Predicting Boise State’s Record with the Top 25 Teams’ Schedules

Danny CiaccioContributor IAugust 26, 2010

Predicting Boise State’s Record with the Top 25 Teams’ Schedules

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    If a team were to return 20 of 22 starters from an undefeated, BCS bowl-winning season, it seems logical they would be an overwhelming favorite for the BCS National Championship.

    But that team is Boise State, the country’s beloved underdog turned overrated wannabe, thus doubts and questions regarding their status as an elite team abound.

    Ever since Boise State catapulted in the national spotlight after the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, it has been harshly scrutinized for its weak schedule, because playing in the lowly WAC pales in comparison to the more powerful programs of the BCS conferences.

    Boise State pundits conclude the Broncos only face one or two ‘real’ football programs each season, and shouldn’t be considered as a powerhouse until the schedule has a full slate of tough games.

    With three undefeated regular seasons and two Fiesta Bowl victories in the past four years, Boise State appears to dominate its opponents on a yearly basis, but what if they had to play the same schedule as the other Top 25 teams? Would the blowouts and double-digit wins continue?

    It’s time to find out.

    Note: The following predictions are NOT regarding the ranked team, but rather Boise State with that team’s schedule. For the games in which the ranked team plays Boise State (Oregon State and VT), that team will fill in for Boise State (or else it’s just a scrimmage, right?).  Conference championships and bowl games will not be included. All rankings are from the Coaches Poll.

T24. West Virginia

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    Sept 4             Coastal Carolina- WIN                       

    Sept 10           @Marshall- WIN                                 

    Sept 18           Maryland- WIN                                  

    Sept 25           @Louisiana State- LOSS              

    Oct 9               Nevada- Las Vegas- WIN                               

    Oct 14             South Florida- WIN

    Oct 23             Syracuse- WIN

    Oct 29             @Connecticut- WIN                          

    Nov 13             Cincinnati- WIN                     

    Nov 20            @Louisville- WIN                                

    Nov 26            @Pittsburgh- LOSS 

    Dec 4              Rutgers- WIN

    Final record: 10-2

    Prominent Victories: UConn, Cincinnati

    Tough Losses: LSU, Pittsburgh


    -       At first, the schedule appears to be from an FCS team, with easy wins over Coastal Carolina and Marshall

    -       However, those misconceptions are put to rest when Boise State loses at Death Valley

    -       Dion Lewis and the Panthers run all over the Broncos on a short week in late November

T24. Utah

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    Sept 2              Pittsburgh- WIN

    Sept 11             Nevada- Las Vegas- WIN

    Sept 18            @New Mexico- WIN

    Sept 25            San Jose State- WIN

    Oct 9               @Iowa State- WIN

    Oct 16             @Wyoming- WIN

    Oct 23             Colorado State- WIN

    Oct 30             @Air Force- WIN

    Nov 6               Texas Christian- WIN

    Nov 13             @Notre Dame- WIN

    Nov 20             @San Diego State- WIN

    Nov 27              Brigham Young- WIN

    Final record: 12-0

    Prominent victories: Pittsburgh, TCU

    Tough losses: None


    -       After an opening win against Pitt, the schedule becomes light

    -       Air Force and Notre Dame are potential road upsets, but neither team has the horsepower to compete with the Boise State

    -       TCU and BYU are two notable wins, and the season ends with an unblemished record

23. Auburn

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    Sept 4              Arkansas State- WIN

    Sept 9              @Mississippi State- WIN

    Sept 18             Clemson- WIN

    Sept 25             South Carolina- WIN

    Oct 2               Louisiana-Monroe- WIN

    Oct 9               @Kentucky- WIN

    Oct 16             Arkansas- LOSS

    Oct 23             Louisiana State- LOSS

    Oct 30             @Mississippi- WIN

    Nov 6              Chattanooga- WIN

    Nov 13             Georgia- WIN

    Nov 26             @Alabama- LOSS

    Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: Clemson, Georgia

    Tough losses: Arkansas, LSU, Alabama


    -       The season starts out well, with five consecutive victories

    -       Wins become much harder to by and rarer, with losses to Arkansas and LSU in back-to-back weeks

