Will There Be a BCS Buster in 2005?
Boise State's chance was over before it ever got started. Utah's loss at TCU yesterday, eliminated them. No matter how much ESPN had hoped for TCU to beat Utah, it could not erase last week's loss to SMU. Air Force, New Mexico and Fresno State are the only teams with a chance to crash the BCS from either the Mountain West and Western Athletic conferences.
UTEP leads the pack of Conference USA's hopefuls, only Tulane and East Carolina are still unbeaten besides the Miners.
Toledo is strong candidate to go undefeated out of the MAC. The Sun Belt's North Texas is the only non-BCS team without a loss.
Four of these teams stand out of the remaining eight. Ironically, these four will play each other in the next two weeks.
UTEP hosts Houston tonight, if they win it will set a showdown with New Mexico on September 24. The Lobos have to get by New Mexico State this weekend first.
Fresno State is the only non-BCS school ranked in the top 25, and have a huge game at Oregon this weekend. A win will set up a ESPN 2 nationally televised match up with Toledo on September 27. Toledo is flying under the radar with blow out wins over Western Illinois and Western Michigan. The blow outs should continue with the week's game at Temple.
Come October 1, only the winners of the UTEP-New Mexico and Fresno State-Toledo games may be undefeated.
Out of these four UTEP and Toledo have the easier schedules. Fresno State and Toledo are the only ones with games remaining against ranked teams. Fresno State faces number one USC November 19, while Toledo's is its game with the Bulldogs. New Mexico has the most impressive win thus far with its 45-35 win at Missouri.
UTEP would be my guess as the team with best shot to go undefeated. The Miners toughest test after New Mexico is a road game at Memphis and a home game with UAB. Fresno State is more talented, but they play at USC. If New Mexico beats UTEP, they still have to navigate through the rest of the MWC. Toledo would have to beat Fresno State, and have a tough road game at Bowling Green to end the season.
This season pales in comparison to 2004 when Boise State, Fresno State, Louisville, and Utah were all ranked in the top 25 early in the season. Another Utah like run for any non-BCS school may be on hold until next year.
Unless, Fresno State gets by Oregon this week, beats Toledo, takes care of nemesis Boise State, and finds some way to beat USC.