Football: Upsets spawn ?just win? philosophy

Travis Kriens

Travis KriensSports Genius

If there is one thing that we have learned over the first two weeks of college football, it does not matter who you play. Just win.

We have already seen four FCS (formerly Division I-AA) teams beat teams from BCS conferences and the reality is that no one saw any of the wins coming.

Jacksonville State’s 49-48 double-overtime upset classic at Ole Miss was probably the most exciting and unlikely of the four games, considering Jacksonville trailed by three touchdowns with only 20 minutes left.

North Dakota State soon followed with a completely different kind of win with a 6-3 victory at Kansas (NDSU lost this past Saturday to Northern Iowa 16-9). This is not the first time the Bison have taken down a big-name school. That honor goes to the University of Minnesota in 2007 when the Bison beat the Gophers 27-21.

Speaking of the largest school in Minnesota, they were embarrassed this past weekend when our rivals to the south, the University of South Dakota, ruined the Gophers’ home opener with a 41-38 win, basically ensuring that Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster’s days are numbered.

All of this leads me to the upset which might have the biggest impact on the rest of the college football season; James Madison 21, Virginia Tech 16.

In the main event of opening weekend, Boise State defeated Virginia Tech 33-30 and put themselves near the front of the line for early favorite status in the National Championships game after a win over the pre-season top 10 Hokies.

The biggest and really only defense against Boise State not getting a chance to play in the National Championship game if undefeated: their weak schedule. Defeating Virginia Tech looked really good a week ago. This week, not so much.

The truth of the matter is that the Broncos have zero control over 75 percent of it, which is against the teams in their conference, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).

What BSU does have a little control over is whom they play out of conference. To prove their worth, they have taken on anyone that’s willing to strap on a helmet.

They have defeated the last three BCS teams they have faced, including five of the last six, with only two of those games in Boise on the blue turf.

But can you really blame teams for not wanting to travel to Boise? They have won 56 straight regular season home games dating back to 2001 so you can see why only three BCS schools have ever played the Broncos in Boise (Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State).

Much of that has to do with money. Why would a Texas or Ohio State travel to Boise when they can schedule a home game in front of 100,000 fans and basically guarantee a win instead of playing in front of 35,000 in Idaho and possibly end up losing?

Meanwhile, teams like the Florida Gators, have not played a regular season non-conference game outside of the state of Florida since 1991 ­8212; around the same time that most of this paper’s readers were still in diapers.

So if Boise State does go undefeated and gets to play for the National Championship, here is a little advice for their opponent or anyone else that doesn’t think the Broncos deserve a chance. Just win.