No. 5 Oregon could still play for the BCS National Championship.
They would, granted, need a lot of help—but it's possible.
The one thing the Ducks can do?
Lay the wood to No. 15 Oregon State Beavers this week. Big time. Demolish them. Lay out a butt-whipping. Like 49-13 bad.
It's plausible. Kenjon Barner needs to impress Heisman voters. A big day from him, an airshow from Marcus Mariota and a couple mistakes by the Beavers that lead to defensive or special teams touchdowns...that'd do it. It's not even that unrealistic.
The Beavers are pretty well-regarded. A beat-down of the No. 15 team would go a long way in the BCS rankings.
(Except it shouldn't be as close as that score would indicate.)
If that happens, and if:
- USC beats Notre Dame at home;
- Georgia Tech beats Georgia;
- Florida State beats Florida;
- UCLA beats Stanford (giving Oregon the Pac-12 North);
Oregon backs into the national title conversation.
One assumes Alabama will beat Auburn, though one also assumed they would beat Texas A&M. Come to think of it, one further assumed Kansas State would have no trouble with Baylor. The lesson here: Sports are weird, and, as the saying goes, that's why they play the games.
It's far-fetched, I grant you. And, of course, if any two of the three top teams—Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia—win out, it doesn't matter if the Ducks win 184-0 Saturday.
But that's one of the best things about sports. As long as you can still concoct elaborate but possible scenarios under which your team can win a championship, you still have hope.
It all starts with blowing out the Beavers.