Kellen Moore and Boise State Broncos Expose BCS Fraud
Back in 2007, a 6'0", 176-pound quarterback from Prosser High School enrolled at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho.
What happened during the next five years will go down in history as one of the greatest runs by any quarterback or any team in the history of college football.
But before I explain how Kellen Moore and Boise State exposed the fraud the BCS is, let's take a
quick journey back through something that has never been done before in college football — and will likely never be done again.
*Originally, I intended this to be a short history lesson of what Moore and the Broncos did during his time at Boise State (to refresh your memory) before taking my shot at the BCS, but as it turns out, one of the most impressive runs in the history of college football takes a good bit of words, time and research.
As a three-star recruit, Moore had offers from Boise State, Eastern Washington and Idaho, according to Rivals.com. On September 25, 2006, mid-way through his senior year at Prosser High School, the pro-style quarterback committed to Boise State and he decided he would play college football on the "smurf turf."
At the beginning of the 2007 season, Boise State was coming off their first season under head coach Chris Peterson. But it wasn't like that was an issue. The Broncos finished the 2006 season 13-0 and defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl in one of the greatest endings in the history of college football.
Do hook and ladder, Statue of Liberty, or Ian Johnson proposing to his girlfriend ring a bell? Thought so.
Moore would enroll at Boise State in 2007, but would not play that year and took a redshirt. The Broncos finished the 2007 season 10-3 under senior quarterback Taylor Tharp.
As the calendar shifted to the 2008 season, the Broncos entered the season (ranked) No. 36 in the AP poll with 17 votes. Which makes sense for a team coming off a 10-3 season in a non-BCS conference with a freshman starting at quarterback.
But like Chris Peterson in his first year as head coach, a first-year quarterback wasn't an issue. Moore stepped on the blue turf for the first time on August 30, 2008. The opponent: Idaho State. The result: A 49-7 victory with Moore throwing for 274 yards on 14-for-19 passing and two touchdowns.
And so goes the career of Moore at Boise State. The following week, the Broncos defeated Marshall at home 20-7. Then came Moore's first road test against No. 17-ranked and member of the Pac-10 conference Oregon. Again, the Broncos emerged victorious. And so on and so forth. The Broncos would finish the 2008 regular season with a perfect 12-0 record and champions of the Western Athletic Conference.
Boise State and Utah were the only two undefeated teams at the end of the regular season, but neither team had the opportunity to play for the BCS Title because the Broncos were ranked ninth and the Utes were ranked sixth in the BCS Standings.
Instead, 12-1 Oklahoma played 12-1 Florida for the Title and the Gators won. Utah defeated No. 4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl 31-17 and Boise State lost to No. 11 TCU in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, 17-16.
Granted, Oklahoma and Florida were probably the two best teams in the country — and in a system that is "designed to ensure that the two top-rated teams in the country meet in the national championship game " (BCSFootball.org) — Florida and Oklahoma should play for the title, so I guess the BCS worked.
Moore's freshman season in stats: 12-1 record, 3,486 yards, 25 touchdowns, 10 interceptions. 0 chances to play for a National Championship
Coming off a 12-1 season, the Broncos entered the 2009 season ranked 14th in the AP poll, and despite entering the season ranked, nothing changed for the Broncos. Well, one thing did change, the Broncos wouldn't lose.
The Broncos opened the season against Pac-10 conference member Oregon, and for the second year in a row, the Broncos won, and so goes the story of the 2009 season. W after W after W.
Boise State, for the second year in a row, finished the regular season undefeated, this time, along with four other teams — Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati and TCU.
And because of the way the BCS is set up, the conference champions from the SEC and Big 12 played for the National Championship. Leaving out Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State. Again, I am not going to sit here and say any of those teams deserved to play for a title over the Crimson Tide and Longhorns, because those two were probably the two best teams in the country. But like I'll conclude this piece with, the problem is that the other undefeated teams were never given the opportunity on the field to show how good they were.
Unlike the previous year, where undefeated Boise State played TCU in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the Broncos and Horned Frogs played in the Fiesta Bowl this time, a game Boise State would win 17-10. The Broncos would then finish fourth in the AP poll behind national champion Alabama and one-loss Texas and one-loss Florida.
Moore's sophomore season in stats: 14-0 record, 3,536 yards, 39 touchdowns, 3 interceptions. 0 chance to play for a National Championship
Career numbers: 26-1 record, 7,022 yards, 64 touchdowns, 13 interceptions. 0 chances to play for a National Championship
Fast-forward to the 2010 season. The Broncos entered the season with a combined record of 26-1 the past two years. Again, that's 26 wins and one loss. I don't care who you play or what conference you're in, that is impressive and the Broncos started the season ranked No. 3 in the AP poll with one first place vote (behind Alabama and Oregon).
The opponent to open Moore's junior campaign. Another BCS-conference opponent. This time, ACC-representative No. 10 Virginia Tech. The result, well, the usual. A 33-30 Boise State victory. The Broncos won their first 10 games of the 2010 season, before falling on the road at Nevada, a 34-31 defeat in overtime.
Oregon and Auburn would end the season undefeated at the Tigers defeated the Ducks for the BCS Title. TCU also went undefeated and defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Again, I am not going to argue that Boise State should have played in the National Championship game under the current system we have this year, and with the loss to Nevada, the Broncos probably played themselves out of even an eight-team playoff.
