If you haven’t already figured this out, the college football establishment can’t wait for Boise State to either be upset or trampled by a traditional power in a BCS bowl game. The power brokers certainly don’t want the Broncos anywhere near its so-called national title contest.

They would be elated and popping champagne corks if Louisiana Tech could somehow upset Boise State on Tuesday night.

The latest example of “Boise State can’t win by winning” is comments by ESPN college football analyst Robert Smith.

Smith, a former Ohio State star, isn’t impressed with the little boys from somewhere out West. His dig was that he doesn’t think Boise State could beat Virginia Tech if the two teams were to meet again now. I’m still trying to figure out how that is even relevant to the national title discussion.

This isn’t a comparison between two teams that didn’t play – the main reason all these meaningless analysts have jobs in the first place. Boise State and Virginia Tech actually played each other. The Broncos won.

Since this is college football and not an NFL home-and-home division rivalry, I don’t understand how a non-BCS team beating a ranked team once in a season isn’t good enough.

All I know is Boise State and Virginia Tech played under the same exact circumstances in terms of a season-opening game and time to prepare. In fact, the game was held close in proximity to Virginia Tech where Boise State had to fly 2,000-plus miles to play in front of a largely pro-Virginia Tech crowd.

Seriously, Smith couldn’t come up with anything better to analyze Boise State’s BCS chances?

Making the situation funnier – or perhaps sadder – is when October began, all we heard over and over from the shallow folks at ESPN was that Virginia Tech wasn’t that good this season and Boise State’s victory over the Hokies was no longer impressive.

Yeah, Boise State can’t win for winning.

On the other hand, I’m glad to know Smith is suddenly such a deep thinker. Can’t wait until two or three weeks from now when he says things like …

–“I’m not so sure South Carolina could beat Alabama if the two teams played today…”

–“I’m not so sure Kansas could beat Georgia Tech if the two teams played today.”

–“I’m not so sure Mississippi State could beat Florida if the two teams played today…”

–“I’m not so sure Iowa State could beat Texas if the two teams played today…”

–“I’m not so sure Missouri could beat Oklahoma if the two teams played today…”

And of course, the one you know the former Ohio State star can’t wait to say:

“I’m not so sure Wisconsin could beat Ohio State if the two teams played today.”

One thing I learned long ago as a sports reporter, anytime an athlete or coach begins a sentence with “I’m not so sure,” they usually aren’t so sure. In other words, they weren’t prepared to answer the question or hadn’t done their homework.

If Smith is going to accept money to be an analyst, it would be nice to see him develop his abilities to where he could actually enlighten people. Perhaps doing a little homework before a show would help.

But remember, ESPN hires these guys because they were big-name football players – Smith was a fabulous NFL running back with the Minnesota Vikings – and not because they spent years developing their craft or are experts in what they are discussing.

Since Virginia Tech is rolling now with six straight wins, I can’t wait until the eve of the ACC Championship Game when ESPN requests Smith to break down the game. You just know this famous line will roll off his tongue.

–“I’m not so sure James Madison could beat Virginia Tech if the two teams played today.”


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