For the Boise State Broncos and their faithful, this weekend resulted in a lot of “what ifs” and “what could have beens.”
A loss by Oklahoma State means LSU and Houston are the only two undefeated teams left in the BCS mix, and the Cougars aren't going to play in the National Championship Game.
Had Boise State beaten underdog TCU a week ago, 2011 might very well have been the season that the BCS was officially busted. Instead, Alabama will likely get a rematch with LSU for the Coaches Trophy, and the Broncos' season is going to end before New Year’s Day.
Fair or not, Boise’s season has once again been derailed by a single loss. This time, instead of simply keeping them out of the BCS, it's keeping them out of the history books.
Fans of the blue and orange can take solace, however, in the fact that it probably doesn't matter.
In the crazy, upside-down world that is the BCS, there is no guarantee that a 12-0 Boise State team would find itself in New Orleans at season’s end.
Because of conference and computer bias, the Broncos could very well have still fallen behind any number of one-loss teams that reside in an AQ conference. It has happened before, and it would shock no one if it happened again.
The fact that this conversation is even necessary underscores the problem facing college football.
During a season where undefeated LSU is the only clear-cut No. 1 through 11 weeks of the season, fans across the country are forced to rely on complex formulas and a handful of polls to crown their favorite sport’s champion.
A team like Boise should be kicking itself this year, wondering what could have been if they had won just one more game. But what’s the point? Would that win have even mattered?
In every other sport, yes.
In college football, only the computers know for certain.