Let me begin by saying that when it comes to Boise State, no one has been more skeptical or dismissive of Boise State than I. My bona fides as a Boise-hater were well established last bowl season where, in the aftermath of people complaining about Boise and TCU being shunted off to the BCS kids' table I said (in only a rough paraphrase) "fuck 'em. They want to bitch and moan about not getting to play one of the 'big boys' in the BCS? Well boo-fucking-hoo. If this were the old Bowl Alliance these tiny, minor school after-thoughts wouldn't get into a BCS bowl if they bought tickets. You're not one of the big boys, you don't create the revenue or viewership, you're only here because the BCS was guilted into carving out an exception for you a few years ago and then you have the audacity to complain that the charity we extend wasn't exactly to your liking. Fuck off." Needless to say, I was less than sympathetic to the Boise cause and whether they belonged in the BCS at all.
Now, however, my attitude has changed. Slightly. I'll be the first to say that should Boise State go undefeated, they deserve a shot at the national title game. That is, of course, assuming that there are not two undefeated teams from two of the Big Six conferences. At the end of the day, Boise's schedule is (presumably) weaker than that of a major conference team and they should be held accountable for such. In a three-way (or more) tie of undefeateds, the odd man out is the one with the weakest schedule and, unless the season shakes out in completely unexpected fashion, that is Boise. But Boise has earned the right to be in the discussion.
Tonight's game was Virginia Tech was plain, old-fashioned, great football. Hard hitting and aggressively fought on both sides, with swings of momentum and the lead, it was everything great about college football. And it was an impressive win for Boise playing a virtual home game. One game does not a season make, but Boise played as tough, and probably tougher, a game as anyone else will play this season. The players and coaches of Boise State can't control who's on their schedule this season, they can only play who's next; and against Virginia Tech, Boise looked very impressive. Is Boise's schedule weak? Almost certainly so, but we won't truly know until the season plays itself out and we see just what the level of their, and everyone else's, competition is. Any supposition otherwise is at this point purely speculative. It's a new season and all preconceptions should be tossed out the window.
It's easy to hate Boise. And I think a lot of you have been turned off - deservedly so - by the mouth-breathing troglodytes from OBNUG that invaded these parts last December. Boise fan triumphalism is annoying, win one or two games and suddenly they think they invented college football (they're like nouveau riche SEC fans in that way). Having to interact with these fans created an understandable backlash against all things Boise State. But we should be wary of tossing out the baby with the bath water. Boise fans may be the worst thing to ever be subjected to the rest of the interwebz, but the team is not. Their coach seems like an earnest, good guy, the type of coach we need more of in college football; Chris Petersen has never been insistent or arrogant about Boise's worth or where they "deserve" to play, he only focuses on doing what it takes to win each game. The Boise players - with the exception of the kicker, seriously dude you have tribal tats YOU'RE A FUCKING KICKER, you aren't tough - seem to run the usual gamut of personalities and pros and cons that any college football team has.
This team is as deserving a shot as your Texases, Alabamas, USCs, aOSUs and the like. If they are one of two undefeateds at the end of the season, well then they've earned the right to play for the title. And, as fans of a school with limited resources relative to the heavyweights of college football, we should root for them as fellow Davids fighting a hierarchy of Goliaths.
Unless they're playing Iowa, in which case fuck them in the head.