One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone has a complaint but then doesn’t have offer a logical solution to the problem they are complaining about. That includes just about every Boise State supporter that says their schedule is only poor because other teams won’t play them.
The Boise State supporters will say that if a team like my Florida Gators wants to prove that Boise State doesn’t belong then they should play a home-and-home with Boise State. The only quibble I have with that is I said that you should have a logical solution, not a moronic one. It is not up to Florida to prove Boise State is good or not. It is up to Florida to prove if Florida is good or not and it is up to Boise State to prove if Boise State is good or not. The reason we are in this position in the first place is because Florida’s schedule is 10 times harder than Boise State. Why should Florida add another tough game? Just so that Boise State will have two tough games instead of one?
Since all the Boise State supporters out there aren’t making a good argument I’ll do their job for them. I will come up with a solution to Boise State’s scheduling problems. These solutions may not be perfect or plausible, I admit I don’t know everything there is about scheduling opponents, but they make a whole lot more sense than asking a top program in the nation to add another tough game to their schedule that is already ten times harder than Boise.
These are my five ways that Boise State can improve their schedule and hope to compete for the BCS National Championship.
1) Independence Day
Boise State’s first solution is to leave the WAC (or the Mountain West next year) and become an independent. BYU made this decision a few weeks ago and while it might not work out for the Cougars, it could work for Boise State. The idea is that as an independent a football program is not obligated to schedule teams from their own conference. This would allow Boise State to schedule all 12 of their games instead of being stuck with 8 WAC games and then trying to make a competitive schedule out of just 4 other games.
One of the reasons that a team like Florida is considered to have such a tough schedule is because of the amount of rivalry games. Florida has rivalries (either the bad blood type or the respect kind) with Florida State, Miami LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Auburn and Alabama. These games will be considered tough regardless of how good they are. In some cases this might be a load of garbage, Florida State has not been tough in years. In other cases it is totally true, South Carolina has been tough ever since Spurrier got there even though South Carolina has never finished with a better conference record than Florida since the SEC Championship game was invented.
The point is Boise State needs some high profile rivalries. The solution is for Boise State to work with the other programs in their shoes. Utah is off to the Pac-10 so cross them off the list, but Boise State should talk to TCU and BYU about annual match ups. Come up with some kind of trophy to award each match up, or even a three-way trophy like Air Force-Army-Navy. If TCU and BYU are smart they will see that they need Boise State on their schedule as much as Boise State needs them.
3) TV Deal
The football expansion this past offseason was 100 percent about money from television and it is time for Boise State to get a piece of the pie too. Nobody is going to pay to televise Boise State’s entire schedule like NBC does for Notre Dame but maybe they can work out some other kind of deal. Boise State should go to ABC or ESPN and schedule some kind of annual non-conference game, similar to the Kickoff Classic. It would benefit ABC or ESPN because a lot of people want to see Boise State take on a big name opponent and it benefits that opponent because they will get paid by the network.
4) The Non-Big Six
Once Boise State has two schools from big conferences, BYU and TCU and a Kickoff Classic game they should look to the conferences that are not part of the “big six”. That is to say, schedule the good teams in those conferences. This year Boise State is playing Wyoming, who went 4 – 4 in the Mountain West and Toledo, who went 3 – 5 in the MAC. Instead of these teams schedule the best teams in these conferences. Sometimes these games are scheduled years in advanced and it is unknown how good a team is going to be but unless they scheduled Toledo all the way back in 2005 then neither of these teams were good when they were scheduled.
Let’s say these two games were scheduled three seasons ago. If Boise State had schedule the two champions of those leagues (Central Michigan and BYU) then they probably would not have the teams that are going to win those conferences on the schedule, but both teams will probably make Bowl games. Boise State could also schedule a game against the hot college football player that isn’t in the big six conferences. Who wouldn’t want to see what Case Keenum can do against Boise State?
5) Bottom Feeders
If Boise State decides to schedule bottom feeders it’s not a bad thing, it just has to be the right ones. Boise State can’t afford to schedule the last place team in the WAC or Sun Belt, but the last place team in the SEC or ACC would be a better opponent without making it too difficult a schedule.
So let’s compare Boise State’s 2010 opponents vs. my scheduling formula and look at the improvements in the schedule:
TCU instead of Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech instead of Oregon State
Oregon State instead of Nevada
BYU instead of Fresno State
Houston instead of Hawaii
Troy instead of Utah State
Mississippi State instead of Toledo
Virginia instead of Wyoming
Nevada instead of Idaho
Fresno State instead of Louisiana Tech
Hawaii instead of New Mexico State
Idaho instead of San Jose State