Congratulations to Boise State and Texas Christian University on persuading the Associate Press voters to put you in the top 10 of the 2010 preseason poll. Boise State even managed the third spot on the list.
Pretty interesting development for schools who have two-to-three games per season worth watching before bowl season rolls around. If I'm wrong let me know. There's a reason "non" comes before BCS when talking about these two schools.
The Mountain West and Western Athletic Conferences are filled with teams that don't belong with the big boys of college football. The Mountain West is much stronger overall than the WAC, but many of the teams aren't worth watching on a year-to-year basis.
TCU played two teams in BCS conferences last season. They won both, but they were against an average Clemson team and a horrible Virginia squad. Not really anything worth writing home about, but they did face BYU and Utah in conference play and won those match-ups.
Boise State played one opponent from a BCS conference last season. The Broncos beat Oregon in the season opener, which was on the road. The rest of the games were either in conference or against Non-BCS conference opponents.
Both teams deserved a shot at a BCS caliber opponent from a BCS school in a bowl, but that didn't even happen. TCU and Boise State played each other. Why the committee decided to put these two schools against each other, after season long questions about whether or not they could play with the power schools in the BCS is beyond my understanding.
However, it is what it is and Boise State finished with a victory over TCU and an undefeated season. It's great to go undefeated, but not all that impressive in a non-BCS conference, sorry.
So, the AP voters decided to award the two schools in the 2010 preseason poll. TCU will open against 24th ranked Oregon State and will play Baylor in their third game of the year. That will be it for scheduled BCS opponents in 2010 for the Horned Frogs.
Boise State has doubled the number of BCS conference opponents they will play this season with two: Virginia Tech and Oregon State.
Boise State can no longer say voters don't give them respect. That argument is off the table after the 2010 AP poll was released, but now the Broncos have a huge amount of pressure that they've put on themselves.
At least we'll get to see if Boise State can compete with a perennial power in the first game of the season. Virginia Tech has been a traditional power in college football for the last 20 years or so, and the Hokies have won 10 straight games in a BCS conference for six straight years.
If the Broncos beat the Hokies at FedEx Field on Labor Day you would have to think they would win every other game on their schedule, because they don't play anyone else that's even close to the caliber of Virginia Tech.
If the Broncos lose, all the whining about preseason rank and respect on the national scale will be wiped away and no one is going to listen to them again. This won't just hurt Boise State, but it will hurt the TCU's of the world and any other non-BCS school that has a good season or a string of good seasons.
Getting into a BCS bowl is one thing, but playing for the national title is another. If you only play two BCS conference schools for the entire season, you have no business campaigning for a national title appearance. If schools like Boise State and TCU want to receive legitimate recognition they need to join a BCS conference, see Utah.
Yes, it's easier said than done, but with the talk of "Power Conferences" forming in college football in the next couple of seasons, Boise State and TCU need to set their sites on BCS conferences and not settle for conferences like the Mountain West or the WAC.
If these two schools can't take care of business early in the 2010 season, then we may see the problem of having a non-BCS school being invited to play in the national championship go away for a long time.