On Tuesday night Boise State defeated conference rival Louisiana Tech by 29 points and put up another 468 yards of offense and saw Davey O’Brien semifinalist quarterback Kellen Moore throw a pair of touchdowns and catch one more on a nice trick play. All Boise State does is win games but if you are the Broncos you are still climbing an up-hill battle despite being ranked second in the voter polls and third in the BCS rankings.
This morning the debate continues on whether or not Boise State deserves a chance to compete for the BCS championship if they go undefeated. The venerable Tony Barnhart writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning that a one-loss Alabama can leapfrog an undefeated Boise State squad, which could see an undefeated Boise State team shut out of the BCS championship picture for a second straight year if Oregon can complete their own undefeated season. Barnhart also states that if Auburn and Oregon finish the regular season without a loss then they will play for the championship. Piling on, Barnhart also says that even if the lone unbeaten teams this season are Boise State and TCU it is not a guarantee that either would play for all of the marbles.
“Should Alabama win all those games and then win the SEC championship to finish 12-1,” Barnhart writes, “I would expect Alabama to jump over an undefeated Boise or an undefeated TCU for a spot in the BCS title game.” Is he serious? “You betcha.”
Barnhart is not alone. Today there are plenty of college football fans and media personalities voicing their opinions that Boise State does not belong. While I am sure there is that sentiment all over the country it seemed clear to me that this feeling was loudest in the southeastern portion of the country, also known as “SEC Country.”
John Kincade of ESPN Radio nationally and 680 The Fan in Atlanta tweeted this morning “The BCS Champion should be decided by what we KNOW, not what we THINK. I “think” this team could compete with big boys is NOT good enough.” He continues with “The only way “ifs” and “buts” should get Boise or TCU into a game would be if a major [conference] champion (like SEC) had multiple losses.”
Listening to The Sports Animal‘s late morning show hosted by SEC Examiner Vince Ferrara in Tennessee this morning I could not help but notice that a number of fans of SEC teams, most notably Tennessee, that were adamant in saying that Boise State does not deserve a chance to compete for a championship because of their “crap conference.” Some fans were calling in to say they would like to see Boise State get a chance just so they could see them “get stomped” and put an end to the discussions once and for all.
Was Boise State’s oddly scheduled Tuesday night game flawless? Not a chance. The nation’s top defense was not up to par with what they had been doing earlier in the year and in the eyes of the critics that is inexcusable against inferior opponents. Of course many of these same critics probably gave Florida more credit than they deserved in the first few weeks of the season and were quick to dismiss Virginia Tech after dropping their first two games, and look where those two teams are now.
I will not tell you how to look at Boise State, and by extension TCU or Utah, but what more do the Broncos have to do?
They know they lose points for playing in the WAC, which is why they will move to the Mountain West next season. If people are going to criticize the conference schedule then Boise State will go out and play BCS opponents. They did that this season with games against Oregon State and Virginia Tech, in what was essentially a home game for the Hokies. They won both games.
Now that they are in conference play fans expect them to put up big margins of victory. They did that, and scored 49 points in the process.
What more do you need to see from this team in order to take them seriously?