It's becoming a yearly tradition in college football: Does Boise State have what it takes to play for the BCS championship?
Nobody ever doubts the Broncos are good, but nobody is ever really sure just how to measure their success either.
They have a great coach, a great quarterback and they win almost every game they play, regardless of their opponent.
Still, Boise isn't like other teams. They don't play a tough conference schedule (first in the WAC, now in the Mountain West), and even though they have some signature wins over the past couple of years (Virginia Tech, Georgia), they have often come against teams that are either down or haven't quite hit their stride.
With the first BCS rankings of the 2011 season set to be released in just one week, where does Boise stand this time around?
Chris Petersen's squad is 5-0 with a win over an SEC team, and they have been relatively dominant, outscoring opponents, 203-74.
The Broncos also have one of the nation's top players and a legitimate Heisman candidate in quarterback Kellen Moore.
Most experts agree that Boise State will be in the BCS Top 5 both next week and beyond, but do they have what it takes to surpass powerhouses like Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma?
And what about the competition lurking in the background?
Will Boise State ever crack the top two in the BCS?
If Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Clemson continue to dominate their opponents, won't they pass Boise in the rankings?
The Broncos are going to need a lot of help if they are going to stay in the BCS Top 5 and remain relevant in national title discussions.
For starters, they need Georgia to continue their resurgence. After starting 0-2 (with an opening weekend loss to Boise), Mark Richt and the Bulldogs have ripped off four straight wins and they appear to have found a winning formula down in Athens.
However, a few nice SEC wins from Georgia isn't going to cut it.
The biggest problem with Boise every season is their weak conference schedule, both in perception and reality.
TCU isn't doing the Broncos any favors by having a down year, and one of the Mountain West's top teams was embarrassed this weekend in South Bend when Air Force was blasted by Notre Dame.
So far, 2011 has been a top-heavy season with a lot of undefeated and dominant AQ teams blowing teams out on Saturdays.
If that trend continues, Boise will loose any chance they have at cracking the BCS elite.
Until there is a playoff system in the FBS, this conversation will continue every year, and the Broncos will never like the result.