22.May.2010 Boise State Deserves to Play for the National Title? Also Known as: Angrybeaver Attacks Ted Miller

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Have you ever seen the show “Masterminds” on TruTV? It chronicles brilliant schemes that lined the pockets of the world’s most duplicitous criminals. The show is fascinating because of the internal conflict it creates in the viewer. On one hand, you know these men are criminals. Yet, the elegance and brilliance of their crimes forces you to respect them. It’s in this manner I respect Boise State. They play the game (i.e. system) brilliantly. They are truly masters of manipulation, and that is what is rewarded in modern college football. So, kudos, and I mean that. I wish the Beavers were so savvy.

That being said, I don’t think they’re a National Title team, and further, I think they’d be a middle of the PAC team were they in the conference. “Getting up” for one game a year is simply not the same as having to do it every week. Ted Miller wrote the following piece, and it infuriated me that someone as intelligent as Ted has fallen for the smoke & mirrors that is Boise State. The discussion follows:

Ted Miller:

First, it’s not Boise State’s fault they are in the WAC. I’m sure they’d join the Big 12 or Pac-10 if invited. Moreover, the Broncos are aggressive nonconference schedulers. This fall, they play Virginia Tech and Oregon State, a top-10 team and top-25 team, respectively, from BCS conferences.

Boise State deserves — and has earned — national respect, see a pair of Fiesta Bowl wins as well as a home-and-home sweep versus Oregon. If the Broncos go undefeated in 2010, at this point it seems to me they deserve a chance to play for the national title over a one-loss team from a BCS conference (though a qualifier on that is if both Virginia Tech and Oregon State go belly-up and lose a bunch of games).

Further, you could argue that Texas played a regular-season schedule in 2009 that is comparable to what Boise State faces in 2010. The Longhorns slate looked weak in the preseason and weaker as the season went on. And Florida played only one team that ended up ranked in the final top-25 — No. 17 LSU — during the regular season.

Moreover, I think it’s more equitable to, as you say, “ding” the “have” schools for avoiding competition than the “have not” programs. Those schools you mention have a choice, and sometimes they choose the cowardly path and play four nonconference patsies.

So, no, if USC, Texas, Ohio State, Florida or Miami played Boise’s schedule and went undefeated I would not necessarily put them in the national title game. But I might with Boise State.

Angry:

Ted,
You’re a smart guy, so I am really surprised you’re not seeing through the smoke and mirror show that is Boise State. Let’s dissect your argument.
1. Boise State plays a tough OOC schedule.
2002: Idaho, Arkansas (lost by 4 touchdowns), Wyoming, Utah State
2003: Idaho State, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon State (loss)
2004: Idaho, Oregon State, BYU
2005: Georgia (lost by 5 touchdowns), Oregon State (loss), Bowling Green
2006: Sacramento State, Oregon State, Wyoming.
2007: Weber State, Washington (lost by 10 to a 5-7 Huskie team), Wyoming, Southern Miss (that’s Southern Miss, not Ol’ Miss).
2008: Idaho State, Bowling Green, Oregon, Louisiana Tech
2009: Oregon, Miami (OH), Bowling Green, UC Davis, Tulsa

I have them at 5-5 in their “difficult” OOC PAC-10 and SEC games, having lost to some horrendous Pac-10 teams (2005 Beavers, 2007 Huskies) in that time period. I think you’re being confused by the smoke and mirrors of scheduling, the fact that they tend to win their “big games” on Thursday nights, the outcome vs Oregon the past two years, etc. You’re not looking at their entire body of work. Unless you think playing Idaho, Idaho State, Utah State, and Wyoming are difficult games. Maybe you do.

2. You frown upon the “have” schools playing patsies. Yet, your claim that Boise State deserves to play for the national title, by definition, makes them a “have” school. It is incongruent, Ted, and you know it, to award x and penalize y for the same behavior.

Boise State would probably win 6 games in the Pac-10. College football is all about perception and scheduling–look to the SEC as proof. Boise State Administrators are masters of scheduling and system manipulation. The only have to “get up” for one, maybe two games a year. That’s a lot different than having to be prepared every week.

They’re smart in how they do business. As a huge fan of the Pac-10, I find it offensive to compare our conference to any team from the WAC. Yes, I know with modern scholarship rules the playing field is more leveled, but that’s like saying a mountain is now a hill. Okay, fair enough. I think an atrocious team like Washington would do major damage in the WAC, likely beating out Boise State for the title. In short, you cannot compare a grueling weekly schedule against a dozen cupcakes and one tough game. You just can’t do it. Or you can, but you’d be wrong.

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  • 2 says:
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    Angry,

    I read your blog from time to time just to see a different point of view. Some of the things you write about OSU i agree with others not so much. I have to say this is something that I completly agree with you on, and one of the most frustrating things in college football. Mid majors that don’t play as good of teams week in and week out that the “big” conferences do. One thing though that bodes well for Boise is I do think this year will be their best team they have had.

    On a side note, I know you have stated that this year occ was a bad move play tcu and boise, but I kinda disagree. For the reason you bring up here exactly. I honestly believe that we have a shot to beat both those teams. TCU more so than Boise, but still a chance to beat Boise. I think if TCU or Boise played in Pac 10 they would be about average. I’m going to Boise for that game so I can be there when it happens… hopefully…

    Anyways good topic glad you brought this up.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      “On a side note, I know you have stated that this year occ was a bad move play tcu and boise, but I kinda disagree.’

