NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > Is Boise State's Scedule REALLY That Weak?
November 3, 2011, 02:05 PM
We always knock BSU because of it's schedule, and probably most of the time rightfully so.

I was surprised while reading a Stewart Mandel article that "Many would be surprised to learn the Broncos have played a tougher schedule to date (according to both Sagarin and Jerry Palm's ratings) than Alabama and Stanford"

http://tinyurl.com/3fc8oc l

Yes, Stanfords sched is going to get tougher, and Bama plays LSU this weekend. But BSU plays TCU also; a TCU team that is "rebuilding?" but is looking tougher and tougher as the season goes. Myself, all assumptions aside, I had rather have any SEC team but the 2 Titans on my remaining schedule than TCU. JMO.

So, given that their schedule may not be as "weak" as perception, do they deserve consideration for the BCS NC, or do we just write them off as we do every year?
November 3, 2011  02:28 PM ET

I don't know anything about Jerry Palm's ratings but I know Sagarin's ELO_Chess SOS ratings that are used in the BCS calculations are useless in determining Strength of Schedule for national title contenders. It determines a rating that would allow that team a .500 record against the opponents they are playing. This is all well and good when comparing one mediocre team with another but fails miserably when determining the schedule of a top 10 team.

For example(from this year's schedule so far) Whose schedule would be tougher to be undefeated or only one loss with? Tulsa? who has played Oklahoma on the road, Oklahoma St. on the road and Boise St on the road? or Boise St whose toughest games have been Georgia on the road, Air Force at home, Tulsa at home and Nevada at home?

It's not even close. Very few teams could have navigated Tulsa's schedule and come away with less than two losses. Many teams could have gone undefeated or possibly one loss with Boise St's schedule.

Yet. Sagarin's ELO_Chess SOS rating has Boise's schedule rated more difficult. His system only works for teams around .500.

November 3, 2011  02:59 PM ET

Given that BSU still plays WY, SDSU, and TCU they will end up with somewhere around the 40th hardest schedule (barring UGA winning out to include the SEC CC game). Not horrible but not as hard as OkSU or LSU or Bama. Thus I don't mind if any undefeated AQ slides in ahead of them. However, since the BSU schedule isn't in the 90's or 100's SOS wise its crap that any one loss team would slide infront of them (with the possible exception of LSU).

November 3, 2011  03:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Given that BSU still plays WY, SDSU, and TCU they will end up with somewhere around the 40th hardest schedule (barring UGA winning out to include the SEC CC game). Not horrible but not as hard as OkSU or LSU or Bama. Thus I don't mind if any undefeated AQ slides in ahead of them. However, since the BSU schedule isn't in the 90's or 100's SOS wise its crap that any one loss team would slide infront of them (with the possible exception of LSU).

I agree but would find it hard to argue by schedule alone.

Boise St. passes the eye test. Though teams are different year to year there are enough ingredients to the past several Boise teams that have accomplished so much, to realize they are the real deal and have been passed over often enough.

Whether the computers recognize them enough, or not, I think there are enough old men voters (as you like to call them) willing and wanting to see Boise St. in a title game ahead of any one loss team, including LSU. If I were voting I would be one of those old men voters voting as such.

November 3, 2011  04:38 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I agree but would find it hard to argue by schedule alone. Boise St. passes the eye test. Though teams are different year to year there are enough ingredients to the past several Boise teams that have accomplished so much, to realize they are the real deal and have been passed over often enough. Whether the computers recognize them enough, or not, I think there are enough old men voters (as you like to call them) willing and wanting to see Boise St. in a title game ahead of any one loss team, including LSU. If I were voting I would be one of those old men voters voting as such.

Hope so. Honestly though, I think if OU beats OkSU then OU will slide ahead of BSU, which would be par for the BCS course.

November 3, 2011  06:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Given that BSU still plays WY, SDSU, and TCU they will end up with somewhere around the 40th hardest schedule (barring UGA winning out to include the SEC CC game). Not horrible but not as hard as OkSU or LSU or Bama. Thus I don't mind if any undefeated AQ slides in ahead of them. However, since the BSU schedule isn't in the 90's or 100's SOS wise its crap that any one loss team would slide infront of them (with the possible exception of LSU).

