Numbers indicate Boise State has improved much more than TCU since Fiesta Bowl

By Chadd Cripe
© 2010 Idaho Statesman

While I was watching the “BCS Countdown” show Sunday night, Kirk Herbstreit and my dad made the same point at the same time — what has TCU done this year to make people think the Horned Frogs are better than last year, when they lost to the Broncos in the Fiesta Bowl?

And if you break down the numbers, it’s clear. While the Horned Frogs have been slightly more impressive this year against a schedule that ranks the same as last year, the Broncos have been far more impressive than last year against a schedule that ranks significantly higher than last year.

Here are the highlights:

— Boise State’s yardage margin (total offense minus total defense) is 312 yards this year — a 108 percent increase over last year. TCU’s yardage margin is 277 yards, a 28 percent increase.

— Boise State’s scoring margin is 34.4 points per game, a 37 percent increase. TCU’s scoring margin is 32.9, a 29 percent increase.

— Boise State has made larger gains than TCU in rushing offense, total offense, scoring offense, rush defense, total defense, scoring defense and sacks.

— Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore has improved his efficiency rating by 30.73 points — or 19 percent. That’s particularly impressive because Moore finished No. 2 in the nation last year. TCU quarterback Andy Dalton’s rating is up 9.8 percent.

— Boise State’s big wins in 2009 and 2010 are similar — the Broncos were more dominant against Oregon in 2009, but they beat Virginia Tech on the road. TCU’s big wins are similar, too — they crushed Utah this year and crushed Utah and BYU last year.

— Boise State’s most-criticized performance last year was a seven-point win at Tulsa. Its most-criticized performance this year was a 29-point win against Louisiana Tech, a game the Broncos led by 36 when the starters left. TCU’s most-criticized win last year was a three-point decision at Air Force. Its most criticized win this year was a 17-point decision at SMU.

— And, finally, TCU’s schedule ranks 62nd in the Sagarin Ratings. Its schedule was 60th last year. Boise State’s schedule currently ranks 72nd. Its schedule ranked 96th last year. In fact, the Broncos’ schedule this year is projected to finish ahead of TCU’s.

The point: If Boise State was the better team in January, when the Broncos won the Fiesta Bowl, and it’s the more improved team this year, what makes so many people think the Horned Frogs are the better team this year?


Boise State senior safety Jeron Johnson has been named one of eight semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which goes to a defensive player based on integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.


Earlier, I posted the news that Boise State has received a $5 million pledge for stadium expansion earmarked for the new football complex in the north end zone.

Also, don’t forget to enter Brian Murphy’s Name the Score contest.

Very informative

Can this information be sent to ESPN or AP for national distribution and recognition? Way to do your homework! I looked at the frogs schedule and was underwhelmed to say the least.

Must read from

Just a little excerpt:

No matter what you might think about the Broncos and whether or not they’re worthy to play for the national title, you do have to admit that they’re getting royally screwed. Quick, name the team that was ranked in the top five in a preseason poll, was still undefeated by November, and didn’t get to No. 1 after all the teams ranked higher lost. You can’t.

Boise State started the season preseason No. 3 in the AP Top 25 and No. 5 in the Coaches’ Poll. No. 1 in the AP poll, Alabama, has two losses, and No. 2, Ohio State, has lost. Meanwhile, the two other teams along with Alabama and Ohio State ranked ahead of BSU in the Coaches’ Poll were Florida and Texas. Oops.

Everyone asked Boise State to beat Virginia Tech on the road. It happened, and as it turns out, that was a road win over the best team in the ACC. Everyone asked Boise State to blow away Oregon State. It rolled 37-24 without breathing hard. Everyone asked for all the wins over all the lousy teams on the slate to be brutal bloodlettings, and the closest anyone has come outside of the two BCS conference teams was Louisiana Tech in a 49-20 BSU win, and the score was 28-7 at halftime and 49-13 before the Bulldogs scored on a 25-yard run with 44 seconds to play.

Boise State has won its six games against non-BCS teams by a combined score of 306 to 47, or an average of 51-8, despite taking the foot off the gas game after game. Last week, Kellen Moore had over 500 passing yards after three quarters against Hawaii before coming out. TCU has won its eight games over non-BCS teams by an average of 42-7. (BTW, this isn't an anti-TCU rant.)

“But the schedule stinks,” you cry. Boise State has played the 58th toughest schedule in America, tied with Wisconsin. TCU’s is 61st. No. 1 Oregon is 80th in strength of schedule.

Beyond the mere facts of this season, there was a reason the team was ranked so high at the start and given so much credit and respect. Everyone was back except for star corner Kyle Wilson from a team that went 14-0 in 2009, beat TCU in the Fiesta Bowl, and is now 34-1 going back to the end of 2007. This team has done everything it was supposed to. It has done everything expected. It has matched expectations each and every week, even with America waiting for the slightest slip of any kind, and by that, a 37-27 win would qualify. And yet, TCU is going to play for the national title if Oregon or Auburn slip, and Boise State won’t.

Oregon has the 80th sos

And a monster game at Cal this week. A team Nevada hammered and then got beat by Hawaii. And the Broncos....well, you get the point.

