People losing minds, mass idiocy ensues: Boise get 7 first place votes in poll

Submitted by wolverine1987 on September 8th, 2010 at 8:44 AM
Monday night I authored a post entitled "Boise belongs in the elite" where I gave up my previous resistance to the idea of Boise belonging in the top ten and BCS, and said that they definitely belong in the equation despite the truly weak conference and schedule they play. But this is where that stops. In the latest AP poll, Boise got seven votes as the best team in the country. Seven actual journalists believe that Boise is the best football team in the country. That they can beat Bama, or Florida, or any team in the country. Seven. I'm hoping that I don't have to justify my contention that this is truly ludicrous, but I'll bet someone reading this might say "why not?" Then I'll weep.…



September 8th, 2010 at 8:47 AM ^

Well, Florida looked like shit against Miami (Ohio), and Boise beat the ACC favorite and a team ranked from #5 (Coaches) to #10 (AP) in a virtual road game. After week 1, they may be the best team. It likely won't stay that way. But for now, you can't conclusively say any other team is better.

Edward Khil

September 8th, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

The problem is that now you probably won't be able to say any other team is better even after week 13!  MAN I was rooting for Va Tech.  I think that essentially those seven voters were saying that they expect Boise State to go undefeated the rest of the way, and that they have a better shot of doing so than any other team in football.  And that's perfectly reasonable.

Go Toledo!


September 8th, 2010 at 8:51 AM ^

15 game winning streak. Though that isn't against a BCS schedule, they did win all of their BCS games during that time. Furthermore, the Boise State AD has made it quite clear that, "if you call and agree to a home and home, we will play you."

Could they beat those teams? I dunno. Then again, would any of the top teams be expected to run the table against the other top teams? Would OSU be expected to emerge undefeated from a string of games against Alabama, Texas, Florida, Boise State, etcetera? Probably not. So does BSU have to do that to get the respect?

Sorry. You win 15 games in a row and play at least some of them against top quality opponents, AND you beat the crap out of your tomato cans, you deserve consideration for first place. You just do.

Now, if VT goes out and has a horrible season, thus proving that BSU's marquee win isn't all that marquee, I'm sure the view will be properly adjusted. But that record earns top respect no matter what.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:06 AM ^

as saying they could be the best team in the country. There is no possible way that is true. A 15 game win streak with a BCS win earns you respect, but when literally 10 of those wins are against teams that any team in the B10, including Indiana, could beat easily, the respect only goes so far. For me, that is into the top ten and into BCS bowls.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:35 PM ^

But it's just my opinion that Boise would be able to play with any team on any day. As far as Texas goes, they would probably stomp all over them, to be honest. Every game I see Texas play, they sleep walk through half the game and almost lose. BSU has been winning games and winning games for a number of years now. Seemingly every BCS top 25 team they play, they win. How do they not deserve to be top 3? I used to be in the non-BCS hating hater pool too, but I think it's time we give them a shot. I really think they could beat anyone right now.


September 8th, 2010 at 10:07 AM ^

I'm a fan of Boise, really like watching them play.  They hit you, don't get rattled, and are very well coached.  Not to mention innovative

But you take such a bruising in the B10/SEC/B12 - every week for the most part you need to play your starters every snap, at a very high level.  Have to be up for every game.  Boise has played well in big games, but what happens when they have a bad game?  Every team has a down week at some point.  When 'Bama does it they could be playing Georgia or Auburn (or LSU or South Carolina)... when Boise has an off week they're playing a flag football team.  How often during the season to they 1) get to rest their starters and keep them fresh, and 2) get underclassmen and 2nd and 3rd teamers experience because they're up by 40 pts?  B10/SEC/B12 teams don't have that luxury once the meat of the schedule starts.  Boise can go to sleep after Oregon State

duffman is thr…

September 9th, 2010 at 3:25 AM ^

I strongly feel this way too.  Put Boise in the B10, for example, and they are facing serious competition most weeks. That means more than people give credit.  We look at the schedule every year as Michigan fans and have either a couple games circled, or, until recently have many games circled as possible losses.  Why would Boise St. succeed in this type of environment?


September 8th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

Last year, they beat the Pac10 champion and an undefeated TCU that started in the top 10 this year. This year, they beat the likely ACC champion and will have to beat Oregon State, whom will be competing for the Pac10 championship this year. That's likely 3-4 teams in the top 25 at the end of this season that will be part of their 26 game winning streak going into bowl selection. I know it's spread out over two seasons, but that is a pretty respectable resume.

Besides, if they get into the game there are two possibilities. They could win and the BCS would either go away or get completely redone. Or, they could lose and you never have to worry about this happening again because people would point to this game and say "See, this is what happens when you put non-BCS teams in the NC game."


