Boise State-Iowa? Boise State-TCU? Boise State-Navy? Who knows ...; Humanitarian Bowl targets UCLA

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com

It’s two days to college football’s version of Selection Sunday and it still looks like Boise State has about five bowl options.

It’s fun reading all of the Bowl Championship Series projections out there and hearing people discuss their theories. Somebody might know something, but how would you know in the flood of conflicting predictions?

The most common line of thought is that the Fiesta Bowl takes Iowa and Boise State. The Fiesta is on record saying that fan travel is the most important element this year and Iowa is a sure bet in that department.

Others think the Fiesta will line up a rival to the BCS National Championship Game with two undefeated teams. That game likely would feature Boise State and TCU but also could pit TCU against Cincinnati.

And if the Fiesta goes for TCU-Cincinnati, that would push the Broncos to the Sugar Bowl and a date with the Florida-Alabama loser.

There are even rumblings that the Orange Bowl will stage a TCU-Clemson rematch rather than take Boise State or Cincinnati. BCS executive director Bill Hancock was asked about that Thursday and he said nothing would prohibit a rematch. Boise State also could end up in the Orange against Clemson.

All of that is assuming Texas beats Nebraska as expected.

If the Cornhuskers pull the upset, the Broncos could be in trouble. In that scenario, the Orange Bowl grabs Texas and Boise State would need to beat out Iowa (or Penn State) for the last at-large spot. Boise State would be helped there if TCU reaches the BCS National Championship Game. The Fiesta might take Boise State over Iowa if it already has Nebraska. If TCU is available, the Fiesta could stage a TCU-Nebraska showdown and the Sugar would have a difficult time taking Boise State over Iowa. What would help the Broncos in this scenario is if Cincinnati loses and the SEC championship game is a blowout. That could push the Broncos up to No. 3 and make it almost impossible for the BCS to justify leaving them out.

Perhaps the most intriguing scenario is Cincinnati jumping TCU to get into the championship game and Boise State getting snubbed again this year. How fast do you think the posturing would begin in Congress if the BCS shrugged off its complaints only to do essentially the same thing that brought the Mountain West and Boise State to Congress in the first place?

And then there’s the question of what happens to the Broncos if they don’t get into the BCS. The most logical answer is to send them to the Texas Bowl in Houston to face Navy. The Midshipmen won’t be ranked because of last week’s loss to Hawaii, but they have a national name and Houston is a key recruiting area for the Broncos. The only other realistic option is probably the Hawaii Bowl against SMU. The New Mexico Bowl isn’t going to get the Broncos excited and they probably don’t want to stay home even if the Humanitarian Bowl is able to draw UCLA. The GMAC Bowl on Jan. 6 in Mobile, Ala., also is an option, but I doubt the Broncos want to hang around for an extra week to play in a second-tier bowl game. My guess: Boise State-Navy on Dec. 31 at Reliant Stadium.

For my projections this week, I’m sticking with Iowa-Boise State. However, if Cincinnati loses and the Horned Frogs and Broncos end up 3-4 in the BCS standings, I could see the Fiesta pulling the trigger on Boise State-TCU.

BCS bowls:

BCS National Championship Game (No. 1 vs. No. 2): Florida vs. Texas

Rose Bowl (Pac-10 vs. Big Ten): Oregon vs. Ohio State

Sugar Bowl (1st pick vs. 5th pick): Alabama vs. Cincinnati

Fiesta Bowl (2nd pick vs. 4th pick): Iowa vs. Boise State

Orange Bowl (ACC vs. 3rd pick): Georgia Tech vs. TCU

WAC bowls:

Humanitarian: Idaho vs. UCLA

New Mexico: Nevada vs. Wyoming

Hawaii: Fresno State vs. SMU

Hawaii could throw a monkey wrench into the WAC bowls by beating Wisconsin on Saturday. That would put the Warriors in the Hawaii Bowl against former coach June Jones. Fresno State likely would go to New Mexico and Nevada could end up in the GMAC Bowl against Central Michigan. A Hawaii win also would eliminate UCLA from bowl consideration.

