College Football's 12 Best BCS-Busting Possibilities
The BCS has created a world where one loss to a much lesser opponent can deny a team a right to play for a college football national championship. Just ask Oklahoma State.
A BCS buster can consist of a team outside of a traditional conference power running the table or a BCS favorite losing to a mediocre team.
Just a few more years of worrying about this BCS nonsense remain, but you have to admit, it's somewhat fun predicting these busts.
Which teams will run the table? What teams will lose to a team that they really shouldn't lose to? Quite frankly, it's what makes college football so much more fun than any other sport.
So without further introduction, here are college football's best BCS-busting possibilities of 2012.
Any time a ripple in the BCS is mentioned, Boise State is expected to take part in the conversation, and for good reason.
For years now, Boise State has maintained its status as one of college football's elite programs, even though it plays in a much weaker conference than, say, Alabama, LSU, USC or Oklahoma. But it doesn't matter because it wins, and as long as a team sports an undefeated record, it's sure to enter the national title picture until it loses.
But entering 2012, this could be the first year Boise State stays out of the conversation. After all, this is a team that just lost Kellen Moore and Doug Martin. But if there's one thing college football fans have learned throughout Boise State's incredible run, it's that Chris Petersen is an outstanding coach. His recurring double-digit-win seasons speak for themselves.
Petersen will have his club ready to go this season, and if he can get them to upset Michigan State in the season opener and beat BYU and Southern Miss, it could be clear skies for the Broncos in their BCS run.
Iowa State Does It Again
Iowa State knows how to pull off the magical upset, doesn't it?
With Paul Rhoads leading the Cyclones, they've upset Nebraska in 2009, Texas in 2010 and Oklahoma State in 2011. So, in the words of Bill Goldberg, "Who's next?"
Perhaps it'll be the Oklahoma Sooners. After all, this is the same team that lost to a 5-7 Texas Tech team at home a year ago. Rhoads always manages to get his team up for a big game against an opponent that they have no chance against on paper. And like David, they slay Goliath.
Oklahoma better be on upset alert when it plays the Cyclones in 2012, or we could witness another postgame speech that sends goosebumps down our spines.
Florida Take out Florida State
The ACC isn't strong enough to send a one-loss team to the national championship.
The ACC will lose an argument of sending a one-loss team to the national championship over a one-loss school in the SEC, Pac-12 or Big Ten every time.
So if Florida State wants to make this game, it's going to have to run the table. The odds of that happening are strong with a relatively weak schedule, and the Seminoles could be 11-0 entering the final game of the regular season against Florida.
For an upset to happen, the Gators are going to have to be spectacular on defense and shut down E.J. Manuel while their offense takes care of the football. Everything's amplified in rivalry games, and an upset victory over Florida's in-state rival would send shock waves throughout the college football world.
Southern Miss Goes Undefeated
Can Southern Miss win without Austin Davis leading the offense?
Junior quarterback Chris Campbell is expected to start for the Golden Eagles, but he'll have plenty of weapons returning by his side. Tracy Lampley and Dominique Sullivan will be his returning receivers and should provide plenty of stability on the outside. Defensively, Southern Miss is golden.
So winning conference games shouldn't be much of a problem, but can it transcend its success to a national platform? Better yet, can Campbell settle into the offense early into the season with three of its first five opponents being ranked?
If he does, the Golden Eagles will be primed for a championship run. As the season goes along, their schedule gets easier, so within the first six weeks of the season, they can basically decide their destiny.
Tennessee upsets Alabama
We've seen stranger things happen.
When Alabama takes on Tennessee, it'll be playing against one of the best passing teams in the SEC. Bray is a talented quarterback that has the luxury of throwing to two of the best wide receivers in the SEC, Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers.
With Alabama having to replace Dre Kirkpatrick and Mark Barron, it's far from a stretch to say Tennessee will put points on the board against this defense. If this turns into a high-scoring game, the Vols should be able to match point-for-point with the Crimson Tide.
Should Tennessee pull off the upset, Alabama could have a championship berth stripped if it loses to LSU later that year. The rest of the country rejoices as another possible rematch dies.
Washington State Edges Oregon
With the addition of Mike Leach as head coach, Washington State is more than capable of upsetting any team in the Pac-12.