    -       Alabama hands the Broncos its third loss in the final game of the season

22. Oregon State

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     Sept 4              @Texas Christian- WIN   

     Sept 18             Louisville- WIN

     Sept 25             (Oregon State)- WIN

     Oct 2                Arizona State- WIN

     Oct 9               @Arizona- WIN

     Oct 16             @Washington- WIN

     Oct 30             California- WIN

     Nov 6              @California- Los Angeles- WIN

     Nov 13            Washington State- WIN

     Nov 20            Southern California-LOSS

     Nov 27            @Stanford- WIN

     Dec 4              Oregon- WIN

    Final record: 11-1

    Prominent victories: TCU, Oregon State, Oregon

    Tough losses: USC


    -       Coming off the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, the Broncos once again get the upper hand on the Horned Frogs

    -       The PAC-10 slate doesn’t include any losses, until Nov. 20, when USC puts an end to that notion

    -       Oregon’s bitter hate of Boise State continues to grow as the Broncos go 3-0 against the Ducks in the season finale

21. Georgia

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    Sept 4              Louisiana- WIN         

    Sept 11            @South Carolina- WIN               

    Sept 18            Arkansas- LOSS

    Sept 25            @Mississippi State- WIN   

    Oct 2               @Colorado- WIN                 

    Oct 9               Tennessee- WIN       

    Oct 16             Vanderbilt- WIN       

    Oct 23             @Kentucky- WIN                 

    Oct 30             Florida- LOSS           

    Nov 6              Idaho State-WIN      

    Nov 13             @Auburn- LOSS     

    Nov 27             Georgia Tech- WIN

     Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: Tennessee, Georgia Tech

    Tough losses: Florida, Auburn, Arkansas


    -       Mallet’s Razorbacks upset the Broncos on the Smurf Turf, spoiling a perfect September

    -       After five wins, the momentum is just reaching its peak when the Gators upend the Broncos

    -       Boise State pounds a familiar foe, Idaho State, before losing at Auburn

20. Florida State

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    Sept 4              Samford- WIN

    Sept 11             @Oklahoma- LOSS

    Sept 18            Brigham Young- WIN

    Sept 25             Wake Forest- WIN

    Oct 2               @Virginia- WIN        

    Oct 9               @Miami- LOSS

    Oct 16             Boston College-WIN

    Oct 28             @North Carolina State-WIN

    Nov 6              North Carolina- WIN

    Nov 13             Clemson- WIN

    Nov 20             @Maryland- WIN

    Nov 27             Florida- LOSS           

    Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: UNC, Florida

    Tough losses: Oklahoma, Miami, Florida


    -       The season starts with a cupcake against Samford (yes, not Stanford), but the following week the Broncos fall in Norman against the Sooners

    -       Three weeks and three wins later, Boise State heads to Miami, but is handed a loss

    -       Boise State caps off the season with a home loss to Florida

19. Arkansas

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    Sep 4               Tennessee Tech- WIN

    Sep 11             La.-Monroe- WIN

    Sep 18             @Georgia- WIN

    Sep 25             Alabama- LOSS         

    Oct 9               @Texas A&M - WIN

    Oct 16             @Auburn- LOSS

    Oct 23             Mississippi- WIN     

    Oct 30             Vanderbilt-WIN        

    Nov 6              @South Carolina- WIN   

    Nov 13             Texas- El Paso- WIN

    Nov 20             @Mississippi State- WIN   

    Nov 27             Louisiana State- LOSS

    Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: Georgia

    Tough losses: Alabama, Auburn, LSU


    -       The Broncos start off September with the easiest possible schedule, then end with one of the hardest, including a loss to Alabama

    -       After a victory at Texas A&M, they lose against the Tigers of Auburn

    -       The rough SEC schedule ends with a home loss from LSU

18. North Carolina

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    Sep 4               Louisiana State- LOSS

