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Virginia Tech game has implications for Boise State

While Coach Frank Beamer and the Hokies have shown through the years that a season-opening loss is not the end of the world, that doesn’t seem to be the case for Boise State heading into Monday's hyped matchup at Fedex Field.

The Broncos' margin of error is basically non-existent if it hopes to duplicate 2009 and make a BCS bowl game, a fact Boise State's President, Bob Kustra, acknowledged earlier this month.

"To me ... Virginia Tech, everything is riding on that one," Kustra told "The Virginia Tech game is looming large and [is] what will drive the program."

If that wasn’t enough, just take a look at a sampling of the national clippings in advance of this weekend’s marquee nonconference matchup.

The Wall Street Journal: “If Boise State beats Virginia Tech on Sept. 6, the once-unthinkable may come to pass: An obscure school outside the sport's traditional power structure may reach the national-championship game.”

The New York Times: “If Boise State stumbles against Virginia Tech or if T.C.U. loses to Oregon State, their conference schedules probably would not be strong enough to make up for the missteps. Their national-championship hopes will almost certainly be gone, and the skeptics will try make sure they do not return anytime soon.”

Yahoo!: “If the Broncos beat Va. Tech only one significant hurdle remains on the season – a Sept. 25 home game against No. 24 Oregon State. … Because Boise is so highly ranked in the preseason poll – an advantage that should carry over to the opinion-heavy BCS formula – its championship hopes essentially boil down to a two-game season.”

Other than the fact that Coach Mike Riley and the Oregon State Beavers have an inordinate amount of influence on the fate of mid-major college football, there's no mistaking the pressure the Broncos face Monday night.

Boise State is 9-5 in season openers since becoming a Division-I football program in 1996, but it has never won a game away from Broncos Stadium to begin a season. And when their first game has come against a ranked opponent, the Broncos record is just 1-3 all time. The bright side is, that one victory came last year in a 19-8 home victory over No. 16 Oregon.

“[The players] kind of know that the hype is overrated, and that’s all it is right now,” said Boise State Coach Chris Petersen. “... They’re excited to play because they have tremendous respect for Virginia Tech but all the other stuff doesn’t really matter. We kind of live in a cocoon here. Not that they don’t see things or hear things, but they’re pretty busy with school and ... with football. They don’t get too caught up in everything else."

By Mark Giannotto  |  September 1, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
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Next: Hokies CB Jayron Hosley will start vs. Boise State


...and this is one of the big reasons why the BCS doesn't work. A school like Boise State plays one legit opponent all year, and if they win are likely to win out the rest of their schedule, which is against schools that are for the most part borderline FBS programs.

Meanwhile, teams in the SEC, Big 12, Big 10, Pac 10, and ACC are playing each other all fall and might have three games against borderline teams, at most.

When Boise State, Utah, et. al. start playing real D1 FBS schedules, then they can be considered for the BCS. Until then, send them to the Holiday Bowl.

Posted by: kemp13 | September 2, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

As long as the presidents of Ohio State and Florida and the like continue to think they can make more money via the current BCS structure than through a playoff system, nothing's gonna change.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 2, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

If you want to prove that Boise State doesn't deserve where they are, beat them. If the BCS will only give Boise State 1-2 games a season to prove themselves, then that is the standard that is set. When Boise State beats them, they have just as much right in the current system as any other team from the big conferences. One thing people tend to forget about is the fact that if Boise State were in a big conference, they'd be getting big conference players. So far they've been beating their big conference opponents with mid-grade players. Boise State has leveled the playing field with great coaching and a complete team so before anyone decides whether or not they can hold up in a big conference, we need to take these things into consideration.

Posted by: DTinteractive | September 6, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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