I guess that's what I'm really asking. I'm not stating that at the end of the year their SOS TOPS teams in AQ conferences, but if you look at the whole picture it's not THAT far back. I mean out side of each other who have (or will) Bama or LSU play that is really ALL that. Oregon, yes, PSU, maybe. the rest of the SEC this year, despite their lofty rankings, is, IMO, kinda pedestrian (NOT a SEC knock, just my opinion). Teams like Utah State have taken them to the wire.

But this isn't about that. It's really about what you stated: should a 1 loss team from an AQ conference continue to get in ahead of undefeated teams like BSU? How long do they have to prove themselves (including TCU and Utah) by beating the OU's, Bama's, Wiscy's, and Oregons of the world without getting a shot?

I mean that list of teams are all the dominant programs of the last few years 'cept LSU and Auburn, and the little guys haven't been beat (to my knowledge) yet (I'm talking when they are having an 'up' year, not a year like TCU and Utah are having this year).

Comment #6 has been removed
November 3, 2011  08:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I don't like all this positive talk about BSU. It makes me nervous.

Bah, then stay nevous until the 2nd week of JAN :P

November 4, 2011  09:46 AM ET

Some interesting numbers here re the 6 undefeateds.
(I used teamrankings.com for the current sos)

Here is the sos, the team, and their avg MOV:


3 -- OK State .... 23.3
16 - Stanford .... 33.0
19 - LSU ............27.8
31 - Alabama .... 32.5
49 - Boise St ..... 27.1
97 - Houston ..... 27.5

November 4, 2011  10:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Hope so. Honestly though, I think if OU beats OkSU then OU will slide ahead of BSU, which would be par for the BCS course.

I agree with you there AP, I think OU's rep, and B12 affiliation, get them in over BSU.

And what if the Bama-LSU winner doesn't win the SEC? I know that's a stretch, but what if? Do you put a 1 or even 2, loss SEC team in JUST because they are the SEC? Or worse yet, another SEC team that has 1 loss but didn't win the SEC (BTW, a non conference winner has made it to the big dance 2x: Nebraska in 2001, OU in 2003). With the recent rep of the SEC I could see that happening, assuming that LSU or Bama aren't the eventual SEC winner. The loser of this W/E's "Clash of the Titans" will probably come in one spot ahead of OU, especially if it's close. Assuming losses by Okie St and Stanford, and some unreal upset in the SEC champ game (Georgia or somebody beating Saturday's winner)

November 4, 2011  10:42 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

I don't like all this positive talk about BSU. It makes me nervous.

Don't worry, I don't really like 'em, just a subject to write about. Thought I'd let it be known that I do have the ability to talk something outside of Troy...

But I DO respect them...Anyone that doesn't hasn't been paying attention.

November 4, 2011  10:56 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Some interesting numbers here re the 6 undefeateds.(I used teamrankings.com for the current sos)Here is the sos, the team, and their avg MOV:3 -- OK State .... 23.316 - Stanford .... 33.019 - LSU ............27.831 - Alabama .... 32.549 - Boise St ..... 27.197 - Houston ..... 27.5

Interesting numbers... seems like, from those #'s, Houston should mos def be higher than they are.

Just goes to sho it's all about the "Beauty" and not the "Contest"; as if most of us didn't know. OK, so you gotta prove yourself (if you aren't in a traditional power or at least in an AQ conference). But how much proof is necessary? Seems like the only acceptable proof is playing in an AQ conference and playing that level of toughness weak (freudian slip) in and weak out. Those Kentuckies, Tennessee's, Ole Miss', Colorado's, Minnesotas, Kansas' and such are sooooooooo grueling to have to play weak after weak. If a team can make it thru that gauntlet with only 1 or 2 losses they DESERVE a shot.

It wouldn't surprise me if Georgia won out (and Stanford and Okie St lost) to see them in the big dance. After all, that would mean they beat the winner of this week battle, right?

