It's a cakewalk for the Broncos from here on out...
Don't get me wrong, I'm an equal opportunity kind of guy. But I have to admit I cringed a bit watching the final seconds tick off the clock in Landover, Maryland last night. Boise State made a big statement, jumping out to a 17-0 lead, and then hanging on when Tyrod Taylor and the Virginia Tech Hokies battled back. Kellen Moore's final 2:00 minute drill was clutch. The pure number of lead changes and special teams miscues made the game an instant classic. But it wasn't just Frank Beamer and the Hokies that got the short end of the stick, the race to the mythical national championship got downgraded from a hurricane to a mild tropical storm.
That of course is because we know at least one and possibly both of the teams that will take the field in Glendale in four months and three days from now for the BCS National Championship. Sure, we don't know know, Boise still has to play eleven games, but let's face it, save for a brief skirmish with Oregon State the rest of the Bronco's schedule is a dance recital. They'll take the week off next week (lest they enter WAC play banged up), and then dance with a league of bottom feeders most of whom ranked in the bottom 50 in total offense and defense in 2009. No, it's not Boise's fault. They've done everything they can to beef up their schedule -- to begging serious programs to come and play on the blue turf, setting up premiere neutral out of conference games, even switching conferences (starting next year).
But the fact remains. Boise State doesn't have anywhere near as difficult a road to travel as every other serious national title contender, and that all but guarantees one of three things will happen:
1. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State each go undefeated and play in Glendale. No. 3 Boise State gets shut out.
2. Either No. 1 Alabama or No. 2 Ohio State goes undefeated, but not both. The undefeated team plays Boise State for the BCS National Championship.
3. Neither No. 1 Alabama or No. 2 Ohio State goes undefeated. Someone else plays Boise State for the BCS National Championship.
You see? In every possible scenario we know at least one of the teams that will make the game. Can you think of another time that's happened in early September? Me neither.
I don't care what side of the mid-major debate you're on. Certainty is bad for college football. So while Chris Peterson hits the snooze button on his alarm and gets his staff ready to go on auto-pilot, here's a message for the remaining 118 teams in the FBS: you're fighting for one spot.
Is it just me or is it a bit ironic that after a decade of being the BCS's ugly step child the mid-majors suddenly have an easier road to the crystal football? That's either affirmative action at its best, or a flawed system at its worst. You tell me.
[EDIT: Bama Hawkeye says hogwash. He still doesn't think Boise can convince the computers to put them in the game. Check out his Post Week 1 Bowl Predictions to see who he thinks makes the cut.]