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This much is clear. If the season ended today, Boise might not only be on the outside looking in at the BCS Championship Game, but at the BCS itself.
This isn't last season, when Boise was a shoe-in for an at-large spot, and they wound up playing TCU in the Fiesta Bowl. In fact, if Auburn and Oregon win out, and LSU, Oklahoma State, Nebraska or Stanford win out, Boise might be back in the MPC Computers Bowl as a 12-0 team, riding a 26-game winning streak.
It probably won't come to that (the MPC Computers Bowl), but Boise could very easily wind up playing in a lower-level bowl, possibly the Liberty again, after being sniped by the one team they thought wouldn't get in the way of their championship run...TCU.
Having their season practically decided already hasn't had much influence on the way the Broncos played so far this season, so I wouldn't expect this most recent revelation to do much to dim their confidence, but it is sad.
Which begs the question, what else is left for them to play for?
Well, there are several answers:
1) Kellen Moore as a legit Heisman contender. Yes, I said that. If Cam Newton takes a stumble during this last stretch where he faces some pretty talented defenses, Moore could easily jump into the mix, as a serious candidate. Passing for 507 yards certainly gains you some momentum, and he has two Heisman worthy moments: the last-minute drive to win the game against Virginia Tech and his TD catch a few weeks ago.
2) The streak. It currently sits at 22, and it could finish the season at 26, 27 if the Broncos win their bowl game. Heading into a new conference next season, and with a new rivalry with TCU being born, it will certainly be tougher for the Broncos to maintain it, but they will return Jeremy Avery, Doug Martin and Kellen Moore next season, as well as most of their defense, and some talented young receivers. They'll have the experience to take this streak well into the 30s.
3) Chris Petersen. The head coach has kept this team hungry all season long, for going on five seasons now. He has two BCS game wins, and a 57-4 record, including a 35-1 mark in the WAC. Coach Pete is easily one of the top coaches in the game, and some teams will make serious runs at him this off-season. We already know Minnesota is one, but North Carolina, Rutgers, Arizona State, and yes, even Colorado could emerge as serious candidates.
4) Pride. Simple and plain. The Broncos should be, and are, playing for pride. Who cares if the media won't reward them with a shot at a title. They'll just continue to win, knocking down more doors, and making an even greater case that they should one-day get that chance.
5) Leaving the WAC as the best-of-the-best. Boise State has won the WAC three of the last four years, and two in a row. Making it three in a row, and four of their last five would be icing on the top of their WAC cake.