After all the hubbub last week that Boise State was going to be No. 1 in the BCS Standings, the Broncos promptly checked in at No. 3 in the first official release. Despite a 48-0 victory over San Jose State, they dropped two spots, behind Oklahoma and Oregon.
So is there a conspiracy against the Broncos?
The answer, surprisingly, is no.
Boise State's "fall" has much more to do with Ohio State and Nebraska losing than anything else. Oklahoma was the strongest team in the computer rankings in the standings last week, and what held the Sooners back was their placement in the human polls. With two teams ahead of them losing, they naturally moved up (two and three spots, respectively, in the Harris and coaches polls). And their computer ratings were enough to make up the human poll deficit and get them to No. 1 this week.
The Broncos also fell .0023 points behind Oregon, an infinitesimal gap. A swing of one spot by one of the computers would be enough to move them past the Ducks. They were hurt, in this area, by the weakness of their opponent San Jose State - not a ton, but just enough.
Overall, though, it has been a good week for the Broncos. Despite falling to No. 3 in the BCS standings, the really important development for Chris Petersen's gang is that it's now a solid No. 2 in both of the polls that matter in the BCS. There had been much speculation that the voters would be unwilling to let Boise State break the glass ceiling, purportedly at No. 3. This week's polls dispelled that myth.
Besides, the Broncos' 48-0 victory in San Jose actually offered an important comparison. Alabama beat the same Spartans team, at home, 48-3. With their strength of schedule continuing to be an issue as they get into conference play, every bit of favorable common opponent comparison helps, particularly with the voters.
All that said, the Broncos should take absolutely nothing for granted and they by no means control their own destiny. They need to continue to win impressively and in the meantime hope for their BCS conference rivals to lose games along the way. As I noted in last week's post, since the formula was last "fixed" in 2004, no team finishing first or second in the final polls has failed to play in the BCS title game.
This year will not be different. That's why this week's standings actually brought good news for the Broncos.