If you have not heard, the Kansas State Wildcats and the Oregon Ducks should not both be sitting undefeated currently. One team might be, but if things had not changed in 2010 with Bill Snyder trying to rebuild the program, the Wildcats and Ducks would have played a game this September. As the LA Times' Chris Dufresne points out:
Imagine ifK-State beat Oregon out for BCS title spot because it canceled on Oregon this year and Ducks had to sked Tenn Tech
— Chris Dufresne (@DufresneLATimes) October 21, 2012
The two were set up to play a home-home series in 2011 and 2012 but, as The Register-Guard reported in September, Kansas State elected to cancel the series.
If both finish undefeated who is more likely to play in BCS Championship Game?
Now, with the Wildcats leap-frogging the Ducks, people are pointing to what might have been. Oregon's been passed by Florida and now Kansas State due to its weak strength of schedule. Of course, had the Ducks beaten a preseason ranked Kansas State team, they'd have one of those "quality wins" of note and might be hanging on to the second spot. Most certainly they wouldn't be surrendering the three spot to the Wildcats.
This will sort itself out, though. While the Wildcats played a front-heavy schedule and now have just Texas Tech and Texas left as their chances to earn points, but with the way the Longhorns have looked, Mack Brown's team remaining ranked for the duration is a crap shoot at best.
Oregon, on the other hand, gets a chance to play USC, Stanford and Oregon State; three teams that carry solid clout with pollsters. Add in the Pac-12 Championship Game and what you have is a Ducks squad that will be rising as we get into the BCS picture.
The Ducks are still the favorites to play in the title game, according to the human polls. However, as Jerry Palm pointed out on John Canzano's show, a rising Kansas State human vote would be a problem for the Ducks, should both teams finish undefeated.
Palm: "Where Oregon fans need to start worrying is if KState takes a big chunk of their lead in the human polls away."
— John Canzano (@JohnCanzanoBFT) October 22, 2012
With Collin Klein's Heisman hype growing, could that push the Wildcats ahead in voters' eyes? Let's hope not. The Heisman and the BCS championship are wildly separate ideals.
So as the Ducks look up to the Wildcats in the BCS rankings, folks are quick to feel bad for them. Don't. They have opportunity coming at the end of the season and, more importantly, they're undefeated with a shot to have a perfect season. Had they played Kansas State in September, that might not be the case right now.