Slowly but surely, the Boise State Broncos have been tearing down walls that had once kept them from competing with the best teams in college football.
They started by winning games against top-ranked teams from big conferences. Then they broke into the BCS and took down national power Oklahoma. More recently, they have been hanging around just outside the mix for the national title.
With their move to the Mountain West Conference and some uncertainty at the top of the rankings to start the season, it looked like maybe, just maybe, Boise State would be able to crack that last glass ceiling and get into the BCS national championship game.
Thanks to matters that are mostly out of their control, Boise State will again fall short.
Outside of their opening week game against Georgia, which hasn't turned out to be that great a win, Boise State's schedule is devoid of big out-of-conference games.
The frustrating part for Boise State is that their lack of big games is not for a lack of effort on their part. They would love nothing more than to get a shot at some brand name teams, but few will schedule them because they are afraid to lose to them.
The conference schedule was supposed to help them this year, but it hasn't worked out that way. No other Mountain West team finds themselves ranked and TCU—their big-name conference opponent—has fallen to 3-2 on the season.
That game against TCU was billed as a possible play-in game for a BCS bowl appearance, but at this point, TCU looks like a four or five-loss team.
Boise will probably go undefeated this season, but it won't matter. They will come nowhere near the top two spots in the BCS rankings. Their schedule is just too weak.