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Entries in Boise State (4)


No. 3: Boise State Broncos

Picture of Chris Petersen

The One Great Season College Football Countdown continues Wednesday. We'll be counting down the preseason Top 25 teams in 2010. Today's No. 3 is Boise State.

One Great Season

With a beefed-up non-conference schedule, Boise State hopes wins against Virginia Tech and Oregon State will carry enough weight to keep the Broncos in the hunt to play for the national championship in January.

Only problem is, the Broncos will close out their WAC affiliation with another close-but-no-cigar type of season. I think Boise can sweep through its schedule unmolested, but two other teams will do the same thing, relegating the Broncos to yet another Fiesta Bowl appearance.

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Tuesday Notebook: Eugene, BCS and Sam Bradford

Columbia River

One Great Season

EUGENE, Oregon -- I made it.

After waking up Monday in Cincinnati, driving to Dayton, flying to Washington, D.C., flying to Phoenix, flying to Portland and crashing at a hotel there late last night, I drove down picturesque Interstate 5 this afternoon and arrived at my hotel at about 5 p.m. Pacific time.

I can tell the Canon 50D is going to be busier this week than my liver was last week. Great to see old friends in the Queen City, sure, but equally certain is how badly I need a break from all that fun, and signs point to such relief here in this sleepy pocket of the very scenic Pacific Northwest where I know exactly nobody.

Efforts to secure a credential for Saturday's USC at Oregon game have been shut down, but the investigation into a reasonably priced single ticket is pending. Not only will this game likely decide the PAC 10 champion, but it's Halloween and the fans at Autzen Stadium are notorious party people, so keep your eyes open for some good imagery this weekend.

Until then, it looks like I'll get some post-practice interviews Wednesday, but before I get that far, here are some other tidbits to consider this week:

Columbia River

+ Many are talking about how a USC win makes it a serious BCS National Championship game contender, but you know what? I'll say the same about the Trojans' opponent Saturday. Oregon is No. 10 in the BCS rankings, and beating Pete Carroll's highly ranked USC gang would shoot those Ducks squarely into the mix, and very deservedly so.

+ Wouldn't it be funny to see Oregon leapfrog ahead of Boise State in the BCS standings?

+ Iowa, Cincinnati, Boise State and TCU are the second-tier contenders for a spot in the BCS title game. Those entirely in control of their destiny include Florida, Alabama, Texas and most likely LSU and possibly USC. I think Florida or Alabama might actually need to lose twice for one of those second-tier squads to jump ahead. That means that heading into the last month of the season, no fewer than seven and maybe as many as nine losses are needed among the elite names currently among the Top 10 for, say, Iowa or Cincinnati to earn a trip to Pasadena. Such a feat would be just as dramatic than what happened down the stretch in 2007. But don't expect that scenario to materialize. I still think it's going to be Florida and Texas, though I'd prefer to watch Florida and USC.

Columbia River

+ Please stop with the second-guessing of Sam Bradford. Too often we hear the TV pretties talk about the importance of staying in school to get that education, if not to at least enjoy the college experience. Bradford did exactly that, and now Todd McShay, who I typically like, leads the pack of those repeatedly broadcasting the disappointing truths about millions of dollars lost. Tyler Hansbrough came back twice when experts thought he was ready for the next level, and the only reason people don't rip him is because he didn't get hurt. Don't go hindsight and blast a kid barely out of his teens for wanting more school. Bradford knows his decision to stay will cost him in the long run, but he'll still be a good NFL quarterback.


Three Thoughts For Thursday

Jimmy Clausen

One Great Season

ATLANTA -- I've got some non-football items to address today. I was born here in Atlanta, but only lived here until I was 2 years old.

So mom wants me to visit our old church and maybe even the hospital where I was born. I think I'll also visit our old neighbors, the Pompilios. 

And I need to hit Best Buy because, and let me know what you think of this: The 1TB external hard drive I bought right before I left on this tour doesn't work. I saved some things to it each of the first two or three weeks, and then it just sat unused but well traveled for a month. It must have gotten kicked or something by the baggage handlers.

Anyway, the Best Buy people said they'd do a free exchange, in which case I'd get a new drive but would lose the content on the old one that I'd return to them. Or they'd ship it out for the data to be retrieved for several hundred dollars. It's really a no-win situation. Isn't the point of guaranteeing the products you sell to protect consumers from having to dig deep into their pockets to pay for fixes that shouldn't have to be made in the first place?

