BCS Standings 2011: Breaking Down the Boise State Broncos

Martin Sondermann@@GamedayreporterAnalyst IIOctober 17, 2011

BCS Standings 2011: Breaking Down the Boise State Broncos

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    The first BCS Rankings of 2011 are finally out, and there were a few surprises.  Were one of those surprises the Boise State Broncos?  Maybe...

    Where would Chris Petersen find his team to begin the rankings?  Are the Broncos in a position to play in another BCS bowl game?  Are they high enough on the list to possibly make a run at the BCS National Championship?  

    Last year, of course, we know that the BCS dreams of the Broncos were crushed on a cold Friday night in Reno.  This year however, Boise State seems to be on track to make another BCS run.

    There are a few tricky games left on their schedule, but their biggest challenge might be behind them.

    Will anything stop the Blue and Orange?  Will they have enough gas in the tank to get them to the championship game?   

How They Got Here

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    They started the year with distractions.  NCAA probation, and three suspended players from Amsterdam.  However, Chris Petersen showed us why he is considered a master of keeping his team focused. 

    Boise State opened the season with an amazing show of force in Georgia.  Playing in a so called "neutral site" the Georgia Dome was anything but neutral.  The Broncos defeated Georgia in front of a hostile crowd 35-21. 

    The Broncos then took on Toledo at Toledo.  The game was never close, and the Broncos handled business 40-15. 

    Their first home contest for the Broncos was against Tulsa, and it was another smooth victory by BSU.  They downed Tulsa 41-21. 

    Next, was a redemption game at home against Nevada. The Broncos BCS dreams were crushed by the Wolfpack last year.  The same wouldn't be said this year.  However, Kellen Moore had his worse game of the season, and yet the Broncos cruised 30-10.

    Fresno State and Colorado State were up next for the Broncos.  Both contests were on the road.  The Broncos won the two games by a combined score of 120-20.  Yes, those numbers are accurate.  In the win against Colorado State BSU chalked up 742 yards of total offense and had a breakout day on the ground.  Doug Martin ran 20 times for 200 yards. 

    So far, so good, for the men from Boise.   

Best Win

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    The best win by far for the Broncos this year, is the win at the Georgia Dome against the University of Georgia.  The Bulldogs were ranked No.19 at the time, and the Broncos faced a very hostile crowd of about 65,000 Georgia fans. 

    Georgia took an early lead with a Brandon Boykin 80 yard run.  However, the Broncos answered with a touchdown to Matt Miller from Kellen Moore with 3:02 left in the first quarter.  The Broncos never trailed again. 

    Boise State went on to score 21 more unanswered points.  Georgia got in the end zone late in the third bringing the score to 28-14. 

    Boise answered early in the fourth and Georgia scored two minutes later.  This brought the score to 35-21, and that is where it would stay. 

    BSU finished with 24 first downs and 390 yards offense.  They held the Bulldogs to just 13 first downs, and forced one turnover. 

    It was an impressive win, and as long as Georgia keeps winning, it was a quality win for the Broncos. 

BCS Ranking: No.5

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    Boise State enters the 2011 BCS Rankings at No.5. 

    This is a good spot for the Broncos.  The four teams ahead of them still have to play each other.  Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State and LSU vs Alabama.  Also, the teams above them, Wisconsin, Clemson, and Stanford have some pretty challenging games on their schedule. 

    Here is the top ten 2011 BCS Rankings:

    Rank     Team                            Avg     
    1 LSU .9522
    2 Alabama .9519
    3 Oklahoma .9301
    4 Oklahoma State .8568
    5 Boise State  .8027
    6 Wisconsin .7708
    7 Clemson .7582
    8 Stanford .7484
    9 Arkansas .6263
    10 Oregon .6190

Remaining Schedule

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    What was supposed to be one more big game for the Broncos took a couple of hits in the form of SMU and Baylor.  Those are the two teams who beat TCU. 

    This will be challenging for the Broncos the rest of the year because no team on the Broncos schedule is ranked, or looks like it will be ranked when BSU plays them. 

    That will be a hit for the strength of schedule.

    Here is what the Broncos have left:

    Air Force at home

    UNLV on the road

    TCU at home

    San Diego State on the road

    Wyoming at home

    New Mexico at home

    Potential pit fall games: TCU and San Diego State

    TCU is still a tough, hard nosed, team, and they will be ready to play.  Not only that, San Diego State has an amazing running back named Ronnie Hillman who plays like a super hero.  He has 833 yards on the year with 10 touchdowns. 

    If the Broncos let up on any of these games, they may just have another BCS "Buster" season... busted. 

Bowl Projection

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    From the way it looks the Broncos will play the team that loses when LSU and Alabama play later in the season. 

    The winner of that game will no doubt play in the BCS National Championship Game, but Boise State will play the team that didn't win. 

    My Prediction: Allstate Sugar Bowl - Boise State vs Alabama    

    This will be an interesting matchup for the Broncos.  All the hype, talk, and arguments surrounding a game like this will be worth the wait. 

    Bronco fans have proven they travel well, but it will be interesting to see if that trend remains–so far from Idaho.