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Boise State, TCU, And Utah: One Man's Dream Is A BCS Nightmare

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Boise State, TCU, And Utah: One Man's Dream Is A BCS Nightmare
Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images
Kellen Moore hopes to lead Boise State to a national championship game.

When the BCS system was introduced to college football for the 1998 season, it served one purpose. It was implemented to matchup the top two teams in the country, from the six power conferences, to give the fans and the world one clear cut national champion.

The BCS has used complex mathematical formulas that could make your head spin, but it was such a new and exciting endeavour, that it just had to work. Using this system would take out all human error and eliminate the possibility of any biases affecting the two national championship representatives.

As of right now, there are currently three teams from non-automatic qualifying schools sitting in the top 10 of the BCS standings. Boise State, TCU, and Utah are all making cases to be invited to college football's premier games. And if the chips all fall the right way, one, or maybe even two, of these schools could end up playing for the BCS National Championship.

First and foremost, it is important to note, and this is a huge blessing to the BCS, that TCU travels to Utah to play the Utes on November 6th, so whichever team loses that game will surely fall off of the BCS radar, leaving just two of these three teams as potential BCS busters.

Many people feel like these teams are not deserving of a spot in the national championship game for a variety of reasons. The biggest knock against them is their lack of quality opponents. The nay sayers claim that the WAC and the Mountain West are far too inferior in level of competition to the power conferences.

So, I ask this, why should Boise State, TCU, and Utah be penalized for that? It is not their fault that the teams they are required to play aren't as good as they are. All these teams can do is play the schedule they are given, and win the games.

It would be one thing if they were just squeaking by these lesser opponents, but that isn't the case. In most instances, all three of these teams have had wins all but locked up by halftime in all of their conference games. Domination like that should be rewarded, not downplayed.

So that takes us to their non conference schedules. Knowing that they would have weaker conference schedules than the rest of the BCS contenders, they all scheduled some quality non conference opponents.

To open the season, Boise State travelled cross country to play No. 10 ranked Virginia Tech. After a 33-30 win, they had a win in Wyoming against a Cowboy team that went to a bowl game last season, and finally, they beat No. 24 ranked Oregon State 37-24.

And to boost their schedule a little more, Boise still has to play 5-2 Hawaii, and in one of their final games of the season, Boise has to travel to play Nevada, a conference game, to face a Wolfpack team that had previously been a top 25 team until a recent loss.

TCU has also beaten Oregon State, knocking them off 30-21 to open the season. After a blowout over Tennessee Tech, TCU routed a Baylor team that is currently 5-2.

Their conference schedule also has gotten a boost, as they host an Air Force team that has been ranked this season, and took Oklahoma to the brink, and then they also have to travel to Utah a few weeks down the road.

Utah's non-conference schedule has been slightly easier, but the wins were impressive nonetheless. After opening the season with a win over No. 15 Pittsburgh, the Utes have also decimated lowly San Jose State, as well as Iowa State out of the Big 12.

But Utah's schedule will get tougher, as they have to travel to face Air Force, then they get TCU, and throw in a trip to South Bend to take on Notre Dame, in their last non-conference game of the year.

And in the case of Boise State, let's not forget about recent history. There always seems to be a question about how well this team would do on a national stage against a top tier team. Over the last four years, they have answered that question with wins.

Aside from this years win over Virginia Tech, Boise has beaten TCU in the Fiesta Bowl last year. They have beaten Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, and they beat Oregon in both 2008 and 2009.

And in case you have forgotten, Oklahoma and Oregon currently sit first and second in the BCS standings.

So, while many people would be against seeing any of these three teams compete for a national championship, they have all, and especially Boise State and TCU, earned their chance to at least prove they belong among the elites.

I think the time has come to stop comparing them to Alabama and Ohio State, and wonder how they would hold up if they had to play their respective schedules. Instead, why not just look at each team for what they are, and what they have done playing their own schedules.

Boise State is led by Kellen Moore. Behind Moore, the Broncos are averaging 47.5 points per game, which ranks them third in the country. At 523 yards of offense per game, the Broncos are ranked fourth in that department.

The defense is pretty good too. The Broncos only give up 12.3 points per contest which is fourth in the nation, and they are No.1 in yards per game, giving up a microscopic 210.2 per contest.

Senior quarterback, Andy Dalton, leads the TCU offense that ranks seventh in points per game, averaging 40.1 per outing. They rank No. 15 in yards per game averaging just over 468 a game.

But the amazing thing about Dalton's offense, is the efficiency. They are the tenth ranked third down team in the country, and for an offense that puts up so many yards and points, incredibly, they rank No.3 in time of possession, as they average holding the ball for over 34 minutes per game.

The TCU defense ranks second, behind only Boise in yards per game, allowing 218, but they are the toughest defense to score against, as they only allow a sobering 9.3 points per contest.

The Utes are no slouches either. While the yardage totals aren't quite as high, Utah is the fourth highest scoring team in the country, and they rank eighth in third down percentage.

On the defensive side of the ball, they rank in the top 10 in both yardage and points allowed. They sit seventh in yards per game at 253, and ninth in the nation giving up only 14 points per contest.

I guess the biggest issue I have with all of this are the human polls. As I write, Boise State sits No. 2 in both human polls. Conversely, TCU is at No. 4 while Utah is No. 9 in both polls. My question is why?

I am in no way questioning why these teams are ranked where they are, because they definitely deserve to be there. I am questioning why people rank them so highly if they don't think they deserve to play for a national championship.

If the voters still feel that a one-loss Alabama, or a one-loss Ohio State would still be more deserving of a national title shot than a zero-loss Boise State, TCU, or Utah, why aren't they just ranked above them to begin with. Especially when one of the human polls is a factor in the BCS formula. It just makes no sense.

So, while there is still a lot left to be played out, and a lot of things need to fall into place perfectly for there to be any hope of a national championship game featuring any of these three teams, I can still dream about it. And dream about it I do, every Saturday afternoon.

 

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