If Hawaii loses, it appears likely that UCLA will land in Boise. Humanitarian Bowl executive director Kevin McDonald said Friday he will wait until Dec. 12 for the Bruins if he has to. There’s a chance the deal could get messed up if Army beats Navy on that date.

“They are the team we want,” McDonald said of the Bruins.

•••

Boise State defensive end Ryan Winterswyk has elevated his game in recent weeks, defensive line coach Pete Kwiatkowski said. Winterswyk, already an All-WAC performer, has been menacing opposing quarterbacks.

“Ryan’s taken it to another level,” Kwiatkowski said. “He’s just so consistent and physical and he’s playing smart. He’s just been nails.”

Winterswyk has eight sacks — the most in the WAC, but he ranks second on per-game average. With one sack this week, he would take over the lead. He also is second in tackles for loss with 15.

Winterswyk has accumulated those numbers while only playing 60-65 percent of the snaps in the Broncos’ line rotation.

•••

Freshman defensive tackle Michael Atkinson has started to become a factor, Kwiatkowski said. Atkinson, whose first two-thirds of the season was spoiled by a suspension and ankle injury, has played on the second-team line the past three games.

He has lost some weight and is close to being fully healthy.

“There are flashes here and there of what he can do,” Kwiatkowski said.

•••

Sophomore middle linebacker Hunter White is among the players who must produce as the Broncos deal with their growing injury list.

Daron Mackey is out for the year and Derrell Acrey is questionable this week. They were the co-starters at middle linebacker before getting hurt last week.

Freshman weak-side linebacker J.C. Percy might get some time in the middle, too, and freshman weak-side linebacker Tommy Smith could see extensive action behind Aaron Tevis.

On offense, the Broncos have lost two of their top four tailbacks, two of their top three wide receivers and their fullback.

“It seems like guys have been dropping like flies every couple of weeks,” White said. “That’s the whole thing about depth and guys stepping up and playing hard in practice because you never know when you’re going to get your shot.”

1259961883 Boise State-Iowa? Boise State-TCU? Boise State-Navy? Who knows ...; Humanitarian Bowl targets UCLA Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

At this point I think

At this point I think speculation is a waste of time. Just wait a few days and see what happens.

Not if...

You are paid to write about it and speculate. He's just doing his job.

Or in other words....

....none of us know anything.

Exactly ryman,

I will be MORE than happy, when this finally shakes itself out!

Iowa is just a mediocre

Iowa is just a mediocre team. Even with their starting qb. BSU beating them won't prove anything. Also, UCLA sucks. Nobody wants to see them play.

On the contrary

UCLA may not be gunning for a national championchip, but I think that I speak for many people in saying that I would much rather watch a storied program such as UCLA (even with an average record)play in a bowl game over a small school from a weak conference who happened to win a few games this year.

This view of the H Bowl is very similar as to how a good chunk of the nation feels in regards to BSU. Many viewers that tune in on New Years Day want to watch a team that they recognize and know such as USC or Ohio State even if another small school has a better record.

I will attend the H Bowl because of UCLA just like I watched it a couple of years ago when the U of Miami played.

You'll still see

a small school from a weak conference who happened to win a few games this year - if UCLA plays Idaho.

not to the rest of the country

We may know Iowa is mediocre (they've been struggling all year) but they have a very good W-L record and they're in the very prestigious Big-10. The Big 10 has been a gift to underrated conferences because a win against a Big-10 team gets a lot more mileage than it's actually worth.

As a Boise State alum who benefits by association from the football team looking good, I'm really rooting for a Boise State/Iowa matchup because it's a game Boise State can definitely win and will earn them a lot of respect for it.

In contrast, Boise State would have a lot more trouble putting away TCU, Cincinatti, or even Nebraska, and if they did pull it off it wouldn't really impress anyone who didn't already like BSU. Boise State needs the PR of a Big 10 matchup going into next year.

No Idaho

I don't think Idaho vs UCLA would be a good match up for the H bowl. I better bowl would be Nevada VS UCLA...

I want them in the Fiesta...but

if they get snubbed again, I'm pulling for them coming to Houston. I could easily get a group of 30-40 from work to go to the game.

Being selfish, haven't gotten to go to a BSU game for over 15 years.

