Boise Makes a Statement “Are They BCS Worthy or Bust?”

Tom Chieppo

The Cinderella story continued for the No.3 ranked Boise State Broncos as they defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 33-30 during the fourth quarter. Kellen Moore TD passed to Austin Pettis for a 13 yard score at 1:09 left on the clock to give the Broncos their 15th regular season win on Labor Day at Fed EX Field, home of the Washington Redskins since 1997.
With a 17-0 lead in the first quarter by the Broncos, the Hokies dominated through the second quarter and on, but couldn’t hold on in the end. This was the first time both of these schools faced each other in the regular season in a span of 42 years.  In front of 86,587 people, which was pro Virginia Tech even though the game was played at a neutral site,  Moore, junior quarterback for Boise State, was able to hold his composure and lead his team down the grid iron for an exciting victory. This victory was perhaps the biggest win in regular season history for Boise State.  “We are certainly proving people right now,” he said, according to  “You should gain a little respect by beating Virginia Tech out here.  You’re basically playing a road game; you’re having one heck of a game with them, just fighting back and forth.”  Moore is now 27-1 as the starting Quarterback, going 23 for 38 with 215 passing yards and throwing for three scores.  What makes him so effective?  He’s a football aficionado and is a great game manager.  He’s a major student of the game and knows how to utilize the weapons around him.  Moore makes good decisions, but, more importantly, he avoids making stupid mistakes.

Austin Pettis, Broncos’ wide receiver, made Moore’s and the entire Boise State University’s night by giving them a reason to believe that they were BCS National Championship material.  “We know how much was at stake for us, so it was kind of like a bowl game,” he said according to  “There’s a lot we need to work on too because there were a lot of mistakes we made.  We can’t afford any slip-ups especially after setting up ourselves like this.”  Credit has to go to the Broncos Head Coach, Chris Petersen, whose in his fifth year with a 50-4 record and is taking each game one at a time.  “Game 1 and that’s what it is,” he said on ESPN after the game.  “We’re just pleased to get out of here with a W.”  The Broncos are highly talented and so well-coached, making them such a dangerous opponent to play against, especially since they are proving people right.  They were 6 for 15 in 3rd down conversions and had 215 yards passing, 168 yards rushing, giving them a total of 383 yards.

As for the Hokies, they have fought valiantly every step of the way, but their chances of getting in the BCS hunt are over.  The Hokies fell 0-22 against Associated Press’ top-5 teams away from home, 1-26 overall.  It was the first time since Dec. 2007 that Virginia Tech lost a regular-season game when scoring 30-plus points.  Head Coach of Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer, who is in his 24th season with a 187-93-2 record, said the following after the game:  “When it’s all said and done, we were one first down from winning that football game,” according to

Now, the debate begins with Boise State becoming the first team from a league without an automatic BCS bid to play for a national championship if they go undefeated.  The Broncos, starting from 2002 to 2009, have been unbeaten at home with a 51 game winning streak and are absolutely unbelievable.  Western Athletic Conference (WAC) is clearly dominated by the Broncos with a (71-9) record, a total of 89%, the highest winning percentage in the conference, a total of 15 conference titles, and being 4-1 against teams in the AP top-10 since 2000.  The USA Today’s coach’s poll had the Broncos ranked fifth, the AP had them ranked third, and the NCAA had the squad ranked second.  Talk about the amount of public interest they’re getting. Maybe the Broncos can get the respect they so desperately want right now after one game against a quality Virginia Tech team.  They are America’s underdog in all of college football.  Are they BCS Championship worthy?

Right now, the Broncos are in the discussion with other teams like Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, TCU, South Carolina, Iowa, Florida, Ohio State, etc.  They still have to beat Wyoming, Oregon State, Fresno State, and Nevada to become more worthy.  The enormous factor in all of this is the strength of schedule. Teams like Alabama play stronger opponents and are in a super conference with much more competiveness.  The Broncos would have to be ranked No.1 and be the only team undefeated to get a shot at the National Championship, but the problem with college football is that there’s never going to be a playoff system.  Also, if Alabama and Ohio State go undefeated or a team out of the SEC Conference, like South Carolina, wins out by leap frogging the Broncos out of title contention, the Broncos will be in trouble.

There’s a lucrative solution to this issue. The answer is that they should decide the National Championship the same way other teams do in the NCAA, which means having a 16-team playoff.  The Broncos would have to beat three elite opponents to get to the national title game, eliminating all concerns about the schedule.  Until that happens, this debate will keep raging on.  Making teams earn their stripes and prove to the world why they’re the best teams in college football will make things more fair overall.