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Road To The BCS: The Fringe Games That Will Have An Effect

The Road to the BCS series is back and we will go through some games that will affect the non-BCS teams (not going to fall to the pressure of saying non-AQ) in their quest for a BCS game. Plus, for each game there will be a section of who you should be rooting for. These games will be realistic games that could provide an upset or effect the outcome of the BCS standings.

As always, I prefer chaos to possibly break the system; wouldn't it be cool if there was a tie for second in the BCS standings. All rankings will be the coaches poll until the BCS standings are released. Links go to insightful content, and all times are eastern.


With the non-BCS automatic spot coming down between Boise State and TCU, it is now time to focus just on TCU since they are a current league member. Yes, Boise State will help in getting AQ status, but it is all about the league this year.

Fresno State Bulldogs at no. 4 Boise State Broncos (Friday, 9:30 p.m. ESPN2/

Fresno State has been perceived as a sleeping giant among the non-BCS schools, but has never made that jump. They are a good quality team under Pat Hill and this will be Boise's toughest test, well since last week when Boise State obliterated Hawai'i. Fresno State is more balanced with a running game to compliment the passing game. Fresno State has nothing to lose, they are not going to finish in the top two in the league nor are they going to move up the bowl pecking order. So, look for Pat Hill to pull out all the stops to try to beat Boise State.

Rooting interest: Fresno State.

No. 9 Ohio State Buckeyes at no. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes (3:30 p.m. ESPN/

The reason this game is important is because of the at-large situation that could leave out Boise State or TCU. The Big 10 race is still very crowded and an Iowa win would knock out Ohio State from the Rose Bowl race and most likely out of the at-large discussion.  Iowa is coming off of an upset against Northwestern and will want some revenge, but in the ever pessimistic/sarcastic ways SB Nation's Iowa site, Black Heart Gold Pants, has their top 10 reasons why Iowa will lose. I say just stop Terrell Pryor, but that is me.

Rooting interest: Iowa 

New Mexico State Aggies at No. 18 Nevada Wolfpack (4 p.m. PPV)

Nevada should easily take care of business against New Mexico State, but if for some reason Nevada loses that will severely hurt Boise State in the computer rankings and making it tougher for them to surpass TCU.

Rooting interest: New Mexico State, but not going to happen.

No. 16 Virginia Tech Hokies at no. 24 Miami, FL (3:30 p.m. ESPN/

The Hokies are on an eight game winning streak and a win against Miami, FL puts the Hokies in the ACC title game. When Virginia Tech lost to James Madison a week after they lost to Boise State the feeling was that the only quality win Boise State had on their schedule was now gone. With the Hokies resurgence they could possibly be back in the top 10 if things fall their way come Dec. 5th when the final BCS standings are released. 

For the actual game Jacory Harris is still questionable for Miami since he is still suffering effects from a concussion he suffered a few weeks ago. Miami should go with the hot hand in quarterback Stephen Morris as he gives them the best chance to win. Here is all you need to know about this matchup from two sources who are much more versed then myself.

Rooting interest: Miami, FL

No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers at no.19 Texas A&M Aggies (8 p.m. ABC/

This is a similar game to the Iowa and Ohio State game mentioned above. A Texas A&M win puts Nebraska outside looking in for an at-large BCS bid, but even with a loss the Cornhuskers should be heading to the Big XII title game. Do not be surprised if Texas A&M pulls the upset on Saturday. The Aggies are a completely different team after they benched human turnover machine Jerrod Johnson for Ryan Tannehill; ever since that move the Aggies are looking very good. TCU fans despise Texas A&M since they are the only former Southwest Conference team to not schedule the Horned Frogs, but they should be rooting for the Aggies to take down Nebraska.

Rooting interest: Texas A&M

No. 14 Oklahoma Sooners at Baylor Bears (8 p.m. ESPN2/

Oklahoma will need some help to get to the Big XiI title game, but sitting at 14 they are in the at-large pool to be considered for a BCS game. The Sooners are known to travel well and could be chosen over a fourth ranked TCU or Boise State, especially if the choice is to go to the Orange Bowl where the Sooners have shown up in the past. First, Oklahoma must get past Robert Griffin III who is Baylor's excellent dual threat quarterback. Baylor has been struggling a bit and Bob Stoops is known for putting together a good game plan against mobile quarterbacks. 

Rooting interest: Baylor

No. 23 Utah Utes at San Diego State Aztecs (10 p.m. The Mtn.)

Utah has been struggling the past two weeks and their word from Salt Lake City that Jordan Wynn, while still the teams quarterback, will be pulled if things do not go well early on. TCU really needs Utah to pull this game out to make their win over the Utes when they were at five look a little bit better. San Diego State has the passing game with quarterback Ryan Lindley throwing to Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson to take advantage of Utah's suspect secondary. 

Rooting interest: Utah