Blog Entry

The Boise Hate Debate

Posted on: September 28, 2010 10:44 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 10:47 pm
We are right in the thick of the College Football season, and so far we have learned a couple of things here and there.

The ACC is weak. Very weak. Some would argue that the ACC has had all of its major out-of-conference tests on the road, but the fact remains that their highest-ranked team in the preseason poll lost to a FCS school at home. We also have learned the Big East is weak this year. Right now there isn't a single Big East team ranked in either poll.

The one thing we haven't learned is this: "How good is Boise State this year"? And unlike other questions that will soon be answered throughout this season, that one will probably never have one. Not until they play in a bowl game in January, whether or not it is for a National Championship.

Here are the facts about Boise State:

  1. They play in the WAC. Not exactly the SEC or the Big Ten... or even the ACC or the Big East, but it is their conference.
  2. They started the season ranked very highly in both polls. Whether that is fair or not, we will discuss shortly.
  3. Their non-conference schedule included a "neutral" game at Virginia Tech, and a home game against Oregon State, both of whom were ranked in boht preseason polls.
Now the first two are not in their control (I suppose if you want to be technical, you could say Boise State could pull a BYU and declare independence in football - but then they would simply have to fill their schedule with other mid-major teams from the MAC, Sun Belt and Conference USA). Boise State has the "misfortune" of being a WAC school with a power-level football team. They play the games on their schedule, and they win.

The third is where the debates begin. "How come Boise doesn't schedule Ohio State?" "How well would they do in the SEC?" "Do they deserve to play for a National Title?" The answers are "Because Ohio State doesn't want to lose to them", "There is no way to know, because games are played on a football field and not in a sports pundit's head", and "There's a problem with the system when a team wins every game they play and don't have an opportunity to play for a title". Let's start with the first.

Major conference teams don't want any part of Boise State, for the most part. The last thing a team wants to happen to them is what happened to Oregon the past two seasons, which is to start the season with a loss to a team in the WAC. Never mind that Boise State is not a WAC-level team. The fact of the matter is that they play in the WAC and nobody wants to lose to a team in the WAC. Especially not when a team starts out ranked in the top 10 of the preseason polls. They would much rather pay a FCS team or a bottom feeding non-BCS team to play in their stadium (preferably losing by a wide margin) than play a legitimate opponent to start the season off. Perhaps they might schedule a "marquee" non-conference matchup to stir interest with their fans and create buzz in the media, so even if they lose to a quality opponent, they don't tumble too far down the rankings.

Unfortunately for Boise State, that doesn't include them. Boise State doesn't have the history or prestige or "wow factor" that a traditional power like Texas or Michigan or Alabama has. And to top it off, they are perfectly capable of beating teams even if they go on the road.

The other argument that is made is "Well, Boise wants other teams to pay them when Boise play them on the road!" Sure, why not? Last season, Notre Dame paid out a six-figure sum to Nevada so that the Wolfpack could travel to South Bend for their season opener. Why should Boise State have to do it for free? If it was a home-and-home series, that would be different, but that point was already discussed. Teams don't want to lose to Boise on their field, and they surely don't want to lose to Boise on the Smurf Turf.

So there you have it. Now if you are still convinced Boise doesn't deserve to play for a National Title, then you simply don't care about the integrity of College Football (what's left of it, anyway). Or maybe you don't care because your Crimson Tide and your Buckeyes are on track to meat in the National Championship if they stay perfect. Or maybe it's simply a moot point because the determining factor is not what happens on the field, but what the voters think happens on the field.

And in that case they see Boise State.

And all they can do is hate.
Category: NCAAF
Tags: Boise State

Since: Jul 2, 2010
Posted on: October 1, 2010 2:54 am

The Boise Hate Debate

Are you kidding?  It is  round trip flight for 100 and 60 to 70 motel rooms vs. $200K-$400K.  Hands down, they make more on the road.

You can cite some examples of mid majors earning $800K to $1 Million, but these are so rare they make headlines.  The typical mid major earns $300K to $600K for an appearance.
Try to argue this all you want, the market sets a team's value.  The evidence couldn't be more apparent - Boise drops their demands to be in line with their market value, they get the teams on their schedule.  Boise asks for more than their market value, they don't get the teams on their schedule.  The only difference is Boise's demands.

You are only scratching your head if you don't look at the entire season, and Boise's ability to beef up their schedule.  They could never match the schedule of the majors, but they aren't even getting close thru the part they can control.
Where Boise's schedule stops (OOC) is where the majors start (conference).

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2010 7:48 pm

The Boise Hate Debate

But that requires Boise to pay out-of-pocket for expenses such as travel and lodging for up to 100 people (50 players, plus coaches, not to mention cheerleaders - even the band if they opt to make the trip). Even if the host school were to pay Boise for that, it wouldn't match the amount that they pay for other schools to play them early in the season.

I'm not a Boise State fan, but I have to scratch my head when people try to attack Boise for their weak scheduling. Their out-of-conference schedule is tougher than most BCS AQ schools' out-of-conference schedules. Wisconsin, for instance. Their out-of-conference schedule was awful. Nebraska managed a squeaker win at home over South Dakota State and they were rewarded by moving up in the polls. If Boise State had done that, you had better believe they'd slide down the rankings like a lead weight was tied to their foot.

Since: Jul 2, 2010
Posted on: September 29, 2010 7:34 am

The Boise Hate Debate

We have seen major programs schedule Boise. and others attempt to schedule Boise.  The limiting factor isn't Boise's high football success, it is Boise's high price demand to appear on a schedule.
If this were true, the majors would not schedule Boise under any terms.

This isn't an accurate statement.  An accurate statement would be that Boise asks for more than their market value as an opponent.  This is easy to prove - when Boise drops their demands to be in line with their market value, they get the games on their schedule.  When Boise asks for more than their market value, they don't.
The only difference is Boise's demands.

Nobody is seriously suggesting Boise play for free.  Boise's net revenue is so dismal that they make more playing 2 games on the road against a major than they make in a 1 and 1 series.  The most generous calculation I could make provides Boise with a net revenue of $1.5 Million for 2 games in a 1 and 1, a more realistic estimate is under $800K - under $400K a game.
Financial reasons favor Boise playing on the road.

The major programs typically schedule only 1 road game a year.
Boise's market value is no where close to a 1 and 1 with most major programs.

While we are here, might as well address the last reason typically given...
Boise claims playing 3 majors on the road would be an unfairly difficult schedule.
The truth is 3 road games against teams expected to finish in the top 1/2 of a major is typical for most majors - nothing unfair in this.

This isn't even close to the reason the discussions continue.

The criticism Boise plays a weak schedule is undeniable.  So what?  You can find criticisms with any team.  I see no reason to exempt Boise.

Boise fans look to deflect the criticism by placing the blame on entities other than Boise.  This inevitably leads to insulting other teams for Boise's shortcomings.

These attempts to deflect criticism draw others into the discussion.  The new faces reiterate and expand on the criticism and the process cycles.

You can trace almost every other criticism back to this original criticism.
What you can't do is make Boise's weak schedule a fault of anyone other than Boise.

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