Jared Bradley at the great Hornedfrogsports.com has written a great analysis of the polls and the potential of TCU to jump Boise State in the BCS Poll. Here's the money shot:
I think the Utah game will go a long way to helping us close that gap in the human polls. If we are somehow able to pass Boise in one or both human polls, or if we just draw virtually even with them, then I think TCU will be ahead of them in the BCS standings. It's just not as much of a slam dunk as it was last year, and certainly not as much of a slam dunk as many fans probably thought when they initially saw the narrowed gap yesterday. There is a lot of football left to play, but I think the BCS standings are going to come down to the wire this season, as if the 1 second in the UT-Nebraska game last year wasn''t close enough.Brad Edwards spent a good part of his chat yesterday on ESPN.com talking about Alabama jumping Boise and the chances of TCU or a non-AQ team in the MNC.
Marc (Charlotte, North Carolina)
If Alabama beats Auburn and finishes with just 1 loss, please tell us all that there is no way Alabama leap frogs Boise State/TCU. Thanks.
Brad Edwards(11:50 AM)
If Alabama finishes 12-1 (including the SEC Championship Game) and gives Auburn its only loss, I think there's a better than average chance the Tide will leap Boise and TCU/Utah. My prediction is that Bama will end up higher in the computers than those teams and will close the gap in the polls enough to make that jump possible ... if not probable.
Everyone already assumes Boise will get leap frogged by at least one 1-loss team, maybe two. If BSU doesn't get in this year, is it safe to assume they will never get there?
Brad Edwards(11:55 AM)
I would assume that. I realize the non-AQ teams have made tremendous strides in recent years, in terms of the respect they're now getting from voters, but if a team that is preseason top 5 can't finish in the top 2 in a year when every team that began ahead of them lost a game, I can't imagine what circumstances would allow it to ever happen. That said, TCU would've played Alabama in last season's BCS title game if Texas had missed the field goal on the final play of the Big 12 Championship Game, so it's clearly not impossible.
Derrick (Salt Lake City)
In 2 weeks, Utah hosts TCU. Will the winner of that game have a chance at jumping Boise St. in the standings?
Brad Edwards(11:58 AM)
This may not seem logical, but I don't think Utah has the same upside as TCU. My gut feeling is that voters won't elevate them to TCU's spot, so I don't think they have the same potential within the BCS Standings. Unfortunately for Utah, Navy already embarrassed Notre Dame, so even following up a win over TCU with a drubbing of the Irish would have minimal impact.
Cory (Geneva, IL)
TCU is with thousandths of Boise St. Assuming both win out, won't TCU jump them by the end due to their SOS down the stretch vs. Boise's?
Brad Edwards(12:02 PM)
All things being equal, it will stay really tight between those teams. What may ultimately decide which one finishes higher in the BCS is whether one of them takes its foot off the gas and plays a close game against a weaker opponent down the stretch. Most fans are focused on this Boise State vs TCU battle in the BCS Standings because of the potential for one to reach the national title game, but let's not forget that even if they don't finish top two, the higher-ranked team between them will get an automatic BCS bid, while the other will be left to hope for an at-large invitation. It's a significant race.
Jim Crozier (Boise, Idaho)
Hey Brad, thanks for chatting. If Hawaii and Nevada are ranked when BSU plays them, will BSU wins be enough to hold off TCU in the BCS rankings if TCU beats Utah? Those two teams are just outside the Top-25 now.
Brad Edwards(12:05 PM)
The fact that Hawaii, Nevada and Fresno are all respectable teams that won't kill Boise's computer numbers is a positive for the Broncos. But don't fool yourself into thinking many voters will be impressed if BSU runs up a big score on them. The national opinion is that Boise should trounce every team in the WAC, whether that's realistic or not.