    Sep 18             Georgia Tech- WIN  

    Sep 25             @Rutgers- WIN        

    Oct 2               East Carolina- WIN           

    Oct 9               Clemson- WIN          

    Oct 16             @Virginia- WIN        

    Oct 23             @Miami- LOSS       

    Oct 30             William & Mary- WIN   

    Nov 6              @Florida State- LOSS

    Nov 13             Virginia Tech- WIN

    Nov 20             N. Carolina State- WIN

    Nov 27             @Duke- WIN

    Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech

    Tough losses: LSU, Florida State


    -     The season opens up on a sad not with a home loss to LSU

    -       After five straight wins, the streak ends in Florida at Miami

    -       Florida proves to be a tough place for the Broncos, as they lose at Florida State two weeks later

17. Georgia Tech

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    Sep 4               South Carolina State- WIN

    Sep 11             @Kansas- WIN

    Sep 18             @North Carolina- WIN   

    Sep 25             North Carolina State- WIN   

    Oct 2               @Wake Forest- WIN

    Oct 9               Virginia- WIN           

    Oct 16             Middle Tennessee State- WIN     

    Oct 23             @Clemson- WIN

    Nov 4              @Virginia Tech- LOSS

    Nov 13             Miami- WIN

    Nov 20             Duke- WIN

    Nov 27             @Georgia- WIN

    Final record: 10-2

    Prominent victories: UNC, Georgia

    Tough losses: Virginia Tech


    -       Three straight games against North Carolina teams, starting Sept. 25, are potential upsets, but the Broncos prevail in all three

    -       Boise State toughest game is at Virginia Tech, and lose to the Hokies

    -       The season ends with a victory between the hedges at Georgia

16. Louisiana State

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    Sep 4               @North Carolina- WIN

    Sep 11             @Vanderbilt- WIN

    Sep 18             Mississippi State- WIN

    Sep 25             West Virginia- WIN

    Oct 2               Tennessee- WIN

    Oct 9               @Florida- LOSS

    Oct 16             McNeese State- WIN

    Oct 23             @Auburn- LOSS

    Nov 6              Alabama- LOSS

    Nov 13             Louisiana- Monroe- WIN

    Nov 20             Mississippi- WIN

    Nov 27             @Arkansas- WIN     

    Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: West Virginia, Arkansas

    Tough losses: Florida, Auburn, Alabama


    -       North Carolina’s defense may be stifling, but their lacking offense can’t keep up with Boise State

    -       The middle of the schedule is brutal; with only a win over McNeese separating three other losses

    -       A decade later, the Broncos return to Arkansas and come out successful this time

15. Pittsburgh

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    Sep 2               @Utah- WIN

    Sep 11             New Hampshire- WIN

    Sep 23             Miami- WIN   

    Oct 2               Florida International- WIN   

    Oct 9               @Notre Dame- WIN

    Oct 16             @Syracuse- WIN

    Oct 23             Rutgers- WIN           

    Oct 30             Louisville- WIN         

    Nov 11             @Connecticut- WIN

    Nov 20             @South Florida- WIN   

    Nov 26             West Virginia- WIN

    Dec 4               @Cincinnati- WIN

    Final record: 12-0

    Prominent victories: Miami, Utah, UConn

    Tough losses: None


    -       September presents early challenges, but Miami and Utah both fall short

    -       The conference schedule is hard but not impossible, as the Broncos triumph over Connecticut and West Virginia

    -       A December win over Cincinnati confirms a perfect season 

14. Penn State

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    Sep 4               Youngstown State- WIN

    Sep 11             @Alabama- LOSS

    Sep 18             Kent State- WIN

    Sep 25             Temple- WIN

    Oct 2               @Iowa - WIN

    Oct 9               Illinois- WIN

    Oct 23             @Minnesota- WIN

    Oct 30             Michigan- WIN

    Nov 6              Northwestern- WIN

    Nov 13             @Ohio State- LOSS

    Nov 20             @Indiana- WIN

    Nov 27             Michigan State- WIN            

    Final record: 10-2

    Prominent victories: Iowa, Michigan

    Tough losses: Alabama, Ohio State


    -       Dominating Youngstown State gives the Broncos high morale, which is lost when they fall at Alabama

    -       The next six games result in victories, including at Iowa

    -       After losing to the No. 1 team, the Broncos are defeated by No. 2 in November

13. Miami

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    Sep 2               Florida A&M- WIN

    Sep 11             @Ohio State- LOSS

    Sep 23             @Pittsburgh- WIN

    Oct 2               @Clemson- WIN

    Oct 9               Florida State- WIN

    Oct 16             @Duke- WIN

    Oct 23             North Carolina- WIN           

    Oct 30             @Virginia- WIN

    Nov 6              Maryland- WIN

    Nov 13             @Georgia Tech- LOSS 

    Nov 20             Virginia Tech- LOSS

    Nov 27             South Florida- WIN

    Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: Pitt, Florida State, North Carolina

    Tough losses:  Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech


    -       This is one of the nation’s toughest schedules, and for good reason

    -       Two road games, Ohio State and Georgia Tech, result in losses

    -       Florida State and Pittsburgh are both extremely tough wins

    -       After an exhausting three months, Boise State lacks the strength to defeat VT

    Final record: 9-3

12. Wisconsin

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    Sep 4               @Nevada-Las Vegas- WIN

    Sep 11             San Jose State- WIN

    Sep 18             Arizona State- WIN

    Sep 25             Austin Peay- WIN

    Oct 2               @Michigan State- WIN   

    Oct 9               Minnesota- WIN

    Oct 16             Ohio State- LOSS

    Oct 23             @Iowa - LOSS

    Nov 6              @Purdue- WIN

    Nov 13             Indiana - WIN

    Nov 20             @Michigan- WIN

    Nov 27             Northwestern- WIN

     Final record: 10-2

    Prominent victories: Michigan

    Tough losses: Ohio State, Iowa


    -       Largely due to a weak non-conference schedule, the Broncos start out with six wins

    -       October brings two major speed bumps, however, and Boise State loses at Ohio State and Iowa

    -       The rest of the schedule consists of no major challenges, with a notable win at Michigan

11. Oregon

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    Sep 4               New Mexico- WIN

    Sep 11             @Tennessee- WIN

    Sep 18             Portland State- WIN

    Sep 25             @Arizona State- WIN

    Oct 2               Stanford- WIN

    Oct 9               @Washington State- WIN   

    Oct 21             UCLA- WIN

    Oct 30             @Southern California- LOSS 

    Nov 6              Washington- WIN

    Nov 13             @California- WIN    

    Nov 26             Arizona- WIN

    Dec 4               @Oregon State- WIN

     Final record: 11-1

    Prominent wins: Oregon State, Tennessee

    Tough losses: USC


    -       In the second week, Boise State travels to SEC country and tops Tennessee

    -       On Oct. 30, The Broncos fall to the Men of Troy in a close battle after starting the season with seven wins

    -       The season concludes with a tough squeak-out win against Oregon State

10. Iowa

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    Sep 4               Eastern Illinois- WIN

    Sep 11             Iowa State- WIN

    Sep 18             @Arizona- WIN

    Sep 25             Ball State- WIN

    Oct 2               Penn State- WIN

    Oct 16             @Michigan- WIN

    Oct 23             Wisconsin- LOSS

    Oct 30             Michigan State- WIN

    Nov 6              @Indiana- WIN

    Nov 13             @Northwestern- WIN   

    Nov 20             Ohio State- LOSS

    Nov 27             @Minnesota- WIN

    Final record: 10-2

    Prominent victories: Penn State, Michigan

    Tough losses: Wisconsin, Ohio State


    -       Boise State starts the season out with six wins, including Penn State and Michigan

    -       One week after leaving the Big House, the Broncos slip up to Wisconsin

    -       The season ends with a tough loss to the Buckeyes on ‘the blue’

9. Nebraska

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    Sep 4               W. Kentucky- WIN

    Sep 11             Idaho- WIN

    Sep 18             @Washington- WIN

    Sep 25             South Dakota State- WIN   

    Oct 7               @Kansas State- WIN

    Oct 16             Texas- WIN

    Oct 23             @Oklahoma State- WIN   

    Oct 30             Missouri- WIN

    Nov 6              @Iowa State- WIN

    Nov 13             Kansas- WIN

    Nov 20             @Texas A&M- WIN

    Nov 26             Colorado- WIN

    Final Record: 12-0

    Prominent victories: Texas

    Tough losses: none


    -       The September is extremely easy; Boise State only plays one BCS team

    -       With nine days to prepare, the Broncos win a close one at home versus Texas

