The ceiling for teams outside the Power Five in the College Football Playoff race seems to be set pretty low — as any Central Florida fan will be quick to point out.
Maybe Boise State can bust through it this year. To do so, Saturday’s game at No. 24 Oklahoma State will be crucial for the 17th-ranked Broncos.
Boise State’s trip to Stillwater is one of three games matching ranked teams in week three of the season, along with No. 4 Ohio State against No. 15 TCU in Arlington, Texas, and No. 7 Auburn hosting No. 12 LSU.
The Broncos have mashed their first two opponents (118-27), a good start for the preseason favorite in the Mountain West. Quarterback Brett Rypien might be leading the best Broncos team since coach Chris Petersen’s BCS busters.
Could the Broncos, or any team outside the Power Five, make a serious run at a playoff spot? Well, UCF went undefeated last season but never did better than 12th in the selection committee rankings, much to the chagrin of Knights athletic director Danny White and American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco.
The Broncos might have a better chance, though much is dependent on beating Oklahoma State — and the Cowboys then playing well the rest of the season.
The weather is doing UCF no favors. The Knights’ game at North Carolina this weekend was canceled in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. Last year, UCF had a game against Georgia Tech washed away. Though considering how poorly North Carolina has played so far, UCF’s strength of schedule might be better off without the Tar Heels.
No. 1 Alabama (minus 21) at Mississippi
The Ole Miss receivers, including preseason All-America A.J. Brown, will test the Tide’s inexperienced secondary — but ‘Bama might score 70 … ALABAMA 42-24.
Georgia Southern (plus 33) at No. 2 Clemson
Tigers tune up for Georgia Tech’s triple-option next week with Georgia Southern’s … CLEMSON 49-14.