The Oregon Ducks traveled to Corvallis, Oregon for their annual Civil War game, and after a first-half scare by the Beavers, the Ducks cruised to a 48-24 victory. Unfortunately for the Ducks, No. 4 Florida's victory over No. 10 Florida State took No. 5 Oregon out of the BCS Championship Game contention because Florida's resume is simply superior to Oregon's resume.
If Oregon plays in the Pac-12 Championship Game—the Ducks need UCLA to beat Stanford for that to happen—and Oregon beats UCLA in that conference championship game, where does that leave the 12-1 Ducks?
The Rose Bowl is the Ducks' destination because of the league's contract with the bowl—the Pac-12 champion plays the Big Ten champion.
But if Stanford beats UCLA, then the Cardinal, not the Ducks, would represent the North in the Pac-12 Championship Game. So where would the 11-1 Ducks go?
The BCS Bowl selection order for January 2013 games is Fiesta, Sugar and Orange.
If Notre Dame beats USC, it will be in the BCS Championship Game.
If USC beats Notre Dame, the Irish will still go BCS bowling, but would they go to the Fiesta, Sugar or Orange? The Orange Bowl will likely get the Big East champ so Notre Dame will either be bowling in the Fiesta or Sugar Bowl. I have to think that the Fiesta Bowl would pick Notre Dame over Oregon, so it means Oregon to the Sugar Bowl.
And about that Sugar Bowl: What happens if No. 3 Georgia beats No. 2 Alabama? Georgia and Florida in the BCS Championship? Really? If Notre Dame loses to USC, yes, that would happen. That would also guarantee another Sugar Bowl without an SEC team playing in it—Oregon would be more than happy to play here. So would Notre Dame.
Bottom line is that any SEC team with a record equal to Oregon's is going to get the benefit of the doubt from the pollsters—a one-loss Notre Dame or SEC team will be ranked ahead of a one-loss Oregon.
If the Ducks win the Pac-12, it's all roses. But if they don't play in the Pac-12 Championship, it's still probably the Sugar or Fiesta Bowl.
In any case, the Ducks flying south for the winter has a nice ring to it.
World order has been restored.