BCS Standings: Bowl Hopefuls Who Took Big Hit in Week 12
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With no major upsets early in the day in Week 12, college football seemed to be normal.
However, Baylor and Stanford rocked the college football world with upsets of Kansas State and Oregon, putting the BCS National Championship and BCS bowl game hopes of the former top-two teams in major jeopardy.
As we all know, upsets are the norm in November, but not ones of this magnitude to the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country in the same night that changed the landscape of the BCS.
Let's first start with Kansas State. The No. 1 Wildcats were dismantled at Baylor, losing 52-24 and allowing 580 total yards to the unranked Bears.
Heisman hopeful Collin Klein threw for 286 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, but he was also intercepted three times.
The Bears offense has been outstanding this year, but they have a flawed defense that K-State could not expose.
As a result, the Wildcats plummeted in the BCS Standings from No. 1 all the way down to No. 6, all but crushing their hopes of a BCS title game berth.
The Wildcats would most likely need four of the five teams (Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Oregon) ahead of them to lose another game to reenter the title conversation.
After the 28-point loss at Baylor, the best cure for the Wildcats would be to get back on the field and play another game.
Unfortunately, they will not have that chance because they have a bye week.
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Sure, the time off is nice to rest and shore up the defense, yet the Wildcats want to get back on the field.
An even bigger is that when they do get back on the field, they play an opponent hitting its stride late in the season—the No. 16 Texas Longhorns.
Mack Brown's Longhorns are 8-2 and winners of four straight. The Longhorns are also a perfect 4-0 on the road, including wins at Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, who are both currently in the Top 25 of the BCS Standings.
While K-State has the luxury of hosting the games, the Longhorns' road successes this year coupled with the pressure on the Wildcats to get it done, could amount to another loss.
If the Wildcats lose, they will likely fall out of at-large contention for BCS bowl games, as evidenced by ESPN's 2012 bowl projections, where Mark Schlabach has the Wildcats playing in the Valero Alamo Bowl against UCLA.
Even with a win over Texas, K-State will have nothing left to prove because the Big 12 no longer has a title game.
A win would sew up a BCS bowl game, but unless there is a catastrophic falling out of the top five teams in the country, the Wildcats will be left wondering what could have been.
Oregon faces a major plight as well. The Ducks lost 17-14 at home in overtime to the Stanford Cardinal, knocking the Ducks from No. 2 in the BCS Standings down to No. 5.
With the loss, the Ducks now need help to get into the Pac-12 title game. UCLA must beat Stanford this upcoming Saturday for the Ducks to meet the Bruins in the Pac-12 championship.
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If Stanford wins that game, it will set up a rematch between them and UCLA for the conference title.
If this scenario plays out and the Ducks win their final regular season game at Oregon State, they will still likely be playing in a BCS bowl game with an 11-1 win record.
In fact, ESPN's bowl projections place Oregon in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The Ducks must not look past Oregon State, though. The game is in Corvallis, where the Beavers are known for big upsets, including an upset over No. 1 USC in September of 2008.
The No. 15 Beavers have knocked off Wisconsin and UCLA this season, and would love to knock the Ducks completely out of the BCS picture.
A Ducks loss would likely put them in a non-BCS game.
For any realistic shot at making the BCS National Championship Game, the Ducks must win the Pac-12 title and get help from teams in front of them tripping up.
A Notre Dame win over USC will almost certainly put the Fighting Irish in the championship. Also, the winner of the SEC title game, whether that be Alabama or Georgia, is likely to meet Notre Dame for all the marbles.
Therefore, the Ducks must be cheerleaders of USC and hope freshman quarterback Max Wittek can lead the Trojans to a victory over the Irish at the Coliseum.
A lot of things have to go right for the Ducks after their crushing defeat to Stanford.
Both K-State and Oregon may be wishing for a mulligan on one unthinkable night in November.
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