UCLA Said No Once

Apparently the H Bowl didn't pay enough to interest them. If I recall correctly they didn't want to have to pay in order to play. They said it costs them more to come to Boise than they made. In fact they had to dig a couple $100G up for the privilege. Someone may want to put a finer point on that story. It was several years ago.

Iowa Mediocre?

I don't think so. If their QB is still out come Bowl time,maybe. But if he is healthy, he is a danged fine QB. They, like us, are suffering from injuries. But a month can fix a lot of them.

thanks, jlf

i don't think most bsu fans have watched iowa play much. iowa is no more a mediocre team than bsu is. i think it will be a great game.

Got to see Iowa and Penn St....

This year in person and was impressed with the physicality of the Big Ten. Sure Iowa is missing awesome team speed, but I think they make up for it other areas.

Cornfed

I have watched Iowa. I am impressed. Your #2 QB, Jim Vandenberg, is still somewhat short of being on par with Rick Stanzi but he does a good job. The computers give Boise the edge by a TD, but with Stanzi in the game, I am not as convinced - not on a neutral field. Without Stanzi, Boise has the edge. If you go just by stats, we have you on sacks with less than 1 sack allowed per game, a better ground game, better defense and so forth. But our stats come from wins against generally teams weaker than those Iowa played, to a point. The Fresno State Wisconsin game told me a lot. Wisconsin was losing that game until OT. Even then, Fresno only lost because of a missed FG in the last few seconds of the game. Stats wise, Fresno dominated in just about every category. The reason for comparing these two teams is that both are middle of the road teams in the WAC and Big Ten and make a fair comparison between the two conferences, at least at the top end anyway. The WAC has a couple of teams that can't compete successfully on a regular basis at the D1 level and ought to go back to 1AA.

Boise had something like 30,000 fans that traveled to the Fiesta Bowl in 2007. I think we could very well travel that many again if we get the invitation.

i think its a pretty even match

i'm not surprised that the computer give boise state a TD but i'd probably take that bet. i don't think the fresno/ wisconsin comparison holds much water but that is neither here nor there. the key for iowa is not giving moore enough time to comfortably make deep throws. bsu hasn't allowed many sacks but, lets be honest, hasn't faced a front 4 the caliber of iowa's which has been elite this year. the key for bsu will be protecting moore and avoiding mistakes over the middle.
titus young is the biggest matchup problem for the hawkeyes.
moeaki will be difficult for bsu to deal with across the middle.
as far as stanzi, i'm indifferent. he makes things happen but is a total liability. i'd actually prefer vandendberg after six full weeks of snaps with the offense. in reality, i'd prefer kellen moore but that isn't an option.

Front Four

You make a mistake if you think we haven't faced tough lines. Oregon is an example. Fresno is another as is Nevada. Points on the board do not always tell the whole story. I think you have to look at yards per game for better look at what happened in the trenches. Fresno put up 443 yards against Cincinnati this year and held them to 357. The got 25 first downs to Cincy's 15. Time of Possession was 43 minutes for Fresno vs. 16 for Cincy. What cost Fresno the game (20-28)was Cincy's passing attack. It was the same when Nevada played Missouri. MO beat them in the air not on the ground. On the ground, Nevada dominated Missouri.

I'm not so optimistic about how many fans will travel....

In this economy, the number who travel will be reduced more than most think. Also, the Fiesta said that 'economic impact' would be their central factor in choosing the teams. Because so many from Boise would drive, that equates to few cars rented and also fewer nights spent in a hotel because you have control over when you arrive and depart and don't have to worry about fitting your departure into an airline schedule that will no doubt be packed. Less economic impact. Much less than the other options available to the Fiesta. That concerns me.

Truth

Dude, now you are really reaching. A week ago you were telling us how Oklahoma State would bring all these fans to the Fiesta Bowl, in part, because they could drive there (pretty much same distance as Boise). Now you are saying that being able to drive from Boise could hurt us. Dude, make up your mind. Also, the people that drive have to stay at least one night, right? at the Fiesta Bowl we had (2) two same day charter flights from Boise that went straight to the stadium. Really, Truth, you can do better.

