They certainly understood the difference between the BCS title game and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl that one lucky Western Athletic Conference team will be in this year.
“We know how much was at stake for us, so it was kind of like a bowl game,” Pettis said.
Whether the win over No. 10 Virginia Tech will be enough to keep the Broncos in the national title chase despite their weak schedule will be debated endlessly over the upcoming weeks by the talking heads on television. Oregon State is really the only team left on the schedule with an outside chance of an upset and the Beavers have to play in Boise, where the Broncos just don’t lose.
So Boise State will run up the score on Wyoming, and try to win style points by blowing out New Mexico State. They’ll need to win big against teams that have nothing to lose by trying to pull their own big upsets.
They’ll have to satisfy both the voters and the computers, and they can’t afford to let anyone even play them close.
“We’re heading off to Wyoming, and it’s going to be the biggest game at Wyoming ever,” Moore said. “That’s the way it goes, and that’s the way we like it. We like to be everyone’s biggest game.”
In years past, beating up on bad teams would have gotten them a pat on the back and a conference title. The competition simply wasn’t good enough for Boise to move all the way up in the polls.
That changed this year, though, which is what made the game against the Hokies so big. Boise came in as the No. 3 ranked team in the country, just behind Alabama and Ohio State, two teams with a lot more football pedigree.
The Broncos don’t need to climb. All they need to do is tread water and hope that the two teams ahead of them can’t make it through much tougher schedules undefeated.
Nothing terribly tricky about that.
Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org
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