      No, I said it is a great move, actually.

      a. Income
      b. Two BCS level opponents. The TCU game should have a magical atmosphere.

      I’m all for *scheduling* BCS(-level) games and getting your income/prestige and fan-base riled up that way if you can’t play your way into these games. The Beavers can’t right now, so it’s good use of schedule manipulation (what college ball is all about right now).

      If they pull off a miracle and actually win one of these games, that is icing on the cake.

  • 2 says:
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    Also whats your opinion on Boise joining the Mountain West?
    I have also heard that Boise is going to join the Mountain West next year. That would defanitley change my opinion on both of those teams and that conference as a whole. Boise, Utah, BYU, TCU would make that a legit league in my opinion.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I think it would be a top-heavy, B-level BCS conference.

      TCU (6/6) 8-0 12-1
      BYU (12/12) 7-1 11-2
      Utah (18/18) 6-2 10-3
      Air Force 5-3 8-5
      Wyoming 4-4 7-6
      UNLV 3-5 5-7
      San Diego State 2-6 4-8
      New Mexico 1-7 1-11
      Colorado State 0-8 3-9

      I’d definitely have a ton more respect if they went undefeated in this conference, as there are 3 good opponents. Add a few tough OOC games, etc. If BSU is playing 5 quality opponents per year and then beating up on UNLV, CSU, and Wyoming I can stomach that.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I think if BSU joined the MWC it would qualify the conference as a BCS conference for the next assessment period.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Now they’re talking Beavs/Ducks. Duck flamers are out talking about the little brother mentality.

    Just posted this response (sort of love the derby/pony analogy at the end–I think I’ll use it in future write ups!):

    If you expand the Civil War to mean all OSU-Oregon contests it’s pretty equal.

    Baseball 153-147
    Football 46-57
    Basketball 181-150
    —————— —
    Oregon State–380
    Oregon–354
    ————–
    Beavs win two of the three major men’s sports. It becomes hard to justify the “little brother” tag. With that moniker, what Duck fans are trying to do is (a) get under Beaver fans’ skin (because they’re bored and have nothing else to do on a Saturday?) and (b) ridicule the B-level talent on the Beavers roster.

    I would rather have the Duck football players, no doubt, but the Beavs don’t have good recruiters on staff, so they aren’t landing that talent any time soon. They have talent evaluators and coaches, but they don’t have recruiters. The Ducks sell themselves with facilities. They don’t need good recruiters, but they have them, too. Advantage: Ducks. If the Beavers ever have a Craig Robinson type as our football coach you’ll see these two teams playing at the same speed. Right now the Beavs are a step slow across the board, and it’s all founded in the recruiting process–can’t win a derby riding ponies.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    It is hard to figure out BSU, but overall I agree with your premise that they are not challenged in the WAC and if in a higher caliber league they would be a solid but not BCS level team. They have had the occassional close call against teams like San Jose St, but somehow to their credit they keep avoiding that bad conference loss that immediately slides them out of the BCS picture. Also, they really beat up on mediocore BYU and Utah teams in recent years.

  • Not a Crime says:
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    I think Boise State and the WAC should play a end of season, pre-bowl selection, inter-confrence championship game against the MWC.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    I’m taking no prisoners. Ted Miller is officially an idiot and a marked man.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Miller did become the first to do to Doctor what I expected Beavs marketing geniuses to do…
    http://espn.go.com/blog/pac10/post/_/id/10053/pac-10-lunch-links-cougars-get-two-recruiting-commitments

  • Warren says:
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    Kind of off topic, but I’m really excited about our chances with Jesse Williams.

  • Jim S says:
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    The trouble with the get up for one game per year argument is these games come at or near the beginning of the season, or in the bowls. BSU does not take a cheap shot on UO or OSU during the middle of conference play, say the week after USC. They generally play the quality teams when the other team has plenty of time to prepare and get up for BSU. And if teams have not been getting “up” for BSU the last few years, they are idiots.

    Oklahoma, TCU, and UO (at least last year, not sure about the schedule the year before, @Purdue?) had the same amount of time to get prepared and “up” for the game. The last game I recall where they looked out of their league was 5 years ago @ Georgia. When Wilcox became DC, they took a huge step up and became a complete team. What will happen now that he is gone is a good question.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do NOT like BSU, but at this point it is tough to dump on them. At least before Wilcox left, they had arguably the best coaching staff in the country. And perhaps other quality teams do not want to play them, as it has been a no-win situation for them due to perceptions. You win, “so what”, you lose, “I can’t believe you lost to a mid-major”.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      They seem to get lucky in when they play respected programs like Oregon and Oklahoma. They get the Sooners after a failed title bid in a game the Sooners were disappointed to be in (yet still almost won), and then they get the Ducks in Chip Kelly’s first game where he’s intent on throwing the ball for some reason. Sure, they won at Autzen, but didn’t Darren Thomas play QB that game (or is memory failing?)??

      BSU is a top 25-30 team, much like the Beavers, but definitely not title contenders. Any talk of that means the speaker has been scammed.

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