The Broncos are doing everything that they can to promote themselves. They've hired an agency, they've got various politico campaigning on their behalf and they've played on everyday but Saturday recently to try and get eyes on their football team.
As it stands right now, barring a catastrophic collapse by the Horned Frogs of TCU against lowly New Mexico, the Broncos can pack up all the fanfare and set their holiday plans for the Humanitarian Bowl or perhaps the Emerald Bowl.
In doing some research for the upcoming bowl season for the sake of making relatively intelligent projections in the coming weeks I decided to take the time to read the BCS Selection Procedures from start to finish. There was plenty of confusing portions, a lot of re-reading to attempt to clarify issues and I even took the time to jot down my own sloppy and illegible notes:
There's one section of the BCS Selection Procedures that sticks out to me more than any other:
Whether alternative pairings may have greater or lesser appeal to college football fans as measured by expected ticket sales for the bowls and by expected television interest, and the consequent financial impact on Fox and the bowls.
That's right folks, that right there is paragraph D of section 5 in subsection 3 of the BCS Selection Procedures.
What does that mean you ask?
In layperson terms it simply means Boise State, No Soup for you! No BCS payout, no at-large BCS bid and most definitely no two non-BCS teams in the BCS.
Read more for the reason Boise State is out of the money...
In sifting through the automatic qualifier explanations, that are pretty straight forward and then deciphering at-large eligibility it is pretty clear that there's going to be a log jam after the automatic qualification of teams from the ACC, Big 10, Big East, Pac 10 and non-BCS leagues. Notice I've excluded the Big XII and SEC because they're going to have the #1 and #2 spot in the BCS, eliminating their league champions from the traditional auto qualifying bid.
However the BCS thought of this and thus if a #3 or #4 BCS-league ranked team can become an automatic qualifier, meaning the SEC title game loser will achieve the sixth auto qualifier bid.
What this means for Boise State is that at the close of the day on December 5th there will be only two available spots up for grabs. In other words the national title game will take #1 and #2, the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Pac 10, non-BCS league champions plus the SEC title game loser will gobble up the "automatic qualifier" positions. Eight of the ten spots are gone before the Sunday Paper hits newsstands.
For those last two spots there will be at least six teams battling to get into the big money bowl game. National names like Pitt, Iowa, Penn State, Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech will be in the hopper with Boise State for a trip to likely the Fiesta or Sugar since the Orange Bowl, which picks first at-large, will likely take the Big East champion.
The Fiesta Bowl will get first pick of the at-large teams since they are without a hosting auto qualifying team. In recent years they've always had the strong fan base of Oklahoma or Texas to bolster their ticket sales and television numbers. Although in recent history they've taken Utah and Notre Dame as hosts, the fact that Oklahoma State and Penn State are both looming as at-large bids should be enough to sway them from selecting the Broncos.
As the quote shows Fox, the host bowl and the city play a huge role in determining which teams are the best fit for the bowl game. While Boise State is surely a quality opponent, the remote location, small fan base, small brand name and lack of national following truly handicap the Orange and Blue. They'll be a novel treat for the Emerald Bowl should the ACC keep FSU on the east coast in the Congressional/Eagle Bank Bowl.
With selection just weeks away the Broncos are in a tough position. Should a team like Texas, Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Florida or Alabama stumble in the final weeks or the league championship game things get even hairier for Boise State. They'll be dealing with even more attractive at large possibilities and it makes determining their placement even more difficult.
In the coming weeks the bowl picture will become more clear and this will make for plenty of debate and again show why college football has, as it stands right now, the greatest regular season of all time. The suspense is unreal and while plenty of debate is to be had regarding the BCS the way this season will come down to the wire is unmatched.