make some noise right off the bat. Adding to their hype this year, the Broncos return the most starters from 2009 in all of college football.
Assuming they win that game (which is a big assumption, but let’s have some fun), they have quality games vs. Oregon State, Nevada, Fresno State, and an improving Utah State team. By no means are these opponents big-time college football programs. But then again, in the eyes of Chris Peterson, they may be.
Unlike previous seasons, they will start towards the top of the polls. Here is where preseason polls can make the college football “postseason” even worse. Surviving week one would essentially move them even further up the totem pole. Using common sense, if Boise does in fact win 12 straight football games in 2010, they will be ranked either No. 1 or 2 in the country when all is said and done.
The question at this time may then turn into a new one: Why?
Until Boise State becomes a member of the “new” Mountain West Conference in 2011, their ring aspirations will have to be put on hold.
Thanks to the BCS system that the NCAA has chosen to follow religiously, no team outside of the Big Six conferences and Notre Dame will get a fair shot at the title. Just ask Utah.
The bottom line is this: If there is an open spot in the championship game, it's going to a one-loss champ of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, or maybe even the Pac-10. A 13-0 Boise State team might have a higher number in the win column, but they aren't touching the level of competition encountered by a Big Six member.
It may be unjust and unfair to a team that has matured far beyond its mid-major peers, but you must earn your way up—just like in the real world. For the time being, Peterson will have to hold on tight to his Coach of the Year Award until the year 2011. By then, the MWC will be knocking on the door of the big boys, and they'll be ready to send one of their products to the Big Game.
But for now, get ready for another year of wins on the blue turf amounting to another bowl berth.
Just not the BCS bowl berth.