But before I set out for the day, here are three quick football takes:

+ Cincinnati can run the table in the Big East and still won't play for the national championship. Boise State's unimpressive win last night at Tulsa was the Broncos' last chance to lose; they're home free the rest of the way. And if Boise's rank in the BCS standings at the end of the season isn't higher than Cincinnati's, a one-loss SEC team's will be.

Mark Richt

+ I won't wait until after the USC game to say this, but Jimmy Clausen (pictured, above) is not a Heisman Trophy candidate. I know I wrote this season that a good Notre Dame team is good for the sport, but we don't need to try so hard to make it seem that that squad actually is good. The Irish lost to a decent Michigan team and struggled to beat bad Purdue and Michigan State teams. Let's take it easy with Clausen, who's a nice talent and will certainly play on Sundays, but after USC's defense shuts him down, the calligrapher can take his name off the invite list for a December trip to New York.

+ I don't get sports radio. I understand that Atlanta is more of a pro town, but when the local screamers talk about college football, they lose me. I hate that our culture is so obsessed with perfection, that if Mark Richt (pictured, above) leads struggling Georgia to only seven or eight wins this year, he and/or his assistants need to be fired. The 'Dawgs are 2-3, but fans knew it would be hard to replace both Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno on offense. Sometimes bad experiences can lead to good growth; fans just need to be patient to let it happen naturally. Would replacing Richt really make for a much better season in 2010?


Monday Notebook

One Great Season

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Here are some notes as I begin a new week in Baton Rouge, five days away from Saturday's heavyweight bout between visiting No. 1 Florida and No. 4 LSU:

+ Cal is not a good football team. I strongly doubt that in the history of college football polls, a team has never followed up a No. 6 ranking by going out and losing two games by a combined score of 72-6.

+ From the sideline, I've watched USC in a Friday walkthrough and twice during pregame warmups, and Florida once during pregame warmups, and in each case you can't help but just feel that you're in the presence of an elite football team. Swagger isn't necessarily something a team has; to me it's more like what that team stirs inside of you when you watch it.

+ I get that powerhouses like to load up on a creampuff or two before playing someone tough or getting into conference play. But we're into October and I'm still really curious about what Texas can do. Beating a mediocre Texas Tech team by just 10 points at home tells me more about the Longhorns than do lopsided wins over Louisiana-Monroe and the like. I really think Alabama is more of a No. 2 team than Texas right now. The Tide don't appear to have any weaknesses.

+ The same goes for Penn State. Easy wins over Akron, Syracuse and Temple -- and presumably another one against Eastern Illinois this Saturday -- are unimpressive. I don't really remember the last time Joe Paterno had a strong team that played a marquee game in September.

+ Boise State won Saturday, but played poorly enough to drop from No. 5 to No. 6 in this week's poll. But despite the listless showing against Cal-Davis Saturday, the Broncos gain street cred when the Oregon team it manhandled five weeks ago won by huge margins its last two times out.

+ My Cincinnati friends are a little nervous about our No. 8 Bearcats' Thursday night tilt at South Florida on Oct. 15. UC is off this week, and then will face a USF team, though now ranked, that's without veteran quarterback Matt Grothe for the rest of the season. I think it could be like the season-opener at Rutgers all over again. Easy win for Cincinnati, which will take a 9-0 record into its home date against West Virginia on Friday, Nov. 13.

+ Seven of the AP's top 15 teams have a loss, and we still have more than two months of regular-season football left to play. Please stop describing the Armageddon when USC or Virginia Tech or Ohio State lose in September.

+ Iowa has more trouble with non-BCS teams than it does with the Penn States of the world. The Hawkeyes, 5-0, pulled off a stunner two weeks ago on the road when they beat the Nittany Lions, 21-10, but their two  closest calls have come at home, where they defeated Northern Iowa and Arkansas State by one and three points, respectively. By that logic, look for Iowa to rout visiting Michigan this weekend. Actually, I believe the opposite to be true. The No. 12 Hawkeyes will bolster the argument that the Big Ten is weak when they lose to no-longer-ranked Michigan on Saturday.