No. 3 Boise State travels to San Jose State
With the initial Bowl Championship Series standings set to be
released Sunday, Boise State coach Chris Petersen wants to shy away
from talk about polls, strength of schedule and computer rankings
even more than usual this week.
He’s willing to make an exception when it comes to talking about
the schedule San Jose State has played heading into Saturday
night’s matchup with the third-ranked Broncos.
The Spartans (1-5, 0-1 WAC) have already played four teams
ranked in the top 20 of the AP poll, losing at No. 8 Alabama, No.
11 Utah, No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 19 Nevada going into their
showdown with Boise State (5-0, 1-0).
”San Jose State’s schedule is ridiculous,” Petersen said.
”You don’t wish that on anybody. I think sometimes a record can be
a little bit deceiving.”
It’s games like this week’s against the undermanned Spartans
that could eventually cost the Broncos a spot in the BCS
championship game when the regular season comes to an end.
While ESPN has projected that the Broncos would be No. 1 in the
BCS standings if they had already come out this week, upcoming
games against lesser teams like the Spartans, Louisiana Tech and
Utah State could hurt Boise State’s place in the computer rankings,
which make up one-third of the BCS standings, as well as the two
polls that go into the formula.
”We just don’t get hung up in those types of things,” Petersen
said. ”We just really worry about the things that we can control.
The rest will take care of itself. Those aren’t just words. That’s
what we believe. That’s what we’ve always felt around here. If we
take care of our business, it seems to have always worked out for
The Broncos have done just fine no matter who they’ve played
this year, whether it’s been heralded teams from major conferences
like Virginia Tech or Oregon State, or some lesser lights like New
Mexico State, Wyoming or Toledo.
Their 19-game winning streak is the longest in the nation
following Alabama’s loss last week at South Carolina.
In the three games against unranked teams so far this season,
Boise State has outscored the opposition 167-20, as the players
have managed to keep their focus on the field and not any of the
other topics they can’t control.
”It’s definitely a trap you don’t want to fall into,”
linebacker Aaron Tevis said. ”We try to stay focused on each team
and not listen to all the hype about us and what everybody’s saying
about our ranking. Any week, any team can take you down so we’re
trying to stay focused.”
The grueling early season schedule has provided a rude welcome
to first-year Spartans coach Mike MacIntyre, who has dealt with a
litany injuries that have only made the task harder.
MacIntyre calls games like Saturday’s a ”history-making”
opportunity for a program that has lost 17 straight games against
ranked opponents since beating LaDainian Tomlinson and No. 9 TCU
27-24 in 2000.
The Spartans haven’t come close in their four tries this year,
losing by an average of 33 points per game, with the closest
contest being a 27-14 loss at Wisconsin. They haven’t fared a whole
lot better against lesser foes, splitting a pair of tight games
against FCS opponents Southern Utah and UC Davis.
”It does get a little tough sometimes but it’s also exciting,”
MacIntyre said. ”You wish maybe you don’t have to play them back
to back to back to back. I’d like to see them spread out
Boise State’s games against ranked teams are spread out. After
the September wins against Virginia Tech and Oregon State, the
Broncos likely won’t play another ranked team until the
second-to-last regular season game against No. 19 Nevada.
That provides plenty of opportunities for the type of letdown
that the Broncos have avoided so far this season.
”They’ve been pretty good so far,” Petersen said. ”Only time
will tell and it is hard. Each week has a new set of challenges and
different motivations for both teams. These are college kids that
we’re dealing with. They’ve been good. They take the approach that
we only get so many opportunities to play and we need to make each
one of them count.”