There has been plenty of chatter about Boise State dropping one spot in the polls to No. 4 after its 59-0 win over New Mexico State. Oregon moved up to No. 3 after its 52-31 win over No. 9 Stanford.
Predictably, Boise State coach Chris Petersen refused to get into the poll talk, saying, "You ask that question in December."
His fellow WAC coaches came to the defense of the Broncos.
"I do know that Oregon, the last two times they played Boise State, they got beat," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said. New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker, who used to coach in the Pac-10, said he thought they would have no problem being "more than competitive" in the Pac-10.
Meanwhile, WAC commissioner Karl Benson said on the league's conference call he wanted poll reform in the coaches' poll, suspecting some had Boise State in "double digits." All the coaches' ballots are confidential except for the final regular-season vote. USA Today college football reporter Kelly Whiteside indicated on her Twitter account that one coach had Boise State at No. 10 and one had the Broncos at No. 8.
We all know there is a double standard when it comes to the Broncos, who are held accountable for their WAC schedule. You would be hard-pressed to find another team dropping in the polls after a 59-0 win. In fact, Oregon jumped four spots to No. 7 in the AP poll and three spots to No. 8 in the coaches' poll after beating New Mexico 72-0 in the season opener. New Mexico and New Mexico State are both winless and two of the worst teams in the country. So why the difference in voting?
I still have Boise State at No. 3 in my power rankings, much to the consternation of many readers. Here is my reasoning, for those who have asked for an explanation:
Boise State has beaten more ranked teams than Oregon at this point in time. The Broncos beat a top-10 team on the road to start the season. Hey, if you want to say Stanford was a top-10 team, then you have to say Virginia Tech was a top-10 team. That win over a top-10 team for the Ducks came at home. Oregon also beat an Arizona State team (2-3) that just lost to Oregon State -- the other ranked team the Broncos beat.
Boise State has not played an FCS team. Oregon has.
The other victory for the Broncos is over a 2-3 Wyoming team on the road. Oregon has a win over a 2-3 Tennessee team on the road.
To me, there is not much discrepancy in the results as I just laid them out. This is to take nothing away from the Ducks. They have obviously been impressive, and I leapfrogged them over TCU into the No. 4 spot on my ballot. But I am not yet ready to move Boise State from that No. 3 spot, certainly not after a 59-0 win.
Of course, most of this is moot right now anyway. An undefeated Boise State is going to need help to make it into the BCS national championship game. Sliding down to No. 4 does not change that. Will the Broncos keep sliding? If other teams from power conferences keep winning, no question about it. But we knew that would happen. What remains to be seen is how Boise State will be ranked when/if some of those teams start losing.
That of course, will no doubt create more interest in a playoff. Most coaches like the bowl system, but Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said Tuesday he believes a playoff system is inevitable.
"There’s really not a lot of rhyme or reason some weeks what goes on," said Whittingham, whose team moved up two spots to No. 10 despite being idle. "What happens to your own team is more dependent on what happens to other teams, that’s just how it is. Until there’s a playoff system, I don’t think anything’s going to be real accurate. I think there should be a playoff system. Ranking teams and deciding by popular vote who’s the best, I don’t buy that."