The Kansas State Wildcats are turning in an epic season and are the nation's No. 2 team, but don't let that fool you into thinking they control their own destiny.
Kansas State's late-season schedule gives it an excellent shot at going undefeated, but it will also leave the Wildcats out of the national championship game if two of the other top-four teams also go undefeated.
The Wildcats are No. 2 in the current BCS standings. They have four games remaining on their schedule, and two of them are against teams in the Top 25.
However, it is No. 24 Oklahoma State and No. 23 Texas—two teams that aren't going to offer a big boost to the Wildcats' case.
They also play both of those games at home.
Out of the top four (the other teams being Alabama, Notre Dame and Oregon) Kansas State has the easiest path to going undefeated, which is great news for the Wildcats' quest for perfection, but not so much for their hopes of playing for the national championship.
Alabama and Oregon both have plenty of ranked teams remaining on the schedule, and both have a conference championship game to further boost the resume. Kansas State, as a member of the Big 12, does not have a conference championship game.
This puts them in the same boat as independent Notre Dame, and the Irish's remaining schedule is not all that much different than Kansas State's. They have three lesser opponents before ending their season on the road against No. 17 USC.
Of the three other serious contenders, the only team that Kansas State would have a chance of beating out if all the teams remained undefeated would be Notre Dame.
However, a late-season road win against USC would leave a nice, lasting impression on voters, while Kansas State's greatest moments came far earlier in the season.
Also, let's not all forget that this is Notre Dame we are talking about. The Irish are money makers.
Getting Notre Dame in the championship game would likely result in record revenues, and I am skeptical enough to believe that there is no way the powers that be will miss out on that opportunity if even remotely possible.
Let's all hope it doesn't come down to that, while praising the heavens this is the last year without a playoff.