BOISE, Idaho (AP) -Boise State is unbeaten and unwanted.
It's a bit of cold, cold BCS reality for the ninth-ranked Broncos, who finished their third undefeated season in five years by putting on a show for Bowl Championship Series scouts in a 61-10 win over Fresno State.
Despite their efforts, the Fiesta Bowl darlings from two years ago are staring the Poinsettia Bowl in the face.
``We're 12-0 and there's nothing we can do about it. We're not going to the BCS,'' said senior safety Ellis Powers, who had an interception during Boise State's 48-point runaway second half in a 61-10 statement rout of Fresno State Friday night.
``All we can do is win out and put a hurting on people like we did (Friday) and prove that we can play with the big schools.''
The need to still prove that is why the Broncos appear out of the BCS and Utah, a fellow 12-0 champion of a non-BCS league, is in.
n September, their first road win over a BCS-conference team. Then Fresno State limped into Boise with injuries before getting stomped Friday and finishing 7-5.
Utah of the more highly regarded Mountain West Conference has beaten No. 17 Oregon State, which entered Saturday leading the Pac-10 and trying to clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl, plus league rivals TCU, ranked 14th, and No. 20 BYU.
That's why the Utes are ranked sixth in the BCS, three spots higher than the Broncos - and nine places ahead of unbeaten Ball State of the Mid-American Conference, for that matter.
The series is required to take only one team from a non-BCS conference ranked in its top 12 - the highest-ranked one - to fill one of its 10 spots in the five richest bowls.
Representatives from the Rose, Fiesta and Orange Bowls watched from the press box at Bronco Stadium Friday night. But with a couple of TV and attendance behemoths to pick from - Southern California or Ohio State - it seemed mostly a courtesy.
The Broncos, who have only played in college football's top tier since 1996, know how this works.
``I think it's OK. It worked out pretty good for us a couple years ago,'' coach Chris Petersen said. ``Unfortunately for us, Utah's got the higher ranking. They deserve to go.
``I think it's an obvious statement what we'd like to do.''
on Boise State's funky blue turf while trying to present the conference trophy Friday night, is also fine with this. He said the system's tweak three years ago to include a non-BCS conference team has been good for his conference and other little guys, because at least they have the potential each year for big-time riches to share within their leagues.
So the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego is ready to match the Broncos against TCU (10-2) on Dec. 23 in what would be perhaps the most attractive pairing outside the BCS. That would meet Benson's stated goal of finding the best available opponent for his conference champion.
The four-year-old Poinsettia isn't even the top bowl in San Diego. The richer, older, higher-profile Holiday Bowl is played a week later and matches top teams from the Big 12 and Pac-10.
``The system is what the system is. It's taken care of us before. We have no complaints over it,'' said running back Ian Johnson, who became a national star on that Fiesta Bowl night two seasons ago when he proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend on national TV at the field's edge right after the game.
``We just want to play in a game we deserve.''

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