BCS Busters for 2005
By Dave Hershorin
NationalChamps.net Managing Editor
 
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August 30, 2005

Since we now redefine Louisville as a BSC-aligned team and not an ‘upstart’, who are the remaining small guys in line for a possible BCS bid? After much ballyhooed consideration, our job in paring this list down as far as we have wasn’t an easy one. But if a BCS “Buster” comes from a team other than these, we will dress up in tights and sachet through Brookside Park before the Rose Bowl.

  • Boise State is impossible to ignore – not due to their blue turf, but because they run the most balanced offense outside of the Golden State. An easy bet – ask a football-savvy friend if he/she knows whether State actually had a higher ranked rushing or passing offense. The Broncos finally put the proverbial horse in front of the cart as they ranked 14th in rushing and 20th in passing (though their 11th rank in pass efficiency upsets our claim). Junior QB Jared Zabransky is now in his second year at the helm, which means that much more experience and that many less mistakes from this sharp cookie. Only a weak secondary will keep Boise State from fulfilling its BCS destiny.

 

  • Fresno State has the defensive wares to takes Boise down, but streaky play has to be overcome before the Bulldogs can ascend to permanent top 25 status. Last year’s three-game skid after upsetting BCS-aligned squads at both Washington and Kansas State sets a redeeming tone for 2005. But with an eventual trip (November 19th) to see the defending champs in L.A., along with visits from Toledo and Boise State, this campaign won’t allow the Bulldogs much leeway for both mistakes and BCS consideration. No matter how good they seem in their tune-ups, Fresno’s front seven won’t be able to stop those bigger foes from “running the show”. Hindsight will have fans pointing to 2004 and mumbling “coulda-woulda-shoulda”.

 

  • Problems in 2004 - at both the season’s beginning and end - cost Toledo many votes of confidence for this campaign. Pollsters who might think Gradkowski can lift the No.47 (AP) Rockets past their current status as “big-time wanna-be’s” will have to be convinced of such since Toledo is 2-7 under Gradkowski against BCS-aligned squads. Without any foes of such caliber slated (Temple is now an independent), Toledo has to rely on its Tuesday night tilts – one is September 27th out in Fresno and the other is a likely MAC-championship preview at Bowling Green to end (or define) their campaign – to prove their worth.

 

  • To almost make this a round-robin, Bowling Green rides their own superman (Omar Jacobs) into their September 21st matchup out in Boise. But BG’s upstart status is first tested against Wisconsin, making their road a bit tougher than Toledo’s and the likely reason they win November 22nd’s home tilt with the Rockets. This is the original home of the spread option offense, and (the Meyer-recruited) Jacobs has run their system (that Gregg Brandon has personally perfected) efficiently enough (41TDs and only four INTs in ‘04) to turn pollsters heads. Keep an eye on rural Ohio.

One of these four teams will be this year’s “BCS buster”, if there is one. It may seem unjust that none will be a BCS wildcard if they lose even one game. But a one-loss, top 10, BCS-aligned team would genuinely beat any of these underdogs if they too had a loss already, making some things right in this imperfect world of opinionated rankings.

 

  • Oh, and by the way, Navy does not do nearly as well with their undersized lines and new backfield, and it may be another 40-plus years until they win 10 in one season again. And if you think Utah can rebound from losing Meyer, Smith and (offensive coordinator) Dan Mullen, just watch…payback is a bitch.