The Boise State Broncos have been getting ignored by the powers that be in college football for many years now. Since the 1999 season, few—if any—schools have won as many games as the gang on the blue turf.
Just a glance at the mostly crap bowl games the Broncos have been invited to despite posting excellent records tells you that Boise State is something the Bowl Championship Series feared, and now the College Football Playoff does, too.
That fear is grounded in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, when the Broncos beat the Oklahoma Sooners in one of the best games ever played in the sport. Yet that 13-0 finish only netted Boise State a No. 5 finish in the Associated Press poll, as well, which was ridiculous then and even more so in hindsight.
Three seasons later, the Broncos went 14-0 with another Fiesta Bowl win, only to finish No. 4 in the AP poll—another ridiculous snub from the BCS, which didn’t want Boise State anywhere near its title game. Even Sports Illustrated wanted to know why the Broncos weren’t being considered legit.
Unlike real NCAA championships in baseball and basketball, we know college football can’t handle the thought of the “little guy” beating the established schools on the field of play. Boise State is to college football what Coastal Carolina and Fresno State have been to college baseball and Butler University to college basketball: a threat.
The Broncos went 12-1 this season, with a three-point road loss to BYU. This only got them a No. 18 ranking in the AP poll and a No. 19 spot in the CFP hierarchy. The Cougars were a blip better than mediocre this year, with a 7-5 record, but hey, it’s not like Boise State lost at home to a 4-8 team like Georgia did, right? The Bulldogs were still ranked No. 4 despite that laughable loss, because they’re in the SEC, of course.
The Mountain West Conference is not super strong, and the Broncos’ scheduling challenge is that few teams will play them out of conference. Oregon did back in the late 2000s, and the Ducks lost twice—one at home, once on the road—and that was enough for them. We know the SEC teams are too cowardly to consider scheduling Boise State.
[Michigan State beat the Broncos at home in 2012 and have a return engagement in Boise scheduled for 2022, but not many Power 5 schools are lining up to play the best team on blue turf in the country.]
Even with those Top 20 spots in both the AP and CFP rankings, the Broncos got relegated to the Las Vegas Bowl this postseason. Boise State has the second-best record in the country, and it’s playing a 7-5 Washington Huskies team before December 25. Meanwhile, lesser-accomplished teams are playing in major bowls around New Year’s Eve/Day.
That’s what it’s called when the sport of college football shafts you (again).