Bowl projections are making there away around the Internet more frequently as six weeks of college football has been played, and the latest from CBS Sports' BCS expert Jerry Palm, he has Boise State playing Florida State in the Orange Bowl. That is no typo, Palm really does have Boise State in a BCS bowl game.
Upon first reading the projections it seemed laughable since Boise State is No. 22 in the simulated BCS standings, and they are six spots away from even being eligible for the BCS. However, seeing the Broncos in another BCS bowl game is not as far fetched as one might be thinking.
Currently, the Big Ten has no team ranked in the top 25 of either the Harris or USA Today's coaches poll; then in the simulated BCS standings they are also shutout. Michigan State is the closest team to be a threat to Boise State. With the Big Ten having a team below the 16th spot, that just means that all Boise State has to do is finish 16th in BCS standings, and stay ahead of the Big Ten champion.
Normally, the Big East is the league that has their best team near the bottom of the rankings, but with Ohio State ineligible for the BCS that is how the Big Ten takes that honor.
If Boise State wins out, they likely will be able to move up six spots, and their schedule only has two really difficult games in Fresno State who they play at home on Saturday Oct. 13. Then they go on the road to face Nevada on Dec. 1. Those are not overly tough games compared to other leagues, but if they get past Fresno State, and then Nevada keeps winning then the two teams could be ranked when they play. Thus, giving Boise State some juice on championship Saturday.
So, it is not out of the question that Boise State could make it up to No. 16, but if they have to get to No. 12 that is highly unlikely.
The next question is: Does Boise State deserve to be in a BCS game? Well, if they qualify, then yes. However, this team is not as dominant as one's in year's past, as we have seen with struggles against a just average Michigan State team, and then having an offense that is just awful against defenses with a pulse. Going by quality of the team my assessment would be that they are not on par with the top teams in college football.
If they make it to a BCS bowl game it would be due to having a great defense, and it would be a sight to see this Boise State defense go up against a team like Florida State who as of now has the No. 14 ranked total offense. However, if the game required points of any kind, Boise State would not stand a chance.
To bring it back full circle, the thinking behind Palm's choice of having Boise State in a BCS game is due to a lackluster Big Ten, and also their schedule which is favorable outside of two games. Plus, some national respect they have built up over the past few decade.
Time will tell if Boise State can make a run at a BCS bowl, and if they make it to one this could be one of the best seasons that this school has had since making a major bowl game was probably not even on the radar of anyone associated to this team.