But nonetheless, the point remains that at this point of his career, Moore had a career record of 38-2, and has not had the opportunity to play for a National Championship.
The season ended with the Broncos winning the Las Vegas Bowl, but Moore was finally given some much-deserved credit by being invited to New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Moore's junior season in stats: 12-1 record, 3,845 yards, 35 touchdowns, 6 interceptions. 1 trip to New York as a Heisman finalist. 0 chance to play for a National Championship.
Career numbers after junior season: 38-2, 10,867 yards, 99 touchdowns, 19 interceptions. 1 trip to New York as a Heisman finalist. 0 chances to play for a National Championship.
As the 2011 season approaches the former Prosser High School quarterback is now a senior at Boise State and the Broncos enter the 2011 season ranked No. 5 with two first place votes.
The first opponent. Another BCS-conference opponent. SEC-representative No. 19 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. This was the third year in a row Moore and the Broncos would open the season against a BCS-conference opponent away from Boise, Idaho.
But again, that didn't prove to be a problem for Boise State. The Broncos would win 35-21, and after Georgia fell to South Carolina the following week, it didn't seem like that win against the Bulldogs was that impressive. But just like Virginia Tech the previous year, who started 0-2 and then won 10 straight games, the Bulldogs won the following 10 games, but lost in the SEC Championship to No. 1 ranked LSU.
But back to the Broncos, they would their first eight games of the 2011 season, before falling to TCU at home 36-35 on a missed 39-yard field goal as time expired. As the hopes of reaching the BCS Championship faded away one last time. The Broncos would win their next four games including a 56-24 victory over Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl last night.
And with that, the Kellen Moore era ended at Boise State.
Moore's senior season in stats: 12-1 record, 3,800 yards, 43 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
Moore's career numbers at Boise State:
1 trip to New York as a Heisman finalist and
0 chances to play for a National Championship.
Say what you want about the teams Boise State played or didn't play. The Broncos beat Oregon, Virginia Tech and Georgia to open the last three seasons. All ranked teams. All teams from BCS conference. The Broncos finished the regular season undefeated twice with Kellen Moore, and finished 14-0 once.
From 2006 to 2011, the Broncos played 82 games, winning 76 of them. But the Broncos never had the opportunity to play for a National Championship. Not even in 2006, 2008, and 2009 when the Broncos ended the regular season undefeated.
Peterson has been at Boise State for six years and has compiled a record of 76-6. That averages out to 12.67 wins per year and one loss. During the Kellen Moore era, the Broncos went 50-3. That is a winning percentage of .943 and 12.5 wins per year.
But of all those stats, the following is probably the most impressive. Of the three losses during Moore's time at Boise State, the combined margin of defeat was FIVE points. Not five points per game, five total points separated Boise State and the three teams that beat them. Below are the three times Moore lost during his career
Dec. 23, 2008: TCU 17, Boise State 16
Nov. 26, 2010: Nevada 34, Boise State 31 (OT)
Nov. 12, 2011: TCU 36, Boise State 35
50 wins. Three losses by a combined five points. Again, absolutely incredible.
0 chances to play for a title. Awful, embarrassing, unfair.
With the win last night in the Las Vegas Bowl, the Broncos led by Moore became the first FBS program to win 50 games during a four-year stretch and are the only team to win at least 12 games four straight years.
Can someone please show me where in sports, a team that wins 94.3% of their games over a four year stretch has never had the opportunity to play for a championship. Please, show me where. Search all you want, you aren't going to find anything but Boise State.
But the problem isn't Boise State, or the conference the Broncos play in or who the opponents they face. (Most teams in BCS conferences are scared to play the Broncos anyways, and the BCS teams the Broncos did play during the last four years, they beat every single one of them.)
The problem isn't the fact that Boise State may have not been one of the two best teams in the country during the last six years. I guess you could say the Broncos were never deserving to play in the Championship with the current system we have, and you may be right, but that's where the problem begins.
The problem is that Boise State or TCU or Utah or Cincinnati were never given the opportunity on the field of play to show how good they were and play for a title.
The problem is only two teams have the opportunity to play for a championship at the end of the year when there are years that as many as five teams end the regular season undefeated.
The problem is that Division I-A football doesn't crown a true champion, but the Division I-AA, Division II and Division III levels of college football have found a way to stage playoff to crown a champion.
The problem is the BCS exists so that people like former Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker can earn $600,000+ a year for staging one exhibition game a year and spend $33,188 of the Fiesta Bowl's money on his 50th Birthday party and $1,241 of the bowl's money at a high-end strip joint among other things, while a school like Connecticut loses millions of dollars by winning the Big East Conference and playing in the Fiesta Bowl. (SI.com) (Death to the BCS)
Okay, enough about the general problems about the BCS, just read Death to the BCS or do a basic google search (A search with the terms "problems with the BCS" yields 10.6 million results), here is the problem with regards to Boise State.
The problem is that a team that went 76-6 during a six-year stretch never played for a national championship.
The problem is that a quarterback that won 94.3% of his games never had the opportunity to play for a Championship.
The problem is that one of the greatest runs by a quarterback and team in the history of college football, never had the opportunity to play for a National Championship.
A true 'C'hampion does not emerge from the BCS, so the system should drop that letter from its name, leaving it with what it should be called — B.S.
Or I guess you can keep the "C" in it, you just have to put it at the front leaving you with the CBS.
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