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Boise State Could Beat Any SEC Team On A Given Night

Boise State’s exciting come from behind victory over Top 10 Virginia Tech last night should prove to everyone once and for all that, yes, the Broncos are as good as anyone in the country.

In the past few seasons the Broncos have handled Oklahoma in a BCS bowl, an Oregon team that went to the Rose Bowl and now fellow national title contender Virginia Tech.  So if you’re still one of those people who rolls his eyes when he mutters Boise State’s name, just know that anyone with an iota of football knowledge is rolling their eyes at the fact your eyes are being rolled.

When I say that Boise State has now proven itself to a be a top program, make no mistake, I very much mean that on any given night, the Broncos could indeed knock off the very best the SEC has to offer.

Before you start firing off the emails, let me make a couple of points. 

Gator fans, do you really believe Florida would have beaten Chris Peterson’s team with that Keystone Kops routine they displayed on Saturday?  Just be glad you were facing Miami of Ohio and not the Broncos (or anyone else with an offense).

And Bama fans, I have but two syllables for you: “U” and “tah.” 

Forget the star rankings on Signing Day, the Boise States, TCUs and Utahs of the world can compete with the big boys these days.  And as a result they should be in the national title picture when they go undefeated.

But…

They also should be graded down for facing a week strength of schedule.  And I believe that will happen to the Broncos this year, even if they run the table.  Even with a win over Virginia Tech.

In the SEC, teams like Alabama and Florida have to survive not only clashes with other Top 10 teams, but also week-in-week-out battles with good programs.  Boise State has knocked off a Top 10 team and they’ll face Top 25ish Oregon State, too.  After that?  There’s no one on the Broncos’ schedule that should be a real concern.

For comparison, let’s take a look at Florida’s national title winner from just two years ago.  The Gators proved themselves to be the best team in the country at year’s end.  They knocked off all of the highly-ranked teams they faced.  But they lost a game at home to Ole Miss, a team that snapped a long SEC losing streak with that surprising victory. 

Now let’s talk Alabama.  Last year, the Tide went undefeated in the SEC.  But there wasn’t a Bama fan alive who wasn’t sweating as Tennessee (which finished 7-6) lined up for a potential game-winning field in the final seconds in Tuscaloosa… only to have the kick blocked.

The point is this: Boise State is every bit as good as the Alabamas and Floridas of the world.  If they finish undefeated, they should merit title consideration because on a neutral field they might just beat one of those squads head-to-head.  Ditto Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Nebraska, etc.

But if the final slot in the BCS title game comes down to an undefeated Boise State squad and a once-beaten team from an SEC, Big 12, or Big Ten, the Broncos should be left on the outside looking in.

In the best of the BCS leagues, title contenders not only have to win their big games, but they have to win the “small” ones, too.  And the small ones in the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten are a lot more challenging than the small ones in the WAC.

Kudos to Boise State for their win last night.  It should put to bed any thoughts that Peterson’s program isn’t 100% for real.  But at the end of the day, BSU’s overall schedule still needs to be part of the equation.  When that schedule is factored in, a Broncos team that might be the best in America still must be graded down.

 


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