September 8th, 2010 at 12:09 PM ^

They beat someone who could contend for the ACC title, and the Pac-10 looks like it will be wide open this year--almost everyone in that conference has a shot at winning it all.  Little has been established so far, and even in the event that VT does win the ACC, they'll have had to play the U, UNC, FSU along the way.  I'm not saying what Boise State does is easy to replicate, but in sports (football especially), getting up for one or two "big" games is a lot easier than sustaining that level of intensity over the course of a season.


September 8th, 2010 at 11:48 AM ^

Alabama is riding a 25 or 26 game winning streak in (supposedly...) the hardest conference in college football.  This includes beating Colt McCoy's Longhorns and Tebow's Gators in the same season.  They are returning most of their firepower on offense, and have enough talent stockpiled to field 2 teams that could play with Boise State.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Boise is Top 25 good. They ARE NOT top 5 good. that is all.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:23 AM ^

All poling is projection, it is usually not based solely on that week's victory.


That's an inherent flaw in the polls.  They SHOULD be based solely upon a team's body of work, not upon preseason projections.  Based upon the games that have actually been played, Boise State is more worthy of first-place votes than any other team in the country.  Whether or not they deserve to stay at #1 given their creampuff schedule from here on out is an entirely different question. 


Personally I don't think the first polls should be released until week 4, after a bunch of games have been played and we actually know who's good.  But everyone needs something to talk about in the preseason, I guess. 


September 8th, 2010 at 10:21 AM ^

I agree with you, but the inherent flaw in your logic is that all teams are either 1-0 beating an 0-1 team or 0-1 losing to a 1-0 team. The only way that you can say that BSU is more deserving is if you use preseason projections to determine that VaTech was the best team that lost during the week.


September 8th, 2010 at 10:33 AM ^

That's a fair point, which is why I think the ideal solution is to not release the polls until week 4, after multiple games have been played.  Under the current system, it's impossible to not factor in some projections to determine how good teams are going into the games, but at least in voting Boise St. #1 after one week, you're saying that actual performance far outweighs those projections on a going-forward basis. 


September 8th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

There are several ways a voter might approach his/her ranking system.  Among them:

* Which team would likely beat all the other teams on a neutral field?

* Which team will likely end the season with the best body of work?

* Which team has put together the best body of work to date?

You seem to be focused on the first or second approach.  I agree that Boise should probably not be in the conversation for the first.  I'm also inclined to agree that it would take some far-fetched speculation to put Boise number one based on the second criteria. 

However, the third approach is also valid, and I have no reason to think that the eight voters who consider Boise the number one team in America didn't reach that conclusion based on precicely that kind of reasoning.  Without question, theirs was the best win of the season so far.  If I had to award a trophy today, it would go to Boise State. 

Maize and Blue in OH

September 8th, 2010 at 8:56 AM ^

One of the seven, Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, based his vote solely upon the week one play and quality of opponent.  His number 8 team in the country - Michigan.  It was week one.  I wouldn't get too upset.  Boise will drop back once they start playing their conference schedule.


September 8th, 2010 at 8:55 AM ^

Crazier, the guy who voted Michigan #8, or the people who voted Boise #1? Boise beat a team most have in their top 10-15. No one else has done that this year. Seems more than reasonable to me.


September 8th, 2010 at 12:08 PM ^

"Why not?"  I tend to agree with ShockFX here.  After week 1 who is the best?  Who had the best win? As long as these 7 "journalists" are willing to change their vote in a week where other top teams are beating big time opponents and Boise is beating Idaho St., then I see nothing wrong with it.  Of course we know that some, to justify the fact that they put them there to begin with, will continue to put them there through every garbage game they play.  That is where it gets ludicrous. 


September 8th, 2010 at 9:03 AM ^

votes in a couple of weeks when they beat Oregon State.   Do they deserve the first place votes for their win against VT, probably not.  But they will continue to get those votes as long as they keep winning and everyone else loses atleast one game.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:08 AM ^

Allowing Boise State into the national title game would destroy almost any hopes we have that programs will schedule more competitive nonconference games going forward. At the very least, removing strength of schedule as a factor definitely eliminates one of the major incentives to play games that will improve it.


EDIT: I agree that polls are pointless right now and I don't care where Boise State or anyone else is ranked. My post is only for the sake of conversation in case it's relevant in early December.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:40 AM ^

The respect given to Boise is more of a reflection of an entire decade of success. If this was the first year they were good, they wouldn't be ranked that high in the first place, and certainly we wouldn't be discussing whether or not they deserve a chance at the title. We all know their schedule and they're still not on level ground because of it. They have a chance based on a decade of success whereas AQ's get the luxury of getting respect based on one season. Plus, BSU still probably wouldn't get in over an undefeated team from the Big 10, Big 12, Pac 10, or SEC, it's generally acknowledged that the debate is between an undefeated Boise vs a one-loss AQ champ.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:56 AM ^

I guess from my point of view one big factor in the championship formula for teams is winning the first big game of the season.  For example OSU, Texas, LSU, USC, Alabama, and now Boise. They all have played huge, huge games at the beginning of the season and when they won it put them in the national eye and on the fast track to the national championship.

