Murphy: BCS helped Boise State football

By Brian Murphy

The Bowl Championship Series era ends tonight after 16 controversial (and often thrilling) years when No. 1 Florida State takes on No. 2 Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game.

The BCS was charged with pitting No. 1 vs. No. 2 in a bowl game — a rarity in the days before the BCS — but it came to stand for much more, good and mostly bad.

The BCS gives way to a four-team playoff next season, which will also be filled with controversy before it eventually gives way to an eight-team playoff.

While many fans, including Boise State fans, are happy to see the BCS go, it’s only fair to acknowledge that the system benefited the Broncos in many ways. The odds of Boise State playing (and winning) two Fiesta Bowls in the pre-BCS era were almost nil.

Those games provided a huge platform for the program. The 2007 Fiesta Bowl victory against Oklahoma is considered one of the greatest college football games ever — and it probably doesn’t happen in a pre-BCS world.

The Broncos realistically could have (and likely should have) played in more BCS games. The selection process, which favored brand-name teams and bigger fan bases, didn’t always balance out to the Broncos’ benefit. The BCS designation created a chasm in college football between the haves and the have-nots, and it helped fuel conference realignment.

Still when the BCS ends tonight, the Broncos will be among its biggest winners.

Boise State is one of five teams to play in multiple BCS games without a loss: West Virginia (3-0), Auburn (2-0), Boise State (2-0), Louisville (2-0) and Utah (2-0).

Auburn, of course, could move to the top of the list or fall of it tonight.

Boise State appeared in the top 25 of the BCS rankings 64 times, good for No. 13 nationally before the 2013 season.

What do you think: Was the BCS good for Boise State or bad for the Broncos?

Sports columnist Brian Murphy writes about all sports in the Treasure Valley with a concentration on Boise State football and men's basketball. Murph has been with the Statesman since 2005. You can follow him on Twitter @MurphsTurph.

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