College Football AP Preseason Poll: Is Boise St.'s No. 3 Ranking Biased?

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College Football AP Preseason Poll: Is Boise St.'s No. 3 Ranking Biased?
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

A few weeks back the 2010 USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll was released, and there were more than a few compelling choices made by the head coaches.  Granted there are always questions when polls are released, and today was no different.

The 2010 AP Preseason Poll has now been released, and immediately there is one ranking that is bound to catch the eyes of many: No. 3 Boise State.

The first thing that comes to mind is the bias many sports journalists have with the BCS.  Is the No. 3 ranking of Boise State a show of contempt for the BCS, or do the AP reporters really feel that the Broncos are the third best team in the country?

I would argue a bit of both.

Many have felt that Boise State has been held back purposely from competing for a national championship due to the non-BCS conference they play in and their annually weak schedule.  However, Boise State has time and time again stood up and faced every challenge that's been thrown at them.

Two games that come to mind are the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma, and last season's opener against Oregon.  The former embarrassed the Sooners big time, and the latter gave us the punch heard around the world when LeGarrette Blount decked Broncos defensive end Byron Hout for running smack after their victory over the Ducks.

This season the Broncos open against Virginia Tech at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and after that the schedule becomes very easy once again.  The Broncos should go 12-0 if they defeat the Hokies.  Arguably, one game is all that stands between all or nothing for Boise State.  Defeat the Hokies and it's a forgone conclusion that they will be in position to play in the BCS Championship game.  If they lose, however, the strength of schedule will prevent them from getting back in the national championship picture.

Did the AP writers realize this when they voted Boise State No. 3, or is it mere coincidence?

It is not a coincidence.

Perhaps it is time to give Boise State the chance to play for the BCS National Championship.  They return 20 of 22 starters from last season's Fiesta Bowl, and are 26-1 over the past two seasons with their only loss to TCU in the 2008 Poinsietta Bowl.  However, should the AP voters be allowed to vote a team into position to compete for the title?

Just another reason among many faults in the current BCS system to support change.  Until a real college football playoff is put into place, the FBS will constantly be scrutinized and kept under a microscope.

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