A final score flashed from Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday night, and another unbeaten had fallen in college football, and that once-a-week question was being asked inside the Sam Boyd Stadium press box.
How much, if any, did Boise State's chances of playing for a national championship improve?
At that second, the Broncos were being outplayed by a UNLV side that offered one of its finest halves of football under second-year coach Bobby Hauck, a Rebels team that over the first 30 minutes outgained Boise State and held the nation's fifth-ranked team to 19 yards rushing.
Hauck had his team prepared as well as it could have been, given the disparity in talent. There were leaks across the defensive side, but also a level of energy from those hitting not seen much this season.
It wasn't going to last, but that's not to say UNLV didn't do its best for as long as its skill would allow. Boise State won 48-21 before 26,281 and now awaits to see if it is enough to climb another rung on the ladder of Bowl Championship Series rankings. It should be.
Alabama's national hopes should be dead and buried following a 9-6 overtime loss to Louisiana State. You can't replay a game where the home team not only loses, but doesn't score a touchdown.
Not even Lee Corso could discover a reason why we should be subjected to that matchup again in the BCS championship, although I'm certain he and other ESPN voices will do their best to push for it.
Corso, when talking about those teams with a chance to be undefeated at season's end, also said Saturday, "Boise State doesn't count."
The arrogance of some is astonishing.
The fact many voting take it as gospel is even more so.
Boise State, though, is once again an interesting quandary when talking a potential spot in the title game. The Broncos still need help in the way of other unbeatens losing, and even then, odds favor them not being afforded an opportunity to experience the season's biggest moment.
Which is why they seem to have the trailer loaded and one foot outside the Mountain West Conference door on their way to the Big East.
There is no guarantee that two years from now, the college landscape will include a post-season format where the Big East is an automatic qualifier. But you have to believe those in Boise will take their chances and make the move.
You couldn't blame them in the least.
I would roll the dice and believe the Big East owns enough juice with the other BCS suits that if it does land Boise State and Houston and Air Force and Southern Methodist and others to form a 12-team league, it has a better chance to keep its bid than a Mountain West-Conference USA merger has of earning one.
What would make the Broncos believe theirs is a better lot in life chasing a national championship with teams that have never come close to sniffing an automatic bid?
The bottom line: Should the Mountain West lose Boise State and Air Force, it would likely respond by inviting the likes of San Jose State and Utah State from the Western Athletic Conference.
That is how perilously close the Mountain West is today to being completely irrelevant in the big picture of college football.
"I absolutely understand it if (Boise State) is indeed about to move," Tina Kunzer-Murphy, executive director of the Las Vegas Bowl, said while in attendance Saturday. "It's just that this conference realignment stuff makes all of us -- alumni, people in college sports, those intimately involved with college football -- pause and think about rivalries and regional matchups and costs. I get why (Boise State) would leave. I totally get it.
"But to lose them would be a huge loss to our bowl game and (the Mountain West). I liken it to when the conference lost Brigham Young and Utah. Everyone hemmed and hawed about it, but those were big losses. Those teams helped make our bowl game. But the only reason people go is to try and get into an automatic (BCS) league and the dollars that come with it. So, yes, I get it."
Boise State didn't look the part of national championship contender here Saturday, but it also awakes today one of just five undefeated teams remaining.
What that means is anyone's guess, but we'll know more when the updated BCS rankings are released tonight.
And if Alabama remains ahead of the Broncos, the BCS idiocy will have reached yet another level of stupidity.
Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday on "Monsters of the Midday," Fox Sports Radio 920 AM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.