Iowa

I have watched all of Iowa's games this year and they are a bounce and a little bit of luck from being 6-5. There is nothing to be gained by playing these guys. Iowan

H Bowl

I'm sure that's what the town of Boise and H Bowl officials want, two non-Idaho teams that nobody cares about. I'm sure UCLA fans are just chomping at the bit to leave sunny SCA and root on the Bruins in 25F weather. Idaho makes 100% sense and best chance to fill the stadium up...

I drink alcohol at the

I drink alcohol at the halftime of games

That sounded like a hic-cup,

Start before noon did we?

I walk to the liquor store

I walk to the liquor store down the street and then drink cognac out of my locker

That's pretty slow. Straighten that out, pilgrim.

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Like a midair collision with a tugboat

I'mnotasthinkasyoudrunkIam

Way to own it, your mamma MUST be proud.

Not so fast Chad

TCU vs BSU in the Fiesta would be a ratings wash-out. We love our Broncos and of course, Ft. Worth loves TCU, but will anyone outside of those metro areas give a crap about the game? No. BCS games want/need big tv ratings and a full stadium. A non AQ school playing another will be a total ratings flop. With all due respect to Chad Crippe, TCU/BSU will NEVER happen. Nobody outside Iowa and Boise will watch that match-up either, if those two were matched up, which is sort of the problem. I think alot of people are missing the boat on this BCS thing. The BCS people don't hate BSU. Infact, if BSU could draw huge ratings, they would take them in a heartbeat. The truth is, we are not a name brand yet. Until that day happens (perhaps years and years from now) we will continue to get the scraps from the BCS bounty.

Chadd

TCU and the Broncos playing each other? What a mess! These 2 teams should be playing BCS teams. Playing each other would hurt both teams as it would prove and mean very little, which is what the BCS would want. Last year both BSU and TCU should of played and beaten BCS teams for their bowl games.

TCU-BSU

The Fiesta isn't so worried about ratings this year, which is why this game could happen. The Fiesta also has a history of doing things a little differently and they expect both teams would bring a huge chunk of fans with them. I don't think they will do it -- but if those teams are Nos. 3 and 4, it would be tempting.

Agreed

If the BCS tried this, it would prove they are trying to keep the money in the hands of the "worthy". Think about it. If BSU and TCU played BCS teams and won, that is more money taken away from Big 6 schools. On the other hand, if they play each other, then only Fiesta Bowl money goes out the window. I think the BCS system is just corrupt enough to pull this fast one. And, they'll promote it as "Payback Time" or "Revenge Game" or some similar crock of garbage.

Honestly, I think TCU is the best team in the entire country. If we play them, we will lose by a LOT more than 1 point (especially it Pettis is still out).

I'm actually pulling for Texas to lose to Nebraska, so TCU can humiliate the SEC winner in the NC Game. If that happens, I will be satisfied that Boise State misses out of the BCS Bowl. Because, in the long run, a non-AQ team winning a straight-up National Championship will turn the entire NCAA on its head. Then, the elitists from the Big 6 will be screaming for a playoff system.

Tiger

Tigers new name is Cheetah.

Epic!!!

Cheetah indeed!

I heard "Freddie's Dead" on K-hits a day or two back...

No reason other than if he's gonna be a pimp he needs a good soundtrack in the Yugo that's gonna replace the "E", baby...

He's not eligible for Barry White yet, he has to work on it.

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Like a midair collision with a tugboat

TCU-Boise Won't Draw

We played them last year and the game drew little national attention. Boise needs to play someone else. We need to play more BCS-non-BCS inter-conference games. However, you know the Fiesta people must generate the most interest they can to pay the bills. So whomever they chose we must be supportive. We need the Fiesta Bowl for our own purposes too. That game not only has a nice payout, but is a great recruiting tool. If they fail we lose too, whether we are the invited team or not.

TCU and BSU

Would be a good ratings game. Much of the country is intrigued by the whole upstart thing and It is kind of like a Championship in its own right. Believe me the media would find plenty of angles to gain viewership. Not to metion TCU has a coach named Dick Bumpass, so there is always that angle that would appeal to frat boy vandals.

I Can't See It

Last years Poinsettia Bowl tells us a story. It got almost no national attention.

The poinsettia bowl

Didn't get natnl attention? NO!? The fiesta is a BCS bowl and 2 undefeateds would be good. Many people think TCU is the best team in the country. There are a lot of fans of teams that aren't in big bowls that would watch that game.

