Boise St. would like nothing better than to be the first non BCS conference team to win the BCS national championship game. However, before they can win it all, they have to make to the game. Here are the 6 things that must happen in order for Boise to be able to play for the crystal football:
Before the Broncos can even think BCS the have to win all of their games.
Probability: About 50/50. They are better than any of the teams that they will face in the regular season. However, VT is almost as good and it is a psuedo home game for them.
For a Pac 10 team to beat out Boise St, They would need to go undefeated. The only team that could pass Boise in the final BCS rankings with one loss would be Oregon St. because of their non conference schedule. They play BSU in Boise, Louisville at home, and TCU at "neutral" Cowboy stadium. Yes I know it would be ironic if Oregon St beat out BSU for the #2 spot,even though BSU beat Oregon St, but such are the benefits of playing in a BCS conference and scheduling elite teams for non conference games.
Probability: Almost certain. There is too much parity and not enough greatness in the conference for a Pac 10 team to run the table (or OSU finish with 1 loss)
The ACC has 5 teams currently ranked in the top 20. A one loss team who wins that conference will probably finish ahead of an undefeated Boise St.
Yes, I do once again recognize the terrible irony if a team that BSU beat (VT) beats out the team that beat them to get into the national championship game, but under the current system, that is probably what would happen. Look at it from this perspective. On one hand you have a team that wins the ACC, beats 4 top 20 teams, only one of which is at home. Its only loss would be to a top 5 team at a neutral site. On the other hand, you have a team that wins the mighty WAC but has one of the weakest schedules in college football.
I don't agree with that view, but unfortunately, thats what many others see. Fortunately, VT will lose at least 2 games and will make this a non issue
Probability: Very Very likely. There is just to much depth and parity here. Besides, it has been over 10 years since anyone in the ACC finished with fewer than 2 losses.
An undefeated Big East team would still beat out an undefeated BSU. We saw an example of that last year when when Cincinati beat out TCU for the #3 spot last year even though their non conference opponent featured zero ranked teams and 3 teams with 3 or fewer wins, including FCS Southeast Missouri State.
If Pitt wins the conference, they could possibly get in the National championship game over Boise St. even with one loss due to their non conference schedule. They play @ Utah, @ Notre Dame, and vs Miami.
Probability: Very very likely. I just do not see any teams in the Big East good enough to go undefeated (or finish with only 1 loss if your Pitt) this year.
#2 Ohio St., #10 Iowa, #12 Wisconsin, and #14 Penn St. are among the best teams in the country. The one that rises to become the Big 10 Champion could get into the Title game ahead of BSU with a loss because of those they had to beat out to be crowned Big 10 Champion.
Porbability: Possible. The last time the Big 10 Champion had fewer than 2 losses was back in 2006, and I wouldn't be surprised if the contenders beat eachother out of national championship contention. On the other side, with teams this good, a one loss or undefeated season is by no means out of the question for any of them.
The Big 12 has 3 teams in the top 10. These teams will be heavily favored in nearly all of their games, with the exception of when they play each other. The champioship game will most likely come down to Nebraska (Big 12 North Champion) vs the winner of the Red River Rivalry (Big 12 South Champion). Like the Big 10, the winner of the Big 12 would likely edge out BSU to get into the NC game
Probability: Not very likely. Every year after 2002 (with the exception of 2006) the Big 12 has had at least one team finish the regular season with one or fewer losses. This year it appears that its going to be Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, and everybody else. A 2 loss champion is possible, but there would have to be some pretty big upsets along the way.
The SEC is the best football conference in the country. Do I really need to elaborate? They have 6 teams (half of their entire conference) are ranked in the top 25, including 2 in the top 3. The SEC has won the past 4 National Titles and doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.
Probability: With the depth of the SEC this year, it is distinctly possible, but with as good as Alabama and Florida appear to be this yea, I certainly wouldn't put my money on it. In short, Not very likely.
Note: the numbers involved are only estimates made by a football fan who has a full time job and doesn't gamble, so they are likely to be off. Please feel free to input your own percentages in the equation to figure out how likely it is that Boise State will play in the National Championship Game.
In order to figure out how likely it is that BSU will be playing in the NC Game come January, we will apply a little math. We will first apply a percetage to the liklehood of each "If" scenario occuring. Then we will multily the percentages (in decimal format) of "If"s 1-5, and then multply that number by the sum of the likelyhoods of #6 and #7 because that is an either/or scenario.
#1) Boise St. goes undefeated: 60%
#2) Pac 10 Champion has at least 1 loss (2 if its Oregon State): 98%
#3) The ACC Champion has at leat 2 losses: 90%
#4) The Big East Champion has at least 1 loss (2 if its Pitt): 85%
#5) Big 10 Champion has at least 2 losses: 40%
#6) Big 12 Champion has at least 2 losses: 10%
#7) SEC Champion has at least 2 losses: 15%
(.6 x .98 x .9 x .85 x .4) x (.1 + .15 ) = 4.5%
Not very likely, but for the most part it is out of BSU's hands. Even if you took BSU's going undefeated as given and replaced the .6 in the above equation with a 1, they still only have a 7.5% chance.