There is always such fiery debate in the college football world about how the teams from non-automatic qualifying conferences such as Boise State, TCU and Utah compare to the big powerhouse teams from the SEC, Big Ten, PAC 10 and Big 12. A major topic that always seems to come up is should Boise State or TCU get a shot at playing for the national championship if they are undefeated by season's end? My answer to that would be a big NO.
Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that Boise State and TCU aren't talented teams because they are. Boise State has done an exceptional job in the last few years with a big win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl in 2008 and big wins over Virginia Tech and Oregon State this year, so they have proven they can play with the big boys on the big stage.
You are probably asking me, "If Boise State has proven they can play with the big boys then why do you think they shouldn't get a shot at being in the national championship game?" Well, I will tell you why.
A very large, and quite annoying, aspect that nobody seems to pay attention to is Boise State's expectations. With the lone fact that Boise State's in conference schedule is so laughably easy every single season it should just ban them from receiving a national championship bid.
They honestly expect to schedule a couple decent non-conference games hoping that they will be able to base their entire season off of that. Like this season for instance, they schedule Virginia Tech and Oregon State, and they do this because they know without a good strength of schedule they won't receive a national championship bid. Too bad Virginia Tech has a horrendous early season loss to Division I-AA James Madison, and Oregon State has literally done nothing to be considered a worthy opponent.
This is what kills Boise State. It isn't their fault, but they can't expect to base an entire season off of two or three quality wins. Many people disagree with me and my perception of Boise State, but do people really ever consider the big picture when looking at Boise State?
Like I said earlier, Boise State is a very talented team, but they don't have to deal with the physical and mental preparation for hardcore games week in and week out like teams from power conferences do.
Do you really think it is stressful for Boise State to have to prep for New Mexico State one week and Toledo the next? The Broncos won both those games by a combined score of 116-14 by the way (Wow tough competition there).
On the other side of the spectrum, you have Alabama prepping for a three game stretch of @ Arkansas, vs. Florida, and @ South Carolina. I mean come on, Boise State cannot even fathom the thought of having to prep three weeks in a row for such competition, because they have never had to, and they never will with the move to the Mountain West next year.
Right now Boise State ranks 3rd in the BCS, they really need some strong cases, such as Virginia Tech winning the ACC and to have convincing wins over non-inferior WAC competition in Fresno State and Nevada, and it wouldn't kill Boise State to have Nevada still ranked when they go on the road to face them. Sad thing for the Broncos is even at the end of the season when teams like Alabama, Oregon, Auburn, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin may all have at least one loss, they still make a case for having a much stronger schedule than Boise State.
What do you think has kept the Broncos out of the national championship game these last couple years? The BCS is very high on strength of schedule, that's how they determine the rankings of teams who have common amounts of losses. Look at LSU in 2007 backing their way into the national championship game: according to the BCS they were the best two loss team according to their strength of schedule.
The Broncos might as well plan on being lucky to make non-national championship BCS games because their strength of schedule never does them any favors, and in my opinion, I would take a one loss Alabama, Auburn or basically any other team from a power conference over an undefeated Boise State.
I consider Boise State lucky to even have a shot at BCS games, what are they really proving when they can spank a bunch of cupcakes every week and play a decent team once or twice a season? Nothing, and that's why they won't ever make it to the championship game, unless of course a playoff system is installed (who are we kidding). So, for a final thought, let's answer the big question; what are the chances Boise State makes the the national championship game this year?
The answer is a five percent chance, the Broncos should be well aware that there are many other teams out there, one loss or not, that deserve it way more than they do because of the level of competition they face. With the slimmest of possibilities that they do make it, hence why I said five percent, I would expect all the teams below Boise State to have two losses or more, which I just don't see happening.