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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

December 4, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Boise State gets jobbed by the BCS

As most people expected, Alabama held off Oklahoma State for the No. 2 spot in the BCS national-championship game Jan. 9, but not by much.

Stanford, No. 4 in the BCS standings, cinched a BCS berth in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State, whose offense will be a big challenge for the Cardinal.

The surprise came in the Sugar Bowl, which turned thumbs down on Boise State, which was No. 7 and very much eligible for an at-large spot in the BCS. But the Sugar matched Virginia Tech (11-2) against Michigan (10-2). Yes, the same Virginia Tech that got plastered, 38-10 in the ACC title game by Clemson.

This one is tough to figure. I understand Michigan, which has a storied history and brings quarterback Denard Robinson. But the Hokies? They’ll be representing a league that’s 2-11 all-time in BCS bowl games.

The Sugar passed on Kellen Moore, who is the all-time winningest quarterback with 49 in his career. Was it TV sets or fan travel that did it? Early in the Broncos’ rise to national prominence, there was some bowl hesitation because they didn’t move the needle across the country. But then BSU began winning big games, including the classic 2007 Fiesta against Oklahoma, and Boise State picked up more TV support.

Hard to imagine Boise State’s travel potential wouldn’t have at least approached what Virginia Tech could do. Nor has the Sugar ever had Boise State. So this one is a bit of a head-scratcher.

And as always, when Boise State doesn’t make the BCS, the fall is hard. It dropped all the way to the Las Vegas Bowl, where it will face a 6-6 Arizona State team on a four-game losing streak.

In the other BCS games, Oregon meets Wisconsin in the Rose and Clemson faces West Virginia in the Orange.

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