The off season is the time of year where rankings and super early projections and with the College Football Playoff starting up in 2014 there are even more lists of projecting frontrunners, top 16 lists and even dark horse candidates.
Brian Fremeau of Football Insiders and ESPN Insider has listed five dark horse candidates which include Texas A&M, Texas, Virginia Tech, Nebraska and, wait for it... Boise State.
Fremeua gives Boise State a very small chance of making the four-team playoff at one percent, so this is an extreme dark horse. The projected record for the Broncos is just 9-3 and Fremeua gives Boise State just a 66 percent chance to even win the Mountain West.
Here is the details on Boise State's possible playoff run:
Boise State has a 50 percent chance of winning at least 10 regular-season games according to our projections (better than all but eight other teams) and only Florida State is more likely to finish the season as a conference champion. But it will take a flawless, dominant campaign for Boise State to make up for its projected 102nd-ranked schedule. [...]
Since there is at least a bit of national cachet with the Broncos' program (.855 against FBS opponents in the past 10 years, best in the nation), Boise State could sneak into the playoff picture by winning big and hoping every other contender trips up once or twice. In order to make the right impression [...]
A win in a neutral-site game against Ole Miss presents a winnable game against an SEC West opponent that has fringe playoff contention dreams of its own. That game alone won't give Boise State an inside track to a playoff berth, but it would certainly be a great start.
A playoff run is highly unlikely as it will not only take an undefeated season but multiple losses for the contenders if Boise State is even going to be anywhere near the top four.