Last year, two undefeated teams dueled in the desert for bragging rights, rankings and a golden football trophy. The victorious team completed a college football record-tying 14-0 season and only said goodbye to one starter that suited up that night.
The Boise State Broncos prevailed that night in Glendale, Ariz. by outcoaching, outsmarting and outplaying their counterpart, TCU.
Fast forward 11 months and TCU has found a way to unjustly defeat the Broncos, not on the field, but in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. The Horned Frogs hopped over the Broncos two weeks ago, securing the No. 3 ranking after a 48-6 victory at UNLV, BSU fell to No. 4.
TCU does not have the resume to jump the Broncos. If beating the Horned Frogs on a neutral field at one of college football’s most prestigious stages isn’t enough, the Broncos have outpreformed TCU this year against common opponents.
Boise State hosted Oregon State on Sept. 25 after TCU battled the Beavers at Cowboys Stadium on Sept. 4 to kick off the season.
Against the Beavers, the Broncos ran up 469 yards of offense and the Horned Frogs put up 453 yards. Boise State rushed for 175 yards and passed for 294 yards. TCU ran for 278 yards and threw for 175. The Bronco defense held the Beavers to 237 yards of offense, while the Horned Frogs held OSU to 255 yards. Boise State outscored Oregon State by 13 points compared to a nine-point victory for TCU.
Boise State played Wyoming on the road, a place many good teams have struggled, and TCU got Wyoming at home. At the Cowboys’ home stadium, the Broncos put up 648 yards of offense. TCU mustered 578 yards of offense and both the Broncos and the Horned Frogs outscored the Cowboys by 45 points. Boise State held Wyoming to 135 yards of total offense and TCU held them to 191 yards.
Many believe and argue that TCU has a tougher schedule than Boise State, but when compared side to side, Boise State has the upper hand. As of week 10, TCU’s opponents held an overall record of 48-50, the Broncos’ opponents are 49-49. The Horned Frogs only defeated No. 24 Oregon State and No. 5 Utah (rankings at time of play). Boise State has defeated No. 10 Virginia Tech, No. 24 Oregon State and the Broncos still have a trip to No. 23 Nevada left on their schedule.
The numbers do not lie. Boise State has the more impressive resume. TCU may have the nation’s best defense, but the Broncos are the only team in the nation to be in the top 5 in total offense, total defense, total scoring offense and total scoring defense. Boise State is undoubtedly the more complete football team. The Broncos took their punishment for the 17-16 2008 Poinsettia Bowl loss when TCU jumped them in the BCS rankings later in the season. This year it’s time for TCU to bear the punishment of losing 17-10 in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.