Let's get one thing thing straight: The Boise State Broncos are a fantastic football team.
What the Broncos have accomplished is nothing short of astonishing. Senior QB Kellen Moore has only two blemishes in his entire career—a bowl game loss to TCU in 2008 and last year's upset loss to Nevada.
The Broncos simply pick their opponents apart with relentless efficiency. Their games have become almost boring. With five weeks completed in the 2011 season, the 5-0 Broncos have no one left on their schedule who can give them a challenge.
BSU will likely run the table again this season. Broncos fans will soon begin the BCS chant. However, no matter how well BSU does this season, it will not play for the national championship, even if it is the only undefeated team left standing at the end of the season.
The reason is simple: The Broncos' schedule is mush. BSU plays only one ranked team all season (Georgia, currently sitting at 4-2). The rest of its schedule consists of 3-3 Toledo, 2-3 Tulsa, 2-3 Nevada, 2-4 Fresno State, 3-2 Colorado State, 3-2 Air Force, 1-4 UNLV, 4-2 TCU, 3-2 Wyoming, 2-3 New Mexico and 3-2 San Diego State. The only team that could even remotely qualify for the "quality" moniker is Georgia, and it is mediocre at best in the SEC.
Compare the Broncos' schedule to LSU, which plays seven ranked teams; Oklahoma, which plays six; and Alabama and Oklahoma State, which each play five ranked teams. Placing their schedules side by side is very telling. LSU's schedule is simply insane, and includes Oregon (then-No. 3), Mississippi State (then-No. 25), West Virginia (then-No. 16), Florida (then-No. 17), Auburn (No. 24), Alabama (No. 2) and Arkansas (No. 10).
If undefeated, should BSU play in the National Championship?
LSU has seven quality games. BSU has one.
Now, folks in Boise maintain that the soft schedule is due to everyone being "afraid" to play the Broncos.The notion that BCS teams are afraid to play Boise State is mythology. The truth is, former BSU athletic director Gene Bleymaier was quoted a couple of years ago about how BSU manages its schedule and its attempts to get better non-conference games.
The real reason BSU has trouble getting better games is the hefty $1,000,000 payday they demand. With their schedule and its seven ranked opponents, I doubt the LSU Tigers are afraid to welcome the Broncos to visit Bayou country.
BSU also schedules very strategically, typically taking on their one quality opponent in their first game of the season, with an entire year to prepare and also judiciously schedules their bye week(s). Just consider the fact that BSU has two—count 'em—bye weeks this year. I don't know anyone else who has two weeks rest during the season. LSU certainly doesn't.
So, BSU will likely be undefeated and Broncos fans will chant "BCS" and when they get passed over, they will allege a conspiracy of the haves against the have nots. It's all about TV markets and money, they say. The hard truth is, BSU does not have a national championship-caliber schedule, and that fact alone will keep them out of the championship game.
BSU needs to jump conferences and leave the Mountain West behind. The Broncos bailed on the WAC, thinking the move to to the MWC with Utah, BYU and TCU would be competitive. However, as BSU came in, Utah and BYU left. The MWC is becoming the new WAC.
In order to gain schedule credibility, BSU either needs to seriously stiffen its non-conference games by being willing to play without the million dollar payday or join the Big 12. Then, if the Broncos run the table, they will have earned their shot at a national championship. Until then, the best they can hope for is a BCS bowl game, but not the championship.