While the Boise State football team will be on a bye this weekend, it could be the perfect time for them to cross their fingers and do a little scoreboard watching.
“Looking at the standings right now, it’s not impossible,” said ESPN BCS guru Brad Edwards about the Broncos BCS chances.
With two weeks to go in the regular season, Boise State sits at No. 22 in the BCS Standings - the highest ever in the poll for a two-loss team in program history. Even though they continue to draw a “.000” from the computers, the support from the human elements of the standings have aided their current ranking - the Broncos checked in at No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 21 in the Harris Interactive College Football Poll on Sunday.
“The fact that they are still ranked where they are with two losses I think says a tremendous amount about the respect that voters have for the program and for Chris Petersen,” Edwards explained.
“I think they have finally earned that benefit of doubt. It takes a long time to establish it, but I think they have got there,” Edwards told me over the phone. “You know from covering the team that this team is not a good as the past several have been.”
The thing is, Boise State is by no means in control of their BCS fate.
They need help. A lot of help.
This weekend alone, No. 21 Oklahoma State has to fall at No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 19 Michigan needs to lose at Ohio State, TCU has to topple No. 16 Texas, No. 5 Oregon needs to put it on No. 15 Oregon State by a good margin, No. 8 Stanford has to knock off No. 17 UCLA with the Bruins turning around and losing again to the Cardinal in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Those are the scenarios that carry the most likelihood of playing out.
(Go ahead. Insert laugh here.)
But we’re not done.
Either No. 18 Rugters (plays at Pittsburgh) or No. 20 Louisville (hosts Connecticut) needs to lose this weekend. With the Scarlet Knights and Cardinals scheduled to play next weekend, this weekend’s loser would then have to win that showdown.
We’re still not done.
Iowa needs to uses its home field advantage to upset No. 14 Nebraska, with the Cornhuskers then falling to Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.
On top of all this, no team can jump Boise State in the BCS Standings, and - of course - the Broncos need to go on the road and take care of business themselves at Nevada on Dec. 1.
“It’s not going require any type of upset where you will say ‘the chances of that happening are extremely slim.’ But it’s just more the combine probability of all of these games falling the way that Boise needs them too,” Edwards said.
The path won’t be easy. In fact, it’s completely unlikely. But as the door tries to shut on their BCS hopes, there is still a sliver of light peaking through which means something in itself.
“I think for most of the BCS-era you could generally assume that if a non-AQ team wasn’t undefeated, there was no way they could get into a BCS game,” Edwards explained.
“Just the thought of a two-loss non-AQ team getting into a BCS game is unfathomable to me,” Edwards added. “The odds are slim, but I guess I could see where it could still be possible.”
The glass half-full outlook suggests there is hope. The glass half-empty approach determines the dream is dead.
But as much of a long shot as it seems, one thing we do know at this point, it is possible.
— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)