Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
For the last few years it's been a given that a non-BCS team would have to go undefeated to make a BCS bowl. In three of the last four seasons, Hawaii, Boise State and Utah have all accomplished this feat, and both Boise State and Utah won their respective bowl games. Still, the dubious distinction of being a non-BCS institution makes the road to the top of the BCS much more difficult than one of the BCS' major players.
An article in College Football News breaks down this very subject and gives its predictions on which non-BCS teams have a chance to be "The next Hawaii."
Now, I don't agree with the article's assertion that BYU has the inside track. I believe Utah, if healthy, has the schedule and the players to make an undefeated run. The game at Michigan gives Utah instant credibility if it wins, and bouts with Oregon State, TCU and BYU toward the end of the season should be enough to pad out the schedule.
I do like CFN's fearless Tulsa prediction. I, too, think Tulsa could be a force this season if it can decide on a quarterback (my vote is for Clark Harrell). The Golden Hurricanes picked up former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. The defense will be an issue considering Tulsa gave up 469 yards per game last season.
Boise State fan site, One Bronco Nation Under God, wasn't thrilled by the article considering the question used to be, "Who is this year's Boise State?" It's tough being the old prom date that doesn't get invited back to the dance the next year. It creates bitterness. I understand. Personal experience. The good news is that Boise State has the schedule to make an undefeated run. If they can get through the trip to Oregon, which never is an easy place to play, the Broncos should be able to pull that old dress out of the closet.