O.K. Here’s the disclosure right up front. I’m a longtime Boise State Broncos fan. Had season tickets for 25 years or so. I think they’ve been getting a bad rap from the national talking heads and that damned BCS poll. So there.

But I’m not a Boise State apologist because their schedule is not as tough as I’d like to see … or as it should be … for a serious national championship contender. So saying, my prediction: the Broncos will never appear in a BCS championship game unless the larger schools will put ‘em on their schedules. Which at this point most of those at the top won’t do, though Michigan will for the next three years.

Another personal stand: in my opinion, the BCS should be abolished in favor of a national playoff. Don’t give me that crap about what a problem that would be to figure out and schedule. We’ve won wars, gone to the moon and put a Democrat in the White House. We can do anything! But there’s so much money at stake we won’t do it.

Over a year ago, the Bronco’s Athletic Director, the head of the Western Athletic Conference and an ESPN rep called some of the major schools: Oklahoma, Alabama, etc. They offered $1 million or more for one game, the Broncos would go to the other school’s stadium with no return game required and they offered some other perks to make it a sweetheart deal. The sound of all those telephones being hung up repeatedly could be heard from coast to coast.

The word “NO” was pronounced with many regional accents. But it was always “NO.”

My vision of how that experience probably played out in all those other athletic director’s offices is likely close to the truth. In the last several years, Boise State has proven repeatedly … on any given day … it can stand toe-to-toe on any field and probably beat the other guys. They’ve knocked off some significant teams … TCU, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Oregon, etc. “So if this little school from fly-over country is as good as it looks,” the AD’s think to themselves, “they could blow our run at a national championship. No thanks!”

Coach Petersen says “We’ve done everything they’ve asked us to do.” And they have. In spades. Current win streak is 22. The overall record under Petersen is 73-2. They haven’t lost at home in years. No school and no coach out there can match those statements.

Last Saturday, BSU clobbered six-wins-in-a-row Hawaii; a team that normally racked up nearly 400 yards of offense a game. Not this time. Boise quarterback Kellen Moore alone (30 for 37) had 507 yards of offense! Most quarterbacks play their entire careers without doing that. Three other Boise players totaled 339 yards. Other statistics were just as impressive.

If Boise State runs the table, Bronco players will spend the day of the national championship game at home watching at least one team … with one or more losses … play on TV that day. It’s happened before and it will happen again. Last season, for example, Boise was the only team in the country with 13 wins. And they were left out.

Until the big schools give Boise a shot, none of this will change. For two reasons: money and the damned BCS. When sports writers and coaches give them the same ranking in separate polls for separate reasons, then the computer knocks them lower, the system is badly flawed.

Football is a game. A game of people: players, coaches, journalists, fans. It’s not a computer simulation. No other sport ignores the results on the field and the rankings of professionals, then loads its statistics into a hard drive and ranks teams by the electronic outcome. That just doesn’t make sense.

I currently live 60 miles from the number one ranked team: the University of Oregon Ducks. Oregon has an athletic budget of $15 million plus. Boise State: about $3 million. But when they got on the same field in 2009, with substantially the same players as this year, the Broncos sent them home minus some feathers.

Money is important to a successful sports program. But so are heart and determination. And a damned good coach. Boise State has three out of those four but plays the game like the richest schools.

Those three factors matter little to the BCS computers. But they are everything on the field. That’s why sports professionals with some guts … and a true love of the game of football … should pull the BCS plug and take up the challenge of a national playoff.

Until then, college football in America will be little more than a computer game.

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