College football is saving the best for last in Week 1.
There’s been a lot of heated discussion about the upcoming game between Boise State and Virginia Tech, and for good reason. The Hokies are a perennial power, and the Broncos are the little guy trying to crash the party.
In fact, a lot of Boise fans are mad about being called “the little guy.” Not surprising—who likes to be underestimated at every moment?
But hold on one second. Boise State can’t be that little when they’re being portrayed as a giant by the media. How can David beat Goliath if David is expected to win? It just doesn’t make any sense, much like preseason rankings. People look way too far into preseason polls, because nobody really knows how good a team is until about Week 3 of the regular season.
Why does Boise have the No. 3 next to their name? Returning starters? No, that can’t be it. If preseason polls were based on that, the Broncos would have to be the preseason No. 1. So what is it, and why do we always, for the most part, see the same teams in the top 10 every single season?
Tradition probably has something to do with it, but hype and media bias is probably the No. 1 reason. I mean, why else would people be picking Terrelle Pryor and DeMarco Murray as the Heisman frontrunners? It’s comical. Go back and look at their numbers from last season, which were pedestrian at best. These two guys are Heisman frontrunners because of the schools they play for and media trying to hype up those programs.
But at least the Broncos are crashing the party. They’re never invited, but now they’re in the club. Will they prove they belong is the question, and we’ll have an answer late Monday night.
Virginia Tech also has room to be bitter. The Hokies have won 10 games for six straight years—something a lot of people probably weren’t familiar with until this game started getting talked about on a daily basis (I wonder how many times Boise fans have heard that statistic in the last month?).
Here’s the most ridiculous part about this game, and it has nothing to do with football: If Virginia Tech wins, it was supposed to win because Boise State, which has been portrayed as a very tough opponent in the preseason, will be perceived as weak and not good enough to hang with a top program.
If Boise State wins, the ACC will be the weakest conference in college football because the overwhelming preseason favorite to win the ACC, Virginia Tech, lost to a non-BCS school.
It won’t matter if the game is close or if it’s a blowout in either team's favor. One of these two perceptions will reach fruition.
Virginia Tech won’t receive enough credit for their victory, and Boise State will receive excessive praise if they’re victorious. It’s one of the biggest problems with college football and one reason having the BCS around is a plus because it saves the media from influencing every aspect of college football.
Beating the No. 3 team in any league would be impressive, but not as impressive if it’s Boise State. At least that’s how the media will portray it.
All of that being said, there is one thing for certain: Boise State and Virginia Tech are both very good football teams, and both have very good, proven football programs. This game is about surviving more than proving anything.
A lot of people say you can’t lose the national championship in the first week of the season. True, but only because it’s not the actual national championship. The loser of this game has no shot to be in the national title game. Boise State’s schedule is too easy, and Virginia Tech will be perceived as a top team in a weak conference if it were to go undefeated for the remainder of the year.
However, everything said here is just speculation, much like any preseason poll you’ve seen. It means nothing until Monday night comes and goes. It will be interesting to see reaction concerning the results of this game, but expect it to go something like this pre-game prediction.