I’m still reeling from a day of college football (the drinking has nothing to do with it…). Alabama tried to give me a heart attack, but yet again showed the ability to win. This game was quite unsettling because yes, Alabama was playing the #10 team at Arkansas (about as tough a scenario as you can get), but it just represents one of many tests. After Arkansas, Alabama has to play top ten team Florida, then follow it up with a ranked South Carolina team on the road. Then, the “easy” part of the schedule which features traditional rivals Tennessee, LSU, and Auburn. Two of those teams are ranked, two of those games will be on the road, and all three of those teams will be coming off bye weeks. This schedule might end up being tougher than last year’s schedule for Alabama, which ended up being one of the greatest seasons of all time and the second most difficult schedule in the country (only topped by Miss. State who had to play Alabama). There is a certain frustration to this, the type of test that for many would be season defining, is one of several for Alabama.
This frustration grows when we contrasted to a team like Boise State. Boise State is undefeated as well, highly ranked as well and favored by some to play for a championship as well. The difference? Boise State is considered to have passed all their tests. Let’s forget that the three teams that BS played are 4-7, let’s set aside the fact that Boise State’s toughest test was a team that lost to James Madison at home. This has been Boise State’s season and now they face cupcakes, the land of homecoming teams. Their championship resume will end up being the equivalent of making straight As in middle school then trying to use that to get into college. However, through clever misinformation, tricky scheduling, and the help of an ESPN with a financial stake in the matter, BS has managed to become the darling of some.
Last year I started a message board thread entitled “Exposing the Boise State myth“. It received 7,000 views and 279 replies before it was shut down due to the BS fans that flocked to it. Apparently I struck a nerve, considering I posted it on an Alabama message board. In it, I showed what Boise State’s schedule used to look like and how they tweaked it since to help avoid those inconvenient losses to halfway decent AQ (BCS) schools. From 2000-2005 Boise State was 61-4 against non-AQ schools. They were 2-9 against BCS schools. This is a .928 winning percentage vs. a .158 winning percentage. This simply screams as to the massive difference between so called BCS conference teams and the utterly pathetic WAC conference that Boise State plays in. How did Boise State turn things around?
One claim that led to my making some of these observations was the claim that they just couldn’t get teams to schedule them. I pointed out that they certainly had no trouble scheduling teams before, as they were able to schedule SEC teams without any problems. Then, after 2005 SEC teams vanished from their schedule. Coincidentally, Boise State’s demands started to go up. They wanted not only a pay day, but usually other concessions. Neutral sites, home and homes (for a team with a 30,000 capacity and “smuf turf” that gives them a decided advantage), and the like. They stopped going on the road and trying to prove themselves, because well… they kept failing. Georgia mud-holed them 48-20 and after a fourth straight loss to SEC teams (and never having beaten a SEC team), SEC teams stopped appearing on Boise State’s schedule. We are to believe that it was the SEC teams that chickened out, clearly the fear of another win against BS was too much for the SEC teams to handle.
Since then we have learned the extent in which BS was blatantly lying. “In the past year, NU (Nebraska) tried to put together a series with BSU; two-for-one, home-and-home, one-way trip to Lincoln. Whatever. It ended up fizzling out. Why? Because, according to NU Assistant Athletic Director Jeff Jamrog, Boise wanted a minimum $1 million to play in Lincoln.“. A home and home is a quite respectful offer from a power like Nebraska. They offered to make the trip to the smurf turf, but BS wasn’t having it, they wanted money to. It isn’t as though BS won’t schedule BCS teams at home and homes, they just prefer teams like Oregon St. with a career .483 winning percentage over Nebraska with a .701 winning percentage. Do that if you want, but don’t do that and lie to our faces about other teams being afraid of you. It’s now come out that despite claims they tried to get all the top teams to play them, Alabama hasn’t heard from Boise State either. I suppose the University of Alabama just isn’t important enough for Boise State to consider playing, you know with 100,000+ stadium capacity, 13 national championships and all.
I made a somewhat prophetic statement in my old post though. I said “Do you really think a Ole Miss wouldn’t be willing to face Boise State in Mississippi?“. I said Mississippi because they are not exactly a scary SEC team. They’re a mediocre SEC team, but having lost to the likes of Arkansas and South Carolina, BS hasn’t exactly proven worthy of the upper tier (I’m guessing they didn’t call Florida either), however I suppose they’re starting to realize they have to play someone to get a BCS payday, so the game that’s not even worth mentioning in the Alabama schedule becomes a chance for BS to show how great they really are. Oh yeah, it took $500,000 to get them to play Ole Miss.
Boise State likes to claim that it isn’t their fault they have trouble scheduling tough teams. Yet, other teams in the same conference apparently know how to get Alabama on the phone. One team schedule Alabama, Wisconsin, and Utah, all on the road. All three of those teams are ranked higher than anyone Boise State has scheduled this year. If Boise State beat those three teams I’d lead the call for giving Boise State credit. If they went into Alabama and beat Alabama I’d tip my hat to them and say they are a championship worthy team. Yet, it was fellow WAC team San Jose State not Boise State that scheduled those games.
I have likened Boise State to a piece of crap muscle car on a drag strip. If you pull out all the stops and monkey with it enough you can probably get it to run a few really fast laps. You might be able to go toe to toe with expensive and better built machines. However, you probably can’t hot lap it and you probably can’t keep it up for very long. This is what Boise State has specialized in. They carefully space out the few tests they do have, going so far as to take their bye weak before the start of conference play. They lure teams into their camouflaged field (which shouldn’t even be allowed) and use this to their advantage. They carefully pick the teams they will play, neutral sites, good but not great teams, just enough to claim they can beat the best without actually beating the best. They can keep their car running because they only have to race it hard a couple times a year. The rest of the time they can tinker with it and get it ready for their next real race. Teams like Virginia Tech, Oregon, Ole Miss, etc… do not have this luxury. Boise State won’t define their season, Boise State won’t be the toughest test the are likely to face. Boise State has the ability to focus on those games, yet the other teams know it is merely one of many obstacles in their way.
So, Alabama will be playing undefeated Florida next week. Boise State has 0-3 New Mexico St…
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