Monday, October 18, 2010

James isn't, and James is an Excuse

I'll take that action. On a neutral field, anywhere from coast to coast, against any program, I'll take Boise State. Not Stoops' Sooners, a team that will get tested in Stillwater before this is said and done. Not the Ducks, despite their record setting offensive output in 2010. Not the Tigers of Auburn, not their defense which gave up 77 points in the last two weeks. After 'Bama & the Buckeyes got theirs, I've got no doubt.

For those of you who still do . . .

The Boise State Broncos 33-30 opening weekend win over Virginia Tech means something. The fact that D-1AA James Madison University stunned those same Hokies just six nights later, means very little. [1] James Madison's win in Blacksburg was their biggest in school history, but for the Hokies it
was nothing more than a hangover loss. I'd argue that the stunning loss is a direct result of how badly Boise State put a hurting on them just up the road in Landover, MD. [2] Since then, Virginia Tech has put the loss in their rear view. A 3-0 ACC record, 1st place in the conference, and beating teams at a 41-20 clip since that loss. [3] When the Hokies wind up in the Orange Bowl at seasons end, the loss to James Madison is going to be a mere afterthought and Boise State will still boast a virtual road victory over a BCS Bowl game participant. Still going to be using James Madison as an excuse then?

When Oregon State's senior wide receiver, James Rodgers, got knocked out for the season, the Beavers weren't the only ones jaw dropping. After getting shut down vs. Boise State (2 catches, 11 yards) in a 37-24 loss, the Broncos not only had another signature win, they'd also shut down one of the best offensive weapons in the PAC-10. Two weeks later Rodgers caught seven passes for 102 yards against Arizona in a big road win for Oregon State, then suffered a knee injury that would keep the senior captain out for the remainder of the season. The impact: In his absence the Beavers do get weaker on offense immediately. This weekend in a 35-34 overtime loss in Washington just proved that, the Beavers needed James Rodgers. Each loss the the Beavers take from here on out, devalues Boise's great play against them when they were at full strength. For voters who don't do their homework and computers who don't account for a teams injuries, this is trouble for Boise State. Before dialing up Oregon States record at the end of the season, know the injury to James Rodgers is as big as any in college football.

The fact that Boise State went toe to toe against not one, but two teams from power conferences, and beat both of them is proof enough. Not only does Boise State get no respect, their like a cheating husband just waiting for the hammer to drop. When Boise State gets taken for a ride at the end of the season, you'll hear this many more times. "They only beat Virginia Tech, a team who lost to James Madison, and Oregon State, a team with 5 losses" but at least NOW YOU KNOW, James isn't and James is an excuse.

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