November 4, 2011  11:02 AM ET

Yes it is

November 4, 2011  01:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Yes it is

BAMAS SCHED:
Kent State (1-6) : 48-7
PSU (8-1) : 27-11
North Texas (?) : 41-0
Arkansas (7-1) : 38-14
Florida (4-4) : 38-10
Vandy (4-4) : 34-0
Ole Miss (2-6) : 52-7
Tennessee (3-5) : 37-6
Remaining:
LSU (8-0)
Miss St (4-4)
Georgia Southern (6-0) a very deceiving 6-0!
Auburn (6-3)

Yes it is too!

November 4, 2011  02:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Interesting numbers... seems like, from those #'s, Houston should mos def be higher than they are.Just goes to sho it's all about the "Beauty" and not the "Contest"; as if most of us didn't know. OK, so you gotta prove yourself (if you aren't in a traditional power or at least in an AQ conference). But how much proof is necessary? Seems like the only acceptable proof is playing in an AQ conference and playing that level of toughness weak (freudian slip) in and weak out. Those Kentuckies, Tennessee's, Ole Miss', Colorado's, Minnesotas, Kansas' and such are sooooooooo grueling to have to play weak after weak. If a team can make it thru that gauntlet with only 1 or 2 losses they DESERVE a shot.It wouldn't surprise me if Georgia won out (and Stanford and Okie St lost) to see them in the big dance. After all, that would mean they beat the winner of this week battle, right?

It would be awesome if UGA simply won out and Stanford/BSU were the only two undefeated teams left.... Love to see the BCS proponents tell us how the loser of this week's Bama/LSU game was worse than a team that lost to UGA-or better than an OU squad that beat OkSU for that matter....

November 7, 2011  03:56 PM ET

I went to the game Saturday and we gave them a fight, OK it was in the 1st half and we got smoked it the 2nd, but they had to play to beat us.

Takes more than talent to win games on the road, and usually when teams come here they are very distracted. Good job of coaching, keeping the students away from those buffet lines must be tough.

November 7, 2011  04:34 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I went to the game Saturday and we gave them a fight, OK it was in the 1st half and we got smoked it the 2nd, but they had to play to beat us.Takes more than talent to win games on the road, and usually when teams come here they are very distracted. Good job of coaching, keeping the students away from those buffet lines must be tough.

Hmmm, depending on the school in question the lines at the buffet may not be the real lines to worry about-just ask Miami...

November 7, 2011  06:41 PM ET

There were comments earlier about BUS having a comparable schedule to Bama and playing the same number of ranked teams...here is a synopsis of the two as of this week....

Boise State Schedule thru Week 10
UGA 7-2 (5-1 SEC) ranked 18 Week 10
Toledo 5-4 (4-1 MAC) unranked
Tulsa 6-3 (5-0 C-USA) unranked
Nevada 5-3 (3-0 WAC) unranked
Fresno State 3-6 (2-2 WAC) unranked
Colorado State 3-5 (1-2 WAC) unranked
Air Force 5-4 (1-3 MWC) unranked
UNLV 2-6 (1-2 MWC) unranked
TCU 7-2 (4-0 MWC) unranked
SDSU 5-3 (2-2 MWC) unranked
Wyoming 5-3 (2-1 MWC) unranked
New Mexico 0-9 (0-4 MWC) unranked

Alabama Schedule thru Week 10
Kent State 3-6 (2-3 MAC) unranked
Penn State 8-1 (5-0 B1G) Ranked 12
North Texas 3-6 (2-3 Sun Belt) unranked
Arkansas 8-1 (4-1 SEC) Ranked 7
Florida 5-4 (3-4 SEC) unranked
Vanderbilt 4-5 (1-5 SEC) unranked
Ole Mess 2-7 (0-6 SEC) unranked
Tenn 4-5 (0-5 SEC) unranked
LUS 9-0 (6-0 SEC) Ranked 1
Miss State 5-4 (1-4 SEC) unranked
Ga Southern 8-1 (6-1 Southern) FCS
Auburn 6-3 (4-2 SEC) Ranked 20

In case you are wondering...the won/loss for each is 53-50 for BSU's opponents and 65-43 for Bama. And, perhaps TCU might (MIGHT) sneak into the rankings if they beat BSU, but if BSU beats them then I don't see it...

November 7, 2011  06:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

It would be awesome if UGA simply won out and Stanford/BSU were the only two undefeated teams left.... Love to see the BCS proponents tell us how the loser of this week's Bama/LSU game was worse than a team that lost to UGA-or better than an OU squad that beat OkSU for that matter....

Yes, and consider this: given your scenario add to it Stanford LOSING. You have like 7 one loss teams, a SEC champion that handed one of those 1 loss temas theirs, 4 of those 1 loss teams that didn't win their conference, a undefeated team that the 'powers that be' don't want in the NC game but beat the SEC champ, oooohhhhhh what a cluster f that would be.

I would put in BSU, no doubt about it. But would the coaches (all should be recused from participation on grounds of personal involvement, none watch any games but film from teams they play, and most delegate their vote anyway), the Harris poll (a market research company that specializes in Internet research, hows that for putting the NC in the hands of the best), and the computers (ever hear of GIGO?).

November 7, 2011  07:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

There were comments earlier about BUS having a comparable schedule to Bama and playing the same number of ranked teams...here is a synopsis of the two as of this week....Boise State Schedule thru Week 10UGA 7-2 (5-1 SEC) ranked 18 Week 10Toledo 5-4 (4-1 MAC) unrankedTulsa 6-3 (5-0 C-USA) unrankedNevada 5-3 (3-0 WAC) unrankedFresno State 3-6 (2-2 WAC) unrankedColorado State 3-5 (1-2 WAC) unrankedAir Force 5-4 (1-3 MWC) unrankedUNLV 2-6 (1-2 MWC) unrankedTCU 7-2 (4-0 MWC) unrankedSDSU 5-3 (2-2 MWC) unrankedWyoming 5-3 (2-1 MWC) unrankedNew Mexico 0-9 (0-4 MWC) unrankedAlabama Schedule thru Week 10Kent State 3-6 (2-3 MAC) unrankedPenn State 8-1 (5-0 B1G) Ranked 12North Texas 3-6 (2-3 Sun Belt) unrankedArkansas 8-1 (4-1 SEC) Ranked 7Florida 5-4 (3-4 SEC) unrankedVanderbilt 4-5 (1-5 SEC) unrankedOle Mess 2-7 (0-6 SEC) unrankedTenn 4-5 (0-5 SEC) unrankedLUS 9-0 (6-0 SEC) Ranked 1Miss State 5-4 (1-4 SEC) unrankedGa Southern 8-1 (6-1 Southern) FCSAuburn 6-3 (4-2 SEC) Ranked 20In case you are wondering...the won/loss for each is 53-50 for BSU's opponents and 65-43 for Bama. And, perhaps TCU might (MIGHT) sneak into the rankings if they beat BSU, but if BSU beats them then I don't see it...

Good stats. OK, looks like Bama has the SOS edge on the surface, but take for instance Ga. Southern, who is 8-1, but against FCS teams (Samford, TUSCULUM, WESTERN CAROLINA, ELON, CHATANOOGA (CHEW CHEWS), PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE, APPY State (loss), Citadel). That's 8 wins that have less than no meaning in the tally (ok, you counted them as 6-1 but they are 8-1). Take away those 6 meaningless wins from the tally and it's 59-42 to 53-50.

That's just one example of one team and how skewed a picture stats can give you; not to mention the thousands of ways they can be manipulated to say just about whatever you want them to.

So basically Bama MAY have the SOS edge on BSU, but they aren't light years apart. Oh, and what SHOULD be the most important stat; Bama has a loss, BSU doesn't, doesn't seem to matter much any more, at least not near as much as conference afilliation.

 
November 7, 2011  07:49 PM ET

If you have one of those sim programs just take a team like Indiana and play them against Boise's schedule. They are 1-9 in the B1G and see if they hit 500 it might tell something.

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