Not quite right.

There were only 10 bowl games last year, outside the BCS games, that drew more than a 3.5 rating. The Poinsettia bowl was one of them.

You should work for The Onion, Spudowski.

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Like a midair collision with a tugboat

thatjusthappened

is funny today. nice work.

cornfed, we don't need the deep ball

we can run the offense all day long with short passes and the running game.

Goin' Long...

...isn't Moore's forte. He just doesn't have the arm. He does his damage on the edges and up the middle in the short and medium game. But Moore needs someone with sticky fingers to snatch the rock. His brother will do some things well but he isn't as athletic as Austin Pettis or Titus Young. If the ball is on target he will do OK. But has anyone seen him make a diving over the shoulder catch in traffic? How about a one-handed catch?

Give Kirby Some Time, maybe he'll fool us all - hope so

Kirby Moore must be a pretty good receiver. He holds the national high school record for the number of TD catches in a career.

Saw him catch a TD from brother Kellen on a right side end zone fade route. Nothing special, but he caught it, unlike Burroughs (basically same area of the end zone and similar pass.

But athletic, no, he doesn't appear to be. Maybe he is, but just haven't seen it yet. Probably does not need to do circus catches if he can get open enough on screens and flat passes (8-15 yards a pop).

But I just don't imagine him being a streaking threat target on a 25 yard or more, deep route. Not because of his hands, but of his lack of sprinter speed.

Maybe his strength to help the team is as a blocker.

we can end the speculation

soon enough. my preference(like that means anything) is boise state/iowa. big stage, big name, big win.

ucla/nevada would be a better game

but the vandals will get the nod. jlf, my guess is regardless of revenue the bruins will make the trip. it is the best they can do this year, they will beat idaho like a drum and they will be happy to extend their season from the usc game. nevada would be a better opponent but the human bowl wants the vandal crowd and rightly so. vndl, will you go to both games?
omilk, congrats on the roses.

Would It Not Be Better

to hide their shame by staying in southern California than come to Boise and actually have to play the Vandals? At least in LA they are amongst the few friends they have left. But in Boise, the whole country would see they had sunk so low as to actually be seen on the same turf as the U of I. Just asking -- not that I harbor any ill will towards the Vandals you understand.

JLF

The same turf as Idaho...... The blue turf. Ohhhh it is so funny that the vandals might be the "team from idaho with the blue turf" Just becasue they hate it so.

I was told.....

......beggars can't be choosers.

Poinsettia Bowl Ratings

There has been quite a bit of discussion as to whether last year's Poinsettia Bowl was a ratings win or lose. I did some research (my job allows me to access Neilsen TV Ratings), and compiled the top 15 (of 34) bowls from last season, in order of ratings:

1. BCS National Championship (15.82 HH)
2. Rose Bowl (11.75 HH)
3. Fiesta Bowl (10.37 HH)
4. Sugar Bowl (7.81 HH)
5. Capital One Bowl (6.43 HH)
6. Orange Bowl (5.41 HH)
7. Champs Sports Bowl (5.20 HH)
8. Emerald Bowl (4.63 HH)*
9. Holiday Bowl (4.60 HH)*
10. Alamo Bowl (4.57 HH)*
11. Meikene Car Care Bowl (4.51 HH)*
12. Cotton Bowl (4.35 HH)
13. Gator Bowl (4.09 HH)
14. Chick-Fil-A Bowl (3.93 HH)*
15. Poinsettia Bowl (3.74 HH)*

(Note: Games on Cable TV marked with a *)

While the Poinsettia Bowl, by HH ratings, is a far cry from the likes of the BCS National Championship, it did rank 15th out of 34 games (just above .500, for those who are lacking in the math department), and ranked 7th out of all games not on broadcast television.

3.74 HH Poinsettia Bowl

I am not sure what the HH means but the 3.74 speaks loudly enough. It means an unranked 7-5 Miami playing an unranked 8-4 Cal playing in the Emerald Bowl was way more interesting to viewers than a #9 BCS ranked, 12-0 Boise State playing an 11-2, #11 BCS ranked TCU. I think I made my point.