Last night Boise State lost to Nevada, 34-31 in overtime, ending the Boise State bid to make the college football national title game. I don't think they would have jumped a one loss major conference team, because the computer rankings had them at fifth before the loss. After the game I saw the headline 'Boise State kicks away national title dreams' and after watching the highlights I saw that their kicker missed two moderately difficult field goals - one with a few seconds remaining in the game and another in overtime - both would have given them the win. These plays will be what you see on all the sport highlight and news shows in the next three days but I was wondering how much did those missed field goals actually contribute to the verdict of the game.
Those missed field goal clips playing on SportsCenter overestimate the role they played. Nevada got the ball back with 4:53 remaining the game and proceeded to drive 79 yards in 14 plays for a winning touchdown. Looking at the play-by-play Nevada had plays of 14, 9, 22, 9, 5, 6 & 7 yards during that last drive. To me it looked like the Boise State defense couldn't stop the Nevada offense and any give game the defense has many more plays to change the game than do special teams. With so many plays, players, field conditions and other variables I'd be surprised if we'll ever have some sort of Victory Contributing Variable that carries any weight but I'm pretty sure the kicker will get more than his share.