Undeserving Broncos

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The Spectrum

Boise State is on a collision course with the National Championship game.

After edging out No. 13 Virginia Tech, 33-30, at FedEx Field in the nation's capital, the No. 3 Broncos look like they can play their way into the title game thanks to a favorable schedule.

While Monday night's win may be impressive, Boise State's strength of schedule leaves something to be desired if they are to be a national title contender.

Since 2002, the Broncos have lost just one game in the Western Athletic Conference. They have compiled a conference record of 48-1 during that time period with their last conference loss coming in 2005 to Fresno State.

But matched up against lesser competition in a weaker conference does not bode well for Idaho's powerhouse.

With teams including Wyoming, New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech and Idaho on their schedule, many believe that Boise State does not have enough stiff competition to be considered one of the nation's top football programs.

This season, the Broncos' lone remaining quality opponent is in two weeks when they host Oregon State. The Beavers are a good team that could potentially bust national championship dreams, but defeating another top 10 opponent such as Ohio State or Alabama would give Boise State more credibility.

Being considered a big-time collegiate football program goes beyond wins on the field. Recruiting and staffing play a big part in a program's national prestige.

Conference powerhouses in the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC play ranked opponents on consecutive weekends. It's hard for me to believe that the Broncos could be successful in a better conference against top opponents every week.

I'll give credit where credit is due.

Boise State finished undefeated last season at 14-0, which is a tough feat no matter what conference you play in. But making the case for a national title bid for an undefeated team from the WAC against an undefeated team from a stronger conference shouldn't be an issue.

If Ohio State, Penn State or Iowa go undefeated this season, I'd be hard pressed to put Boise State in the season's biggest game ahead of any of those teams.

Ohio State, for example, plays conference road games at Wisconsin and Iowa – both of which are ranked in the top 15 currently. They also host Penn State and Michigan, and will host an up-and-coming Miami Hurricane team this weekend.

Not exactly a walk in the park.

Should Ohio State finish the season with just one loss, would it be fair to give an undefeated, yet unchallenged, Boise State team the opportunity to play in the BCS Championship?

No.

There's no denying that Boise State is a fun team to watch. Junior quarterback Kellen Moore is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate and senior receiver Titus Young is shaping up to be a future star.

But in the grand scheme of things, the Broncos just haven't convinced me that they're in the same category as Alabama, Ohio State, Texas and Florida. They need to beef up the strength of their schedule or join a stronger conference. But until then, Boise State is just a child in a man's world.