    -       The rest of the schedule plays out well and Boise State finishes the season undefeated

8. Oklahoma

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    Sep 4               Utah State- WIN

    Sep 11             Florida State- WIN

    Sep 18             Air Force- WIN

    Sep 25             @Cincinnati- WIN

    Oct 2               Texas- LOSS

    Oct 16             Iowa State- WIN

    Oct 23             @Missouri- WIN

    Oct 30             Colorado- WIN

    Nov 6              @Texas A&M - WIN

    Nov 13             Texas Tech- WIN

    Nov 20             @Baylor- LOSS

    Nov 27             @Oklahoma State- WIN

    Final record: 10-2

    Prominent victories: Florida State, Cincinnati

    Tough losses: Texas, Baylor


    -       The season opens up with a tough-conference schedule, but none pose a serious threat

    -       Boise State starts conference play 0-1 with a loss to Garrett Gilbert and the Longhorns

    -       After winning six straight, the Broncos are upset by Baylor in late November

7. Texas Christian

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    Sep 4               Oregon State- WIN

    Sep 11             Tennessee Tech- WIN

    Sep 18             Baylor- WIN

    Sep 24             @Southern Methodist- WIN

    Oct 2               @Colorado State- WIN

    Oct 9               Wyoming- WIN

    Oct 16             Brigham Young- WIN

    Oct 23             Air Force- WIN

    Oct 30             @Nevada- Las Vegas- WIN

    Nov 6              @Utah            - WIN

    Nov 13             San Diego State- WIN

    Nov 27             @New Mexico- WIN

    Final record: 12-0

    Prominent victories: Oregon State, Utah

    Tough losses: none


    -       The Oregon State game, played at Cowboys Stadium, may provide a challenge, but the Rodgers brothers fall short

    -       BYU and Air Force, two trap-games in October, are tough but can’t overcome the Broncos

    -       Boise State tops Utah and doesn’t lose a game with this relatively easy schedule

6. Virginia Tech

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    6. Virginia Tech

    Sep 6               (Virginia Tech)- WIN

    Sep 11             James Madison- WIN

    Sep 18             East Carolina- WIN

    Sep 25             @Boston College- WIN   

    Oct 2               @North Carolina State- WIN     

    Oct 9               Central Michigan- WIN

    Oct 16             Wake Forest- WIN

    Oct 23             Duke- WIN

    Nov 4              Georgia Tech- WIN

    Nov 13             @North Carolina- WIN

    Nov 20             @Miami- LOSS

    Nov 27             Virginia- WIN

    Final record: 11-1

    Prominent victories: Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech

    Tough losses: Miami


    -       Considering all of the offensive weapons from the nation’s highest-scoring team returning, while VT loses nine defensive starters, Boise State wins the ‘Battle at the Capitol’

    -       BC and North Carolina are both tough road match-ups, but the Broncos roll through the first 10 games

    -       Recent history has shown the Broncos struggle with elusive quarterbacks as Jacory Harris upends Boise State

5. Boise State

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    Sep 6               @Virginia Tech- WIN           

    Sep 18             @Wyoming- WIN

    Sep 25             Oregon State- WIN

    Oct 2               @New Mexico State- WIN

    Oct 9               Toledo- WIN

    Oct 16             @San Jose State- WIN

    Oct 26             Louisiana Tech- WIN

    Nov 6              Hawaii            - WIN

    Nov 12             @Idaho- WIN

    Nov 19             Fresno State- WIN

    Nov 26             @Nevada- WIN

    Dec 4               Utah State- WIN

    Final record: 12-0

    Prominent victories: Virginia Tech, Oregon State

    Tough losses: none


    -       The Broncos play one of the toughest non-conference schedules in college football, but overcome early tests on the road

    -       On Oct. 26, Boise State will set a new college football record with its 59th consecutive home win

    -       Colin Kaepernick will come up short in his fourth and final attempt to beat the Broncos       

4. Texas

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    Sep 4               @Rice- WIN

