Auburn plays in arguably the strongest conference in the nation, while Boise State plays in a considerably weaker overall conference.
Auburn’s recent jump over Boise State and TCU to number one in the BCS standings tells the country that the Tigers’ wins this season have more meaning than Boise State and TCU’s wins specifically.
How strong is the SEC? The conference is so strong that the last four national football championships have come from LSU, Florida with two national championships and most recently Alabama.
Despite Boise State’s undefeated mark and wins over Virginia Tech and Oregon State, Auburn’s wins against better competition is ultimately the reason why Boise State will come close, but ultimately will not play for a BCS national championship.
If Boise State played in a stronger conference right now or played ranked teams on a regular basis, Boise State would get more respect as championship team.
Case in point, Auburn just recently beat a Ryan Mallett-led, ranked Arkansas team and a Top-10 ranked LSU team in consecutive weeks. Additionally, Auburn went on the road to beat a decent Kentucky team on October 9th.
How would Boise State fare against Arkansas, LSU and Kentucky consecutively?
What is Boise State’s four game stretch in October look like? It consists of New Mexico State, Toledo, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech.
Boise State (6-0) can only go down at this point in the BCS standings.
Other undefeated teams from stronger BCS power conferences would ultimately have the edge over Boise State such as Oregon (7-0) who continues to hold the #2 spot in the BCS after dismantling Pac-10 rival UCLA, but now face a tough Southern Cal on the road.
TCU (8-0) is currently fourth in the BCS and is likely to suffer a similar fate as Boise State if other undefeated teams with stronger conference opponents keep winning such as the Pac 10’s Oregon, the Big Ten’s Michigan state and the Big 12’s Missouri.
TCU’s resume doesn’t include facing ranked opponents in consecutive weeks, but does have win against bowl-eligible and unranked Baylor who is trying to get to the postseason for the first-time since 1994. Another nice win is against unranked Air Force.
Top-10 ranked Utah is on the schedule for TCU, but in the eyes of most pollsters the type of schedule Auburn has, receives the most respect over the long-term.
TCU needs to find a way to schedule Texas and Oklahoma or even Oklahoma State to their schedule and the respect factor would go up exponentially. For now, the only Texas team the Hornfrogs are willing to get on the field with are teams who hadn’t previously seen the postseason in two decades-Baylor and SMU.
Auburn is #1 in the computer rankings and is ranked third in the USA Today coaches’ poll along with the Harris football polls.
Auburn will be tested again before the regular season is over by playing against defending national champion Alabama.
TCU ends their regular season against New Mexico, and Boise State ends the season against Utah State.