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Road to the BCS: What Boise State (and Nevada) results need to happen this week

Boise State, and to a lesser extent, Nevada have a shot to earn a BCS bowl bid, since the Big Ten is having a down year.

Christian Petersen

This feature is back!

It took a back seats since Mountain West teams have been struggling this year to crack the top 20 of the rankings this year. However, with the Big Ten looking like they might not have a top 16, this allows teams to make a BCS game by staying ahead of the Big Ten, and being ranked 16th instead of 12.

Below will be key games that can help Boise State, or Nevada, move into the top 16.

Virginia Tech at No. 19 Clemson, 12 p.m. ET, TV: ESPN

The Hokies have not lived up to their hype as they are 4-3, and no longer near the rankings, but then their Clemson. Well, they do not always have the stellar track record of beating who they are suppose to beat. Clemson allows teams to hang around, so that could be how Virginia Tech gets the win.

Rooting interest: Clemson

No. 20 Stanford at Cal, 3 p.m. ET, TV: FOX

Cal is an up and down team, and could really upset Stanford at home. Don't forget that Cal nearly upset Ohio State, but they also lost to Nevada. So, anything can happen in this game. Stanford has lost two of three, and only had one really convincing win this year. Outside of the Duke game, every game, win or lose, has been decided by seven points or less.

Rooting interest: Cal, not that Stanford will make a BCS game, Boise State/Nevada just need to push them aside to allow Boise to move up.

Michigan State at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. ET, TV: Big Ten Network

No. 21 Cincinnati at Toledo, 7 p.m. ET, TV: ESPN3

While Cincy is 6-0, their opponents has been pretty light, outside of PItt and Virginia Tech. Toledo could actually be the toughest team they will have played to date. Statistically, Toledo is much better than the Cincinnati, and if Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens is on then Toledo could pull off the upset.

Rooting interest: Duh, Toledo. However, a win for the Rockets could push put in the rankings, and thus place themselves in contention for a BCS game.

There are a lot of other games that could have an impact, but these games are the first step in getting teams out of the way.