BOISE, Idaho -- The Western Athletic Conference commissioner
said Monday that should Boise State finish the regular season
undefeated, the Broncos should get a high enough ranking to get a
berth in a lucrative Bowl Championship Series game.
"Any team that were to finish the season 12-0 certainly is a
deserving team and should be ranked in the Top 12," Commissioner
Karl Benson said during his weekly conference call, where he was
peppered with BCS questions. "I have confidence that the system
will reward a 12-0 team."
The WAC champion doesn't get an automatic berth to one of the
five BCS bowl games, but can qualify if the team is ranked in the
Top 12 of the BCS standings. The WAC champion could also qualify
for a BCS berth if the team is ranked in the Top 16 of the BCS
standings and is also ranked higher than the champion of a
conference that does get an automatic berth.
The first BCS standings will be released Oct. 15.
While the BCS talk swirls around the Broncos, head coach Chris
Petersen so far has dismissed the conjecture.
"It really has nothing to do with us as a team," Petersen
said. "It may in six or seven weeks, but right now it's
irrelevant. Things could change dramatically in two weeks, let
alone seven weeks."
Boise State, at 5-0 (1-0 WAC), is a long way from 12-0. But the
Broncos moved up to No. 20 in The Associated Press poll after
overwhelming Utah 36-3 on Saturday in a game that had been expected
to be one of the Broncos' tougher challenges of the season.
"I think any voter who saw Boise State play Utah saw a very
good team," Benson said.
A BCS berth is worth about $10 million to the conference that
sends the team, said Charles Bloom, BCS media coordinator. Benson
declined to say how much of that would go to Boise State if it
"There'd be a significant windfall to both the WAC and the
member institution," Benson said.
The question for Boise State now becomes not only whether the
Broncos can keep winning, but whether victories over their
remaining opponents will be enough to push them into the Top 12.
The Broncos already have what were considered three of their
more difficult games behind them: a 42-14 win over the Pac-10
Conference's Oregon State on Sept. 7 in Boise; a 41-34 home win
over Hawaii on Sept. 23; and Saturday's rout of Utah on the road in
Boise State's last non-conference game of the regular season.
So far, though, the Broncos have not played a ranked opponent,
and the collective record of their five opponents to date is 9-13.
The Broncos have a favorable schedule remaining, with their most
difficult test likely being Fresno State on Nov. 1 on the blue turf
of Bronco Stadium, where the Broncos are 22-1 the last four years.
The Broncos last went undefeated in the regular season in 2004,
going 11-0 and finishing with a BCS rank of No. 9. But Utah, from
the Mountain West Conference -- which also doesn't get an automatic
berth to a BCS game -- ended up ranked No. 6 and became the first
"BCS buster" with an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl.