The moment the clock struck zero on Saturday night in Palo Alto, and Stanford finished off its 21-14 win over then-No. 2 USC, panic struck across America.
"Alabama and LSU are going to be Nos. 1 and 2 and we're going to have another rematch in the BCS National Championship Game."
Let's pump the brakes on that for a minute or five.
Alabama and LSU are the two best teams in the country, that much as clear. But being one of the two best teams in the country doesn't automatically ensure that you are one of the most worthy teams, no matter what the mission statement of the BCS states.
After Saturday night, we are a few steps closer to the Crimson Tide and Tigers meeting in the BCS Championship Game in Miami Gardens on Jan. 7, 2013.
But it's a really long staircase.
First thing's first, we have to know how their Nov. 3 matchup shakes out before even considering a rematch as a legitimate possibility. The human element still comprises two-thirds of the BCS, and if one team blows out the other, a rematch will not happen under any circumstances.
One-loss USC, Michigan State and Virginia Tech teams most likely wouldn't be ranked above a one-loss Alabama or LSU team, but who's to say that either or both of those teams won't stumble along the way?
Did anyone see Pitt upsetting Virginia Tech?
There's still plenty of football to be played, and that process always has a wicked curveball.
But, above all else, there are still plenty of teams capable of running the table and preventing any one-loss SEC team from being in the mix.
Will there be an SEC vs. SEC matchup in the BCS National Championship Game this season?
Stanford and Oregon meet on Nov. 17, and both look capable of running the Pac-12 schedule unscathed to that point. An undefeated West Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma or anyone else out of the Big 12 would certainly get the benefit of the doubt over a one-loss SEC team.
The Florida State vs. Clemson winner this weekend could absolutely run the table as well.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves talking about a rematch between Alabama and LSU in the BCS National Championship Game, when there is still plenty of football to be played—including one game between those two teams.
With the human element comprising two-thirds of the BCS equation, and SEC fatigue dominating the college football landscape, all other legitimate options will have to be exhausted before an SEC vs. SEC matchup becomes a reasonable possibility.