    Sep 11             Wyoming- WIN

    Sep 18             @Texas Tech- WIN

    Sep 25             UCLA- WIN

    Oct 2               @Oklahoma- LOSS  

    Oct 16             @Nebraska-WIN

    Oct 23             Iowa State- WIN

    Oct 30             Baylor- WIN

    Nov 6              @Kansas State- WIN

    Nov 13             Oklahoma State- WIN

    Nov 20             Florida Atlantic- WIN

    Nov 25             Texas A&M- WIN

    Final record: 11-1

    Prominent victories: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State

    Tough losses: Oklahoma


    -       In a rematch of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, the Sooners avenge their loss and win this one in Norman

    -       The Broncos have an extreme tough game at Nebraska, but prevail in a low-scoring nail-biter

    -       They take advantage of the light conference and non-conference schedule and win out

3. Florida

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    Sep 4               Miami (Ohio)- WIN

    Sep 11             South Florida- WIN

    Sep 18             @Tennessee- WIN

    Sep 25             Kentucky- WIN

    Oct 2               @Alabama- LOSS

    Oct 9               LSU- LOSS

    Oct 16             Mississippi State- WIN   

    Oct 30             Georgia- WIN

    Nov 6              @Vanderbilt- WIN

    Nov 13             South Carolina- WIN

    Nov 20             Appalachian State- WIN

    Nov 27             Florida State- WIN

    Final record: 10-2

    Prominent victories: Georgia, Florida State

    Tough losses: Alabama, LSU


    -       Boise State takes advantage of the weak schedule to open up the season

    -       However, they come up short at Alabama in Week Five

    -       The Broncos lose to LSU, then pick up tough home wins against Georgia and Florida State

2. Ohio State

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    Sep 2               Marshall- WIN

    Sep 11             Miami- WIN

    Sep 18             Ohio- WIN

    Sep 25             Eastern Michigan- WIN   

    Oct 2               @Illinois- WIN

    Oct 9               Indiana - WIN

    Oct 16             @Wisconsin- LOSS

    Oct 23             Purdue- WIN

    Oct 30             @Minnesota- WIN

    Nov 13             Penn State- WIN

    Nov 20             @Iowa- LOSS

    Nov 27             Michigan- WIN

    Final record: 10-2

    Prominent victories: Penn State, Michigan

    Tough losses: Wisconsin, Iowa


    -       Boise State squeaks out a tough win against Miami, then rolls through the OOC slate

    -       The Broncos slip up against John Clay’s Badgers, ending a six-game winning streak

    -       In most situations the Broncos would win, but merely seven days after playing Penn State they lose at Iowa in a defensive battle

1. Alabama

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    Sep 4               San Jose State- WIN

    Sep 11             Penn State- WIN

    Sep 18             @Duke- WIN

    Sep 25             @Arkansas- LOSS

    Oct 2               Florida- LOSS

    Oct 9               @South Carolina- WIN   

    Oct 16             Mississippi- WIN

    Oct 23             @Tennessee- WIN

    Nov 6              @LSU- LOSS

    Nov 13             Mississippi State- WIN   

    Nov 18             Georgia State- WIN

    Nov 26             Auburn- WIN

    Final record: 9-3

    Prominent victories: Penn State, Auburn

    Tough losses: Arkansas, Florida, LSU


    -       The first five games are brutal, consisting of three Top 25 teams, including a loss to Arkansas

    -       After a loss to Florida, the Broncos reel off three conference victories, but then lose at Tiger Stadium

    -       Boise State concludes the season with a tough home win over Auburn

Final Thoughts

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    For the most part, if Boise State were to play a typical Top 25 team’s schedule, the undefeated seasons would cease and losses would be more common. Though the Broncos don’t play a hard top-to-bottom schedule, this slideshow demonstrates that they would still compete, and usually finish with double-digit wins.

     Another intriguing part of this project is seeing how weak some of the schedules are among the nation’s elite teams. Most BCS teams play one challenging non-conference game, usually at home, then schedule three patsy opponents. The conference schedule is broken up so the tougher teams are spread out throughout the schedule, or don’t even appear on the schedule at all.

    Upon predicting how the Broncos would with the schedules of other ranked teams, it shows the Broncos would not have the same success as they do in the WAC, but would still be competitive in every conference.