There's that war every week in the Pac 2. What was the score of that Arizona/Cal game?

JLandon...try and understand...

...SOS does not mean because hawaii is 7-3 and washington is 2-7 that hawaii is the stronger team. It's the level of competition, and as we all know washington is miles better than hawaii as boise proved in 2007, getting waxed by 2 TD's.

Please mule nation, consider how stuuuupid you are going to sound before you sound off. While it is amusing to the rest of the college football world, and believe me, everyone is laughing at the never ending posing Boise and its fan do!!!!

Out, rack me again!!!!

"Consider how stuuupid you are going to sound"....great advice.

You might want to follow it.

Who is this guy

I've been looking for this "everyone" for quite a long time. So many vandulls reference him/it/her to give them some status. Guess everyone must be supernatural. Or maybe a ghost. Or maybe someone the vandulls made up so they can sleep at night. What's up with that?

Try to keep up wtih the chat, Montaaaaaaana.

"Ducks" are from Oregon - "Vandals" are from Idaho. (Stay with me.) The "duck" in BDuck's name means he is an Oregon fan, not an Idaho fan. (Did we follow that Sheep Boy?)

All Montanans agree!

Sheep block roads.


You must remove your post before it will be posted.


This columnist just doesn't get it...Stats don't mean squat i.e. Giants beat Braves, Phillies and Texas!..Schedule strength does and always has...OK the Broncos will feast on the Vandals and poor Fresno, but Nevada will give them a good run and maybe beat em..So they had an off day in sunny Hawaii, (probably got hooked up with some long haired babes)...The wolves just might knock em out!! Boise St. should be ranked around 5th or 6th

Funny How it's a Duck Fan

Trying to impress whoever with trivial garbage, when his own team is win-less against the team he knocks? The fact of the matter is Ducky is scared his Ducks might be forced to face a team that has beaten them twice. Duck fans have never seen their team in the position they currently find themselves and it worries them that they might not be the best team in the nation should they be forced to prove it against a team that has never lost to them.


Look, I'm not one of those Bronco fans who holds last year, or the year before against the Ducks. So I think it's ludicrous that you would point to what happened with Boise and Washington in 2007, as very few of the players from that team are still with the Broncos today...surely you don't think it's apt to compare Kellen Moore and company to Taylor Tharp? And anyway, Hawai'i also beat the Broncos that year, so I don't know what that is supposed to prove.

...who siad

that Hawaii is better than Washington? You said:"It's the level of competition...." Exactly, and that's what Strength of Schedule measures, and as a result what the computers take into account when they "crap" out their rankings. The computers are the ones that say Oregon's SOS is 80th, that wasn't made up.

I like how you throw in the the 2007 loss to the Huskies. What's your point?

BTW-your week attempt at a Rome call-in would haven never been racked. Nice Try!


Right on the money. Sending your post to my Bronco Chat.

Chad, you are paid to keep

Chad, you are paid to keep these people happy and confident in their team, but your logic about statistics stinks!! What will you do if Nevada knocks em off or is within a TD?...They will fall to 9th or 10th where they belong...

Stats are stats

How can you skew facts? It seems he isnt one missing the "logic".


Your 'logic' is filled with 'what ifs', and you see no oxyMoron in your comment.... The irony!

Yeah...Since he knows more...

than the Coaches polled and the voters on the other human polls, perhaps he should become a Vegas handicapper...with that wealth of knowledge and insight...


shh! Don't distract him. He's playing with his Magic 8 Ball.

Ahhhhh Yessss..

Then perhaps Bduckie will "rack him again"?

A strong possibility

he will be 'racked again', considering how often the BD shares that bit of personal info.

It will be interesting to

It will be interesting to see if we think being on ESPN vs the MTN has the effect we think it does down the stretch.


time will tell whether or not this was a good move by Bronco Bob. I still think he (an all others on this site with demeaning comments about the WAC membership) is biting off the hand that fed BSU's football program. Time will tell...time will tell...

sportsisfun is wise

100% agreement.


This is a commonly stated misconception.

It is not ESPN vs The Mtn. Network. The Mtn. Network gets the less desirable games that have always ended up on KTVB for the Broncos. The games that would have been taken by ESPN in the past will now be picked up by either Versus or CBS College Sports. TCU had only one game this year on The Mtn. They had/have two on ESPN, four on Versus, and four on CBS College Sports. One of their games (against FCS Tennessee Tech) was not on TV.

I think that Boise State can expect similar treatment next season. Ole Miss, Fresno, Toledo, and any bowl game will all be available to ESPN -- I guarantee they will pick up at least Ole Miss, Fresno and the bowl. Most of the rest of the schedule will be on Versus or CBS College Sports. I guarantee that no more than two games will be on The Mtn. next year.

By way of comparison, The Broncos have one game on ABC this year (the first time ever in the regular season), five on ESPN/ESPN2 (plus a bowl), one on ESPNU, one on CBS College Sports, and four on KTVB.

