BOISE STATE BRONCOS
What can you say about a team that got left out of the BCS despite a No. 7 ranking and one loss on the season? Should have won all its games, right? In the world of the non-AQs, there is absolutely no margin for error. There has never been a one-loss team from a non-AQ make it into the BCS. Not even a deserving team like Boise State, which beat SEC East Division champion Georgia to open the season and lost at home by one point to a ranked TCU team thanks to another missed field goal. Now the Broncos are headed for the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas for the second straight season to play a 6-6 Arizona State team. You can see why coach Chris Petersen ripped into the BCS earlier this week, saying everybody was tired of the system.
Despite the loss, this was yet another double-digit season for Boise State, and the fourth year in a row the Broncos finished in the Top 10 of the final BCS standings. Kellen Moore had the best season of his career, throwing for a career-high 41 touchdowns and setting a career mark with a .741 completion percentage. Injuries did take their toll, most especially in the TCU game, when Boise State was left with a walk-on at running back and freshmen playing in the secondary. All things considered, this Boise State senior class has lost three total games and still deserves some national recognition, even if they are playing in a non-BCS game.
Offensive MVP: Moore, QB. Moore completed 300-of-405 passes for 3,507 yards this season and became the winningest quarterback in NCAA history. He is the only quarterback this season who carved up the Georgia secondary and what he was able to do with new starting receivers should reaffirm his skill as a quarterback.
Defensive MVP: Tyrone Crawford, DE. This was a tough one because so many of these players had solid seasons. I am going with Crawford because he led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, and did a solid job in replacing Ryan Winterswyk on the line.
Turning point: Losing 36-35 to TCU. Given the way the college season ended, you have to wonder whether an undefeated Boise State team would have had a shot at playing LSU in the national title game. The Tigers were the only undefeated team in the nation. Anybody's guess whether Boise State would have had enough of a push to move ahead of Alabama, but this might have been their best chance. It was not meant to be. For the second straight season, their BCS hopes ended on a missed field goal.
What’s next: Life after Moore. The senior class has a chance to set the school record for most wins by a departing group in the bowl game (50), and then it is time to say good bye to a group that elevated the program to an elite level. How will Boise State handle itself without Moore, and with plans to join the Big East for 2013?