As we continue to ramp up our anticipation for the upcoming football season, we also make our predictions and ideas for the world to listen to, no matter how unlikely. We Oklahoma State fans have the privilege of always getting to hear the doomsday scenarios from the plethora of fans from Texas, OU, USC and Ohio State about how their teams need a little help to get to the National Championship, so maