Some people look at a team’s body of work. Some try to discern which team appears to be playing the best at the end of the season. Some look at overall talent level. Others consider how teams fare againt the most quality opponents.
These are all worthy and normal ways to assess a team’s worth.
But what about the concept of ‘best team’ in a vacuum? As in, the team that plays the ‘best’ as its roster is currently constituted, within the context of its placement in the college football universe, regardless of its competition or conference? Which team plays the finest combination of offense, defense and special teams? Which team executes its assigned tasks closer to perfection than any other, regardless of level of opponent? Which team comes closest to fully utilizing the talent at its disposal?
I think it’s clear that the answer to these questions is, thus far, Boise State.
Does that mean Boise State would go undefeated in a major conference this year? No. But you could say the same about most teams in college football.
Does that mean Boise State would beat Alabama right now? Maybe not.
But if you had to bet on one team, out of 120 schools, to play as close to perfection as possible in a given game, wouldn’t you bet on Boise State to be that team? I would.
Maybe Boise State wouldn’t beat every other team in college football right now. A team with a lot more talent like Ohio State could play a sloppy game and still beat the Broncos, for instance, thanks to its ability to exploit one or two physical mismatches. But would that make the Buckeyes a better team in the overall sense? Has Ohio State–or any of the other top tier teams–played to the best of their ability this season?
I think Boise State has done so, for whatever that’s worth. And, to me, that makes the Broncos the best team.
Whether BSU is the most deserving team to play in the BCS title game based on things like body of work and strength of schedule…that’s a whole ‘nother matter. We’ll be arguing about that one for the next 10 years, I’m sure.