Only perfect I-A school, Boise St. finishes No. 5 in AP

Updated: January 9, 2007, 7:56 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Boise State has something not even the national champions can claim -- an undefeated record.

The Broncos finished the season as Division I-A's only unbeaten team after No. 2 Florida upset No. 1 Ohio State 41-14 Monday night in the BCS Championship Game.

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"Let's go play 'em next week," Florida coach Urban Meyer said with a laugh about Boise State. "I love Boise State, but I wouldn't want to do that. We're done."

Boise State finished No. 5 in the final, post-bowl Associated Press poll, with one first-place vote. The Broncos ended the season No. 6 in the USA Today coaches poll.

A week before the Gators' gadgetry had the Buckeyes spinning at University of Phoenix Stadium, Boise State opened up its bag of tricks and put on the bowl season's best show on the very same field.

The Broncos used a hook-and-ladder to score the tying touchdown, a Statue of Liberty play to score the decisive 2-point conversion, and the Broncos beat Oklahoma 43-42 in overtime to become America's favorite underdog on New Year's Day.

Some questioned whether the Western Athletic Conference champions even belonged in the Bowl Championship Series with the winners of the Big 12. But by the time quarterback Jared Zabransky, running back Ian Johnson and the rest of the Broncos were done with the Sooners, Boise State had become college football's version of George Mason, the mid-major that made the NCAA basketball Final Four last year.

And if the Broncos' wild Fiesta Bowl victory wasn't enough to win over most football fans outside of Oklahoma, then surely Johnson's proposal to his girlfriend on the field right after scoring the winning points was.

Some of the Broncos were looking for more after the Fiesta Bowl.

"We went 13-0 and beat everyone on our schedule," Zabransky said. "We deserve a chance at the national title."

Boise State coach Chris Peterson, who'd never asked for more than a chance to simply play in one of the big-dollar bowl games, wouldn't bite when asked about the national title after the Fiesta.

"Hey, we don't worry about that," Petersen said. "We just go and play who they tell us to play. The pollsters vote how they want to vote. We're just happy to control what we can control."

Boise State was the second team from outside the big six conferences (Big Ten, Pac-10, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East and Big 12) to play in the BCS, joining Urban Meyer's 2004 Utah team.

The Broncos were the first to make it under the BCS's new five-game format, put in place to give teams from conferences such as the WAC and Mountain West better access to college football's marquee games.

The Broncos needed to finish 12th or better to automatically qualify for the BCS and finished eighth in the standings.

Florida's got the national championship, but no team in Division I-A has a better record than the Broncos.

"There's only one way to figure out who the better team is and that's go play the game," Meyer said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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