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Hayden Goethe, Published November 28 2010

Goethe: BCS backers rally behind Boise State loss, but upset doesn't diminish need for playoff

With a 34-yard field goal in overtime on Friday, Nevada’s Anthony Martinez lifted the Wolfpack to a huge win against previously undefeated Boise State.

But there’s no doubt that kick gave the biggest victory of all to none other than the Bowl Championship Series.

If you opted to skip Black Friday shopping and instead watch college football like I did, you weren’t disappointed. There were upset bids galore. Favored teams narrowly escaped having their national title hopes come crashing down.

But for the Boise State Broncos, they weren’t so lucky. Ranked No. 3 in the two major polls and No. 4 in the BCS rankings, “Blue Turf Nation” needed a win against the No. 19 Wolfpack to bolster their chances of getting into the national title picture.

Instead, the 34-31 overtime loss in a game that ended in the early morning hours Saturday makes the bowl picture much clearer. No longer can fans of the plucky Broncos say they deserve a chance this one time to play for the whole enchilada. Instead, they’re probably headed to the Enchilada Bowl, or some other bowl game that sounds too fake to be real.

Yes, this weekend was big for those supporters of the BCS, who are quick to point out that Friday’s loss by Boise proves that teams like the Broncos don’t belong playing against the likes of Auburn or Oregon in a national championship game or any sort of proposed playoff system.

But the Boise loss doesn’t change my opinion of the BCS whatsoever, other than to say that there are schools more deserving of a national title shot this season than Boise State.

Let’s not forget the Broncos had already beaten two top-25 teams in nonconference and had won all of their Western Athletic Conference games by at least 29 points prior to Friday’s defeat, yet were still only fourth in the BCS rankings. Even a win over Nevada alone wouldn’t have been enough to get Boise State in the title game.

I would prefer to see the players decide who plays in the national title game, not a collection of voters. If you want judges to determine what is good and what isn’t, watch boxing or figure skating. That’s not football.

And to those that say college football’s regular season is a playoff, with each game carrying an increased significance, look no further than the Football Championship Subdivision. North Dakota State may have backed into the playoffs after a 3-0 loss, but the fans were still energized every step of the way. Every game mattered.

What Bison fans got to see Saturday as NDSU opened the first round of the FCS playoffs at the Fargodome was that every team really does have a chance to win it all in Division I’s lesser division. It’s a feeling that fans of schools like Boise State or Texas Christian might never feel.

Readers can reach Forum Assistant Sports Editor Hayden Goethe at (701) 241-5558 or hgoethe@forumcomm.com