Chaos. That is what we have in the BCS rankings after Auburn returned a missed field goal as time expired to beat No. 1 Alabama, 34-28.
It was one of the wildest and most entertaining Iron Bowls anyone could ever dream up on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Time had originally expired on No. 1 Alabama before the fateful field goal was attempted. After a review, however, a second was put back on the clock, and Alabama attempted a 57-yard field goal. It came up just short, and Chris Davis took it from deep in his end zone all the way to the house for a score that shakes up the race for the national championship.
It is now No. 4 Auburn that will advance to take on Missouri in the SEC Championship Game, and there is a good chance those two will be playing for a spot in the BCS title game.
Alabama entered Saturday secure in the fact that if it won out, the Crimson Tide were all but guaranteed a spot in the BCS title game.
Now, it is only Florida State that would appear to control its own destiny.
As things stand now, here is how I project the BCS bowl games:
|Langford's BCS Bowl Projections|
|Rose Bowl||Jan. 1||Pasadena, Calif.||Big Ten/BCS vs. Pac-12/BCS||Ohio State vs. Arizona State|
|Fiesta Bowl||Jan. 1||Glendale, Ariz.||Big 12/BCS vs. BCS||Oklahoma State vs. Oregon|
|Sugar Bowl||Jan. 2||New Orleans, La.||SEC/BCS vs. BCS||Alabama vs. UCF|
|Orange Bowl||Jan. 3||Miami, Fla.||ACC/BCS vs. BCS||Clemson vs. Michigan State|
|BCS Title Game||Jan. 6||Pasadena, Calif.||BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2||Auburn vs. Florida State|
The Seminoles cruised past Florida on Saturday and only have a game with Duke in the ACC Championship Game ahead of them.
No. 24 Duke has had a solid season, but it will be big underdogs to Florida State. So, let's just assume the Seminoles will take one of the coveted spots in the title game. The other spot will be wide-open.
No. 3 Ohio State is the logical place to start for the second slot in the title game. Urban Meyer's team hasn't lost a game since he took over prior to the start of last season. Obviously, the Buckeyes have a case to be included in the title game.
Auburn, however, has a legitimate shot of passing them.
Ohio State survived a scare against Michigan, 42-41, on Saturday, but it was an intercepted two-point conversion away from seeing their undefeated season go down the drain. As it is, the less-than-dominant performance may end up dooming the Buckeyes' chances of making the BCS title game.
The win may not be all that victorious.
The Buckeyes face the possibility of not moving in the rankings despite a team in front of them losing. After all, Auburn just authored the most impressive win of the season.
In the current rankings, Ohio State carries an average of .9200. Auburn has a mark of .8236. That is a healthy lead; however, is that enough to withstand the events of Saturday? I'm not convinced it is.
Auburn has now won eight in a row, and that streak includes four wins against teams that were ranked.
Also, either Auburn or No. 5 Missouri will get a chance to impress voters in the SEC title game.
Of course, Missouri has to earn their spot in the conference championship game first, and it still has to play Johnny Manziel and No. 21 Texas A&M Saturday night, but should it win, this one-loss team will also be right in the thick of the BCS title-game conversation.
Ohio State has a date with No. 11 Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship. That will give them a chance to impress voters and computers, but it is still not as stiff a test as the SEC teams will be facing.
My guess is that Ohio State is going to wind up on the losing end of all of this.
At this point, however, nothing would surprise me.
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