The Boise State Broncos are breathing some rare BCS air.
The fifth-ranked Broncos have climbed higher and faster than any non-BCS team in the controversial system's 12-year history.
The Broncos, pride of the Western Athletic Conference, have shouldered in front of three storied powers - USC, Oklahoma and Ohio State, each with one loss. Now Boise State is trying to scale the college football equivalent of Mount Everest and become the first team from outside the six BCS conferences to play for a national title.
Best known for their blue field and an exhilarating Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma, the Broncos have ignited a debate that figures to grow hotter after the first BCS standings are released on Oct. 18.