Whether Jeff Tuel or Connor Holliday is the starting quarterback for the Cougars, they are expected to produce a high-octane offense with Leach calling the plays on the sideline. Leach is a brilliant offensive mind that has had plenty of success at Texas Tech, and if he brings that same type of mentality to Washington State, upsets are sure to commence. Let the chaos begin.
One team that could fall is the Oregon Ducks. Why? Well, Oregon is known for its offensive presence, and if Leach upgrades this offense the way that everyone believes he can, this game could easily turn into a shootout.
This has "upset" written all over it.
Louisiana Tech Lives Up to the Hype
Louisiana Tech is expected to run away with the WAC championship in 2012, and if it goes undefeated, it could disrupt the entire BCS thought process.
Quarterback Colby Cameron returns to Sonny Dykes' explosive offense after he took over midway through last season for the Bulldogs.
Once the team was his, Cameron didn't look back, as he threw for 1,667 yards, 13 touchdowns and three interceptions in seven games. And that was against some pretty stiff competition, too.
Cameron led his team to victories against Ole Miss, Fresno State and Utah State. Granted, those aren't the elite, but that's pretty impressive for little ol' Louisiana Tech. Following a 31-24 loss to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl last season, Louisiana Tech is ready to take its program to the next level in 2012.
Georgia Falls at Auburn
Life in the SEC would become very interesting if Georgia lost to Auburn.
South Carolina has to play both LSU and Arkansas in the SEC West, and though the Gamecocks are more than capable of winning those games, losing is the more likely conjecture.
So what happens if the Bulldogs lose to Auburn and then to South Carolina? Now Georgia goes from being a favorite to win the national championship to twiddling its thumbs in the backseat of the SEC East race.
Even if the Bulldogs still manage to win the SEC East with two losses, a win in the SEC Championship wouldn't guarantee a national championship berth. Ouch.
Arkansas Beats LSU
Travel back to 2007 when the LSU Tigers were playing for the BCS National Championship.
Remember their game with Arkansas right before the SEC Championship Game? The Tigers lost in overtime, and after suffering two losses, LSU thought its national championship hopes were doomed. Because the season was about as stable as Snooki is in a bar, the Tigers would eventually reach the title game and defeat Ohio State.
Fast forward to 2012, and the Hogs could very well put a clamp on LSU's national championship dreams again, except this time, it might stick. Tyler Wilson will be one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, so Arkansas beating anybody it faces shouldn't be a shocker.
If the Razorbacks pull off the upset and somehow manage to draw a three-way tie in the SEC West, the Tigers', Hogs' and Crimson Tide's hopes of winning the BCS could be lost.
Washington Upsets USC
For Washington fans, it's all about Keith Price and the offense.
If you didn't know who Price was before the Huskies played Baylor in the Alamo Bowl, you certainly knew who he was after. Price lit the Bears defense up with 438 passing yards and four touchdowns, but Washington still lost, 67-56.
But before that game even took place, Price was completing passes left and right against a USC defense. Well, until he suffered a knee injury in the second quarter. When Price went out, USC poured it on Washington and won, 40-17.
Hey, it's a new year, and fans should get to see what a healthy Price can do against this USC club. If Washington upsets USC and the Trojans win out, will the polls favor a one-loss USC team or a one-loss SEC school? May the odds be ever in your favor.
BYU Wins out
If BYU builds off of last year's success, it could be the team to watch in 2012.
BYU went 10-3 last season and topped off the season with a 24-21 victory against Tulsa, but it was far from being considered a national power. Heck, the thought of that team matching up against LSU, Alabama or Oklahoma State last year makes me giggle.
On the contrary, undefeated seasons speak volumes to voters and fans, even if it is against lesser competition.
Fans are always looking for something different, and if BYU goes undefeated with wins against Georgia Tech, Utah State, Notre Dame and Boise State, the Cougars could make a BCS bowl appearance.
SEC East Champion Wins SEC Championship
This couldn't actually happen, could it?
The SEC East winner hasn't won the SEC Championship since Tim Tebow was clasping his hands together at the University of Florida.
So just imagine a situation where LSU goes undefeated in the regular season and loses to a two-loss Georgia or South Carolina team in the SEC Championship Game. Would it be denied a national championship berth?
Despite being in the best conference in the nation, it's hard to imagine a team backing into the BCS National Championship following a loss. Does a two-loss SEC East Champion jump one-loss teams in the Pac-12 and Big Ten? Oh, the possibilities are endless.