One Down, More To Go: Tracking the BCS Busters with Questions and Answers
With BYU coughing up virtually any chance to rumble with the big boys in January, the field of non-BCS teams hoping to make waves continues to dwindle.
College football pundits everywhere are scrambling for another sexy "BCS Buster" pick. And Utah lovers everywhere are rejoicing.
As for all the potential BCS busters, lots of questions remain. Here's a look at the non-BCS schools fighting for a chance to wrestle away a spot in a BCS game.
UTAH 7-0 (3-0)
How long will the Utah fans be able to rejoice?
After looking at their schedule and assessing their talent, the Utes may just be rejoicing well into the month of...November...or maybe January...who knows!
The next two weeks will serve as a proving ground as the Utes gear up for the two teams that could knock them off: TCU and BYU. Fortunately enough, those two games occur at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The potential trip-up point will be the short week between Nov. 1 and Nov. 6 as Utah plays at New Mexico and against TCU.
A rested Horned Frogs defense against a sore Utes offense could spell doom for any BCS hopes. BYU didn't have a playmaker that could give the Horned Frogs fits.
Does Utah? Running backs Matt Asiata and Darrell Mack are great, but they haven't broken one for longer than 38 yards.
Pressure will be on quarterback Brian Johnson to deliver. When he is on, the Utes are unstoppable. When he's not, the Utes are average. He needs to be on for this team to win out.
Lucky for the Utes' fans, I would bet on Johnson delivering against TCU. Against BYU? That's always a toss up. But, as of right now, BYU hasn't shown as much as Utah has.
The win in the Big House is null and void after what happened against Toledo, but Oregon State will most definitely be bowling at season's end.
Chance to get in: Good to Great
TULSA 6-0 (3-0)
Where's the love for Tulsa?
Plain and simple: Conference USA just isn't that good. Whereas the Mountain West has some talented top tier teams, C-USA has one team that has a winning record: Tulsa.
They'll get some love in the polls because they keep winning, but if they stop winning by big margins, their poll ceiling will probably be between 20 and 25.
A come-from-behind win last weekend against a bad SMU team definitely did not endear the Golden Hurricane to any pollster.
What do they have going for them? The Hawaii effect. They can light up the scoreboard against the weaklings upon which they feast week in and week out.
Sure, they may have squeaked by against lowly SMU, but UTEP will sure be feeling the hurt when Tulsa busts out again next week.
The Golden Hurricane has yet to score less than 37 points in a game. They've scored 56 or more points four times this season.
Quarterback David Johnson has yet to throw for fewer than three touchdowns in a game. Running back Tarrion Adams averages around 90 yards a game and runs for 5.6 yards per carry. This offense is serious.
Too bad their defense is reminiscent of a finely-aged Swiss cheese.
A visit to Arkansas will most likely provide the stiffest test of the season for Tulsa.
Chance to get in: Poor
BALL STATE 7-0 (3-0)
Will the Cardinals keep the winning alive without Dante Love?
It's not up for debate. Dante Love is a beastman. All the love and prayers in the world go out to him and his family. May he have a speedy recovery.
Lest we forget, Ball State was only up by one point at the time Love left the game against Indiana. They then finished the game on a 28-7 run.
And they've won all three games since then.
With that said, Indiana, Toledo, Kent State, and Western Kentucky have a combined record of seven wins and 19 losses.
The Cardinals should have an easy time getting to 10-0 on the year, but Central and Western Michigan are both waiting at the bottom of the schedule.
As of today the win against Navy stands out as the bright spot on Ball State's calendar. The games against Central Michigan and Western Michigan could vault the Cardinals into BCS contention.
With Dante Love out, the playmaker of the offense is running back MiQuale Lewis. He has yet to run for fewer than 95 yards in a game and he has already claimed 13 rushing touchdowns.
Given the fact that quarterback Nate Davis hits on 68 percent of his passes, Lewis should have ample opportunity to keep running as defenses protect against the pass.
The Cardinals should win out and give themselves the possibility of breaking into the BCS, but they'll have to win in impressive fashion.
Unfortunately, with their star on the sideline they may not get the hype nor the needed scoring to win over the humans. And with the MAC being the MAC, they might not have the schedule to win over the computers.
Chances to get in: Fair to Good
BOISE STATE 5-0 (1-0)
Can they run the table in the WAC?
The Broncos have a very balanced team on offense, although the running backs need to scratch for more than four yards a carry.
The rush defense still needs to improve, but the pass defense has been on point. The defense has been solid against inferior competition, limiting everyone minus Oregon to seven points or fewer.
Although the speedy trio of Ian Johnson, Jeremy Avery, and D.J. Harper have not owned teams like one might expect, redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Moore has played exceptionally well. He hits on 71 percent of his passes and has amassed 10 touchdowns and only three picks.
Johnson still has the ability to break one every once in a while, and receiver Jeremy Childs can also make plays when called upon.
Combine the balanced offense with a consistent defense and the Broncos may be climbing their way quietly into BCS contention.
A win at Autzen Stadium is looking good right now.
Fresno State will come play on the smurf turf the last game of the season in what may prove to be Boise State's toughest test. Then again, is there really a tough test on the smurf turf?
Between now and then the Broncos should take care of business. Hawaii, San Jose State, Nevada and New Mexico State could come out of the woodwork to ruin an otherwise magical season, but none of these teams are anything special.
The Broncos have two best friends: BYU and TCU.
Chances to get in: Very Good to Very Great
BYU: Their hopes may very well have gone up in flames against TCU, but they could win out and get some help to get back in the door. Style points matter.
TCU:- A decisive win against BYU looks good. Win out in impressive fashion and, with help, they could sneak in the back door. A loss against OU is nothing too shocking or demeaning, but a loss is a loss. Style points matter.
Chances to get in: Poor to Very Poor
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