Bowl Championship Series analyst Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com this week projected Boise State to play Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. He has been bullish on the Broncos BCS chances for weeks. Boise State needs to finish in the top 16 of the BCS standings, ahead of the champions of the other non-BCS conferences and ahead of one champion of a BCS conference to qualify automatically. Heres what Palm had to say about Boise State and the BCS:
Question: Youve been skeptical of Boise States BCS chances in the past. What has made you so sure theyll get there this year?
Answer: I dont know if Im that sure. Theyve got to get to 11-1 to give that prediction a shot. That was the prediction at the beginning of the year. I looked at them and realized they have to replace a lot but theres not a big threat to them in the Mountain West. If they dont beat Michigan State, thats not something that would necessarily hurt them because there wasnt anyone else. There wasnt a (non-BCS team) youre looking at and saying, Theyre going to go 12-0 and theyre going to beat somebody to get your attention. Louisiana Tech almost got there.
Question: If Boise State wins out, what are its chances of making the top 16?
Answer: I think they get to 16. I feel pretty comfortable they would get to 16 at 11-1. They might even be 14. I dont think they get to 12. Twelve would require a lot more help than you can reasonably expect. A lot of that depends on how they play. If they can put up some numbers, style points, thats always important. The computers will take care of themselves at 11-1. They have to impress the voters and that means not beating Wyoming by three in ridiculous conditions.
Question: The computers are hurting Boise State now. You think that changes?
Answer: I dont think the computers will be their problem. Theyve got to get on board with the voters. The voters have to get them up into the top 15 or so. At 11-1, competing against 9-3, 8-4 type teams down in that part of the rankings, I think the computers will end up being OK.
Question: How much of a threat are undefeated Ohio and one-loss Louisiana Tech?
Answer: Louisiana Tech is definitely not a threat. I dont think Ohio is, either. I dont think Ohio is going to finish the job. Even if they do, theyre playing like the 120th-ranked schedule.
Question: It seems like Boise State finishes behind a two-loss Big Ten champ but ahead of a three-loss champ. Is that right?
Answer: I think thats fair. I think an 11-2 Big Ten champion is probably going to jump them. A 10-3 champion, they have a chane to finish ahead of. And then if the Big East doesnt finish with an undefeated champion, Boise has a good chance fo finishing ahead of them, too.
Question: Where do you see Boise State falling in the BCS selections?
Answer: Theyd be the last team picked (the Orange Bowl has the last pick) and the Fiesta Bowl possible matchup with Oklahoma is the only exception to that.
Question: How do you see the national championship race?
Answer: Its Alabama until somebody beats them. They look like a juggernaut. I have Kansas State with the best chance of the other teams to actually finish undefeated. I think there are bigger potholes in other peoples schedules. Oregons schedule is backloaded. But if Oregon does finish undefeated, nobodys catching them for No. 2.