Those BCS-busting darlings from Boise are ready to make up for last season. Boise State will once again start their season on the east coast in a neutral-site game that won’t necessarily feel real neutral. After opening up 2010 in FedEx Field against Virginia Tech (and winning), the Broncos travel deeper in to enemy territory with this weekend’s game against the Georgia Bulldogs in Atlanta, Georgia. Are they scared? Of course not, nor should they be.
Boise State has made a reputation of winning big games against “the big boys” in college football, including victories against the Hokies, Oklahoma and Oregon in recent seasons. Coming in to the season Boise State is thinking big once again, but the general feeling seems to be that if the Broncos slip up in Atlanta this weekend, those dreams can be washed away.
What does our joltleft.com college football panel think?
Boise State takes on Georgia in a season opener in Atlanta. Boise State could once again be thinking BCS but many feel a loss in week one would take them out of the mix right off the bat. Georgia has some young talent and a challenging first two games (South Carolina the following week). Getting a win against Boise State could be a catalyst for the season. Is this game more important for Boise State or Georgia?
Stephen Francis, Dallas Sports Examiner: It’s definitely more important for Boise State. The only other huge game on the docket for the Broncos is the November 12 home game against the TCU Horned Frogs. Georgia plays in the SEC, and as has been proven numerous times in the past, a BCS Conference team can lose a game and still play for the title. From the SEC, alone, Florida (2008 and 2006) and LSU (Who actually lost TWICE in 2007, and 2003), have proven that a team can lose a game and still go on to compete in the BCS Championship. Georgia can receive the benefit of the doubt in-conference if they go on to run the table after losing to Boise State based on conference affiliation.
On the other hand, Boise has really just two, at a maximum four games that they can point to as “key” opponents – Georgia, TCU, maybe Nevada and maybe Air Force. Compare that to the minimum of seven that Georgia can hang their hat on, the potential strength of schedule looks much better for Georgia.
The Bulldogs can lose against Boise St. and still control their own destiny. If the Broncos lose, the same cannot be said with certainty.
Rich Kurtzman, Colorado State Rams Examiner: This game is more important for Boise State. Why? Because they’re part of the “Sisters of the Poor” Mountain West Conference. Face it, even if a team goes undefeated in the MWC, it doesn’t secure them a chance at a BCS championship because the conference has not been granted AQ status. It’s the reason why Utah left for the Pac 12, why TCU split to the Big East and why BYU is now independent. BSU may be a great team, but if they lose any games, the national media will write them off and their chances will disintegrate. Therefore, Boise State must start the season on fire and win in their first week against Georgia.
Schimri Yoyo, Big East Examiner: I think it’s more important for Georgia. Over the past several seasons Boise State has established itself as a top-flight program as evidenced by the national recognition they’re getting and their high preseason ranking. They could lose this game and still run the table and make it to a decent bowl game (if not BCS). Georgia, however, has fallen on some hard times since its last BCS appearance and Coach Mark Richt could be on the hot seat. Plus, the game is basically a home game for the Bulldogs and their schedule doesn’t get much easier being in the SEC. They need this game in a bad way.
Troy Hyde, Iowa Hawkeyes Examiner: The game is more important for Boise State because like in most years that team usually only has one or two hurdles that get in their way to an undefeated season. On the flip side, no team in the SEC is out of it in Week 1 because they play so many good teams and that gives them a chance to get back in the rankings. Most years, the best team in the SEC has one loss anyway so that loss won’t be that big if it happens. A win for Georgia though is important, just not as important as Boise State. Voters would eliminate Boise State right away with a loss in Week 1. And honestly, that is probably what the voters nationwide want most – for the little guy to fail.
Sean Jackson, Ohio State Buckeyes Examiner: The edge goes to Georgia. This game is a huge building block for the foundation of their season. If they lose, it could have the Virginia Tech effect of last season and before they know it, they could be 0-2. For a young team, confidence is everything. A win against Boise State would provide them that.
Boise should be in the BCS picture all season regardless of what happens in Atlanta. While a loss would probably stop their title chances, it wouldn’t derail their shot at a BCS bowl.
Kevin, National College Football Examiner: There is no question that this game is more important for Boise State than it is for Georgia. The Broncos are considered a team that has a real shot at playing for a BCS championship but they must win every game in the regular season. A loss in week one throws away the entire dream, and could potentially remove Boise State from the casual college football fan’s frame of mind for the entire season. It sounds harsh and disrespectful, but that may be the reality.
That said, Georgia could also really benefit from picking up a win in the season opener. With South Carolina in week two the Bulldogs could potentially be staring at an 0-2 record to start the season, and that could start to turn the heat up on Mark Richt’s hot seat. Start the season 2-0 though, and Georgia all of a sudden becomes a team to beat in the SEC East.
But if either team can reach the BCS after losing this game, the odds are better for Georgia than they may be for Boise State.
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