Household distribution for various networks:

  • ABC: 129 million
  • ESPN: 99.5 million
  • ESPN2: 99.5 million
  • Versus: 73.9 million
  • ESPNU: 72.3 million
  • CBS College Sports: 40 million
  • The Mtn.: 1.5 million
  • KTVB: 262,800


Chad, Good article. Hey, while you are putting stats together, why don't you look into the Heisman candidates and compare there states for the amount of games and quarters played. I did and Kellen blows Cam out of the water. The Heisman race is just a popularity contest.


Cam Newton plays in the SEC. Not saying that Moore wouldn't do well there, too, but the WAC is no SEC.

Wilcox could attest to that

What makes people think TCU's better than BSU?

"what makes so many people think the Horned Frogs are the better team this year?"

Isn't the reason BSU is jumping to the MWC because the WAC is so "weak"? Couldn't that be the reason?

Look at BSU's record vs the MWC

BSU has something like a .750 winning percentage vs MWC teams.

actually it's .923 winning %

I believe we're 12 - 1 vs the MWC.


The MWC actually isn't that much stronger this year. It does have the better reputation, but with BYU in the tank this year I'd say Boise State-Nevada-Hawaii-Fresno compares well with TCU-Utah-Air Force-San Diego State.


They thought TCU was better last year (ranked 4, BSU was 6), and yet BSU won the Fiesta Bowl solidly. That's the point... everyone argues every year that the WAC is weak, so therefore Boise State can't be good. But every indicator is that they're incredible.

Just because Oregon, Auburn, or TCU could run the table in the WAC (excluding Boise State) doesn't mean Boise State couldn't run the table in the Pac-10, SEC, or MWC. That's the fallacy everyone makes.

BSU beat TCU solidly? It

BSU beat TCU solidly? It was a 7 point win on a touchdown that resulted from a fake punt. The stats were even. Boise scored 3 offensive points in the game up to that point. Let's not get carried away with how "solid" that victory was. I also remember a TCU receiver dropping a TD pass in the 4th quarter. So the game could've easily gone the other way. That's exactly why most people don't care what last year's score was. It was used initially to start the rankings this year but means nothing anymore. Every team changes and TCU just looks like a more solid team. I think all the whining from Boise fans is stupid because both teams are going to be in the BCS. No way a bowl is going to take boring Wisconsin and I know Iowa isn't getting in. Disagree with me if you wish but other than Jerry Palm it seems most "experts" think both TCU and Boise will be in. Jerry is generally wrong about his projections.

That "boring" Wisconsin team

beat your Hawkeyes. And after Ohio State beats them next weekend, Sconnie's heading to the Rose Bowl.

But you are right, BSU is going to a BCS bowl game. My guess would be either the Sugar or possibly the Fiesta again

The stats were even?

Yes, the total yardage were almost even, but Boise State had more than double the rushing yardage, and 50% more yards per carry. TCU could not run the ball at all in the game, which led to another major difference in the stats: BSU was 6-18 on 3rd down, and 2-2 on 4th down; TCU was 1-12 on 3rd down, and 0-1 on 4th down. That was a huge difference in the game. And the final major difference was turnovers. Boise State was +2 in the turnover battle.

Also, while it was only a 7 point win, that was a 7 point win in a game that had only 27 total points. That's a much bigger effective margin than, say, a 42-35 win.


sounds familiar. can't quite place him. tbk?

b81, could very well be.

First posts, huh?

Polls are merely beauty pageants...

Flashes in the pan for for talking heads to wonk their biases. Robert Smith fails to mention the weather conditions at the LA Tech - Boise game, the one he is so critical of Boise's "inability to stop the run?"

LA Tech

Don't forget they (LA Tech) didn't roll over for LSU earlier this year either.


Sorry, I'm just a little confused? Are you saying that La Tech played LSU this season?
p.s. this is a serious question I'm not being sarcastic.

No, they played LSU

last year at LSU. Final score: 24-16 Tigers. Not bad for a 'cupcake' team (cough, cough).

So don't complain when they

So don't complain when they drop the Broncs to 7th or 8th

Hold on, people

BSU has improved since last season?

How is this possible?

I thought all college football teams this year are exactly the same as they were last year?

Countless BSU fans have certainly made it very clear that Oregon is the same team this year, despite the new QB and RB.

I dont know if Oregon is as good as last year

They had Masoli and Blount. I dont know if you've noticed IdaDuck but Blount is playing in the NFL. Are there any current Ducks playing in the NFL? So, by your logic Duck, your team cant be better this year.

See how silly you always sound? No? I didnt think so.

Great point!



Its always about your beloved ducks on every post you make. You give direct and indirect insults every time you post. Its old and lame. The Ducks are a great team. We've all said it. You dont have to use mouth to mouth every post you make, geezus.

Nice, JLandon...

It is classless to joke about mouth to mouth or the lack of mouth to mouth. You, of all people, should know better. Also, who is this geezus fella and why are you bringing him into this?

So, Masoli went to ole

So, Masoli went to ole miss..great team!!

not as good?

Com on dude, Masoli took his thievery to ole miss...He's a troubled QB...Oregon is MUCH better this year...

well of course they are

that is the primary excuse offered up to explain the beatdown of the previous two years.