05: Texas beats OSU, never looked back.

06: OSU beat Texas, put them in drivers seat for NC game (lost to Fla.)

07: LSU beats Va Tech, loses two games but still ends up in Nat. Title game.  W/out that extra quality win do they end up in game still?

08: USC beats OSU, makes statement, sets themselves up with #1 ranking until the other OSU wins a wierd game up in Corvallis two Thursdays later.

09: Alabama beats VaTech in first game of season, makes mark on national scene.  Ends up in national championship game.

10: Boise beats VaTech, LSU beats UNC, OSU vs. Miami.  What are the chances Boise, LSU, or OSU/Miami makes the nat. championship game?


VaTech is to season openers as tOSU is to national championship games.  Also, if you want to secure a spot in the national championship game you need to win a big out of conference game, because that's the most secure way into the championship game.

So... looking into the future...

2012: Michigan beats Alabama, earns #1 ranking and never looks back!

2012 National Champs baby!


September 8th, 2010 at 9:10 AM ^

Since it's highly unlikely that Michigan's season has national championship (or even BCS) aspirations, I don't really give a damn who plays for the NC this year.  Might as well be Boise St. or TCU for all I care.  Either they're good enough to win, in which case they will, or they're not, and we can stop talking about for a while.  

There's a good chance it's OSU vs. Boise in the NC game. Honestly, I'd cheer for Boise if it was against OSU in the NC game.  It's a win-win, because if Boise wins, OSU loses and if OSU wins, then it's somehow cheapened by the fact that they only beat a WAC team in the final game. 


September 8th, 2010 at 9:12 AM ^

Polls like this one have a lot of voters, so there will always be outliers like the seven who voted BSU number one. I don't agree with their votes, but I am resigned to BSU being one of the teams that makes it into the "championship" game. Despite the old "any given day" adage, Oregon State seems to be the only team with a legitimate chance to win, and it is a home game for BSU.

If BSU and/or TCU makes it and the system isn't changed, it should make teams in good conferences think twice before scheduling tough OOC games. Why would a team that already has four or five tough conference games schedule another tough game preseason after BSU or TCU proves that you only have to beat one or two top-25 teams to get into the "championship" game?

For that matter, why would a Big East team with maybe two tough conference games bother scheduling tough OOC games if BSU, TCU, or both prove that the risk is higher than the upside?


September 8th, 2010 at 9:12 AM ^

Well, everything I came in to say has already been said.  Stupid knowledgable and eloquent fan base. 


::kicks random can in road, shuffles off home to pout::


September 8th, 2010 at 9:13 AM ^

A lot of people vote Boise State up there because they want to send a big "fuck you" to the BCS.  Nobody voting Boise State over Ohio State would would pick them to beat OSU on a neutral field without a point spread.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:48 AM ^

Nobody voting Boise State over Ohio State would would pick them to beat OSU on a neutral field without a point spread.


Perhaps... However, game on the line, trailing by four at the close of the fourth- would you rather have Boise State with the ball attempting to win the game, or Ohio State with the ball attempting to win it? I'd rather trust the Broncos in the situation.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:14 AM ^

They deserve ALL of the first place votes at this point in the season.  Who has Alabama played?  Ohio State?  Boise State beat VT, Alabama beat SJSU and OSU beat Marshall.  Of those, Boise is the only one that actually played competition and thus deserve first place.  Lets not discuss cup cakes in the schedule since Boise hasn't played any yet.   Boise is moving to the MWC, which will help their schedule competitiveness.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:44 AM ^

Yeah! There's no way they could be a "big boy" team like... Alabama (what, Utah beat them?)... or Oklahoma (ooh, they lost to Boise State?) ... If they played in the SEC and had to play the tough teams like Ole Miss (ouch) or Vanderbilt (tough school) or South Carolina (routed by UConn)... Oh, wait.

I think you are missing the real "idiocy" which is believing that Boise State can't beat a "real" team because... well, they just couldn't. Ignoring the facts of beating Oklahoma, TCU, Oregon and Virginia Tech but preferring to abide in the realms of believing what you feel is true instead of what you observe.

And the truly sad thing is that beliefs of SID's and coaches are relevant to the equation for determining a national champion. In basketball, if you don't believe Butler could compete with Duke, it's a moot point because Butler (or Duke) gets to prove it. This alone is an enourmous reason why our national championship system sucks.


September 8th, 2010 at 9:55 AM ^

Boise is a very good football team by any standard. No one is saying that can't beat good teams, that's plainly visible. But can they beat a great team? I'm talking about Alabama 2009, Florida 2008 level great. They have never done that. This is their "awesome" resume:

  • 2006: beat Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime in a bowl game (extra preparation).
  • 2008: beat Oregon in Eugene, 37-32.
  • 2009: beat Oregon in Boise, 19 - 8, in first game of season (extra preparation).
  • 2010: beat Virginai Tech on the Road, 33 - 30, in first game of season (extra preparation.)

That's it. Four years, four notable wins; three of them with a month or more to prepare. If they beat Oregon State, it'll be five. Missing from that resume is a loss in 2007 to a Washington team that ended up 4-9.

Boise's accomplishments are emetically overstated. They've done nothing that Iowa, Wisconsin, LSU, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Miami, Oklahoma, so on so forth, haven't done or couldn't do.

Whatever, at this point I hope they make it. I think it will precipitate two things: A) a real play off for the FBS championship, B) annhilation at the hands of the elite AQ school they meet in the championship game. Let it happen, I care not.


September 8th, 2010 at 1:15 PM ^

I wasn't pointing that out to say "they got lukcy to win those games." I didn't say anything even close to that. I'm saying that having 1 whole month (or summer) to scout and prep for a game is different than having 1 week. Do you disagree?

Also, their opponents need to put more of their playbook on tape in order to make it through their schedule than Boise does because of the drastic difference in strength of schedule. It matters. I'd love to hear your counter argument to that specidic point.

Give them a week to prepare for Iowa, then turn around and play Wisconsin, then turn around and play Penn State, then turn around and play Northwestern, then turn around and play Ohio State and then let's see them go undefeated. That's the point.

They've played 8 games against BCS competition and TCU in 4 seasons (plus 1 game) and thier record in those games is 6-2 (0.750). That's very, very good but not National Championship good.

Sorry, the fact remains that their schedule is shit and it doesn't matter that they're willing to play anyone, anywhere, anytime. Being willing to play someone isn't the same thing as playing them.


September 9th, 2010 at 12:42 AM ^

I don't think his point was that you said they were lucky. Why does it matter how long they had to prep for the game? Didn't every other team have the same time before the season and at bowl games?

Your second point is noted. However, don't you think coaches save a bunch of playbook strictly for bowl games? See UM vs. Florida a few years ago. I bet Urban didn't see much of that on tape. Right? So you're penalizing Boise for having a coach that is better than another teams because their coach didn't same material for the bowl game? I don't understand the logic.

They may not go undefeated in the Big Ten, who knows. They don't have the chance to do that. So you're going to penalize them even though (.750) time they play a big bad BCS powerhouse, they beat them? That's ridiculous.

Yeah, their schedule is weak. No one can dispute that, but it's weird that almost everytime Boise and TCU play the big bad BCS schools, they win. I guess it really comes down to what should the title game be?

Should the title game be 1.) the two teams that survived the hardest schedule, won the most games, and have the most "street cred" OR 2.) the two teams that are potentially undefeated, didn't make excuses as to why they lost a game to an inferior opponent, and are the best in ONE GAME? I guess we know your answer. However, that's why a bowl is a GAME, singular. Boise will play with and possibly beat anyone in FBS in a title GAME. They've taken it to many teams that people claimed they couldn't share the same field with. When's this going to stop? When they actually get to the title game this year and route someone? Will it be good enough for you then? Probably not. You know what they say about excuses....Well, Boise doesn't have any.


September 9th, 2010 at 6:49 AM ^

We're talking about a national championship here. Therefore we're talking about going undefeated against a reasonably difficult schedule. The extra preparation time is key to the 4 or 6 praise-worthy games Boise has won in the last five seasons. If you don't get that, cool.

Other coaches didn't neglect to same save material for the bowl, they couldn't afford to. If they did, they wouldn't get to the bowl. That's the point.

I acknowledge Boise's prowess in beating respectable teams 75% of the time  in the last five seasons. I don't think that's worthy of being granted the opportunity to play for the National Championship as others do. Cool.

My position is clear, the two teams with the best resumes at the end of the year should play for the crystal ball; that won't be Boise St. If it is, I declare bullshit. Sue me.

If Boise gets to the title game and route routs someone, I'll give them credit. They won't do that because they've never routed anyone. But, in case they do, I'd give them credit.

Boise doesn't make excuses except for that part where they bitch and moan about "we can't get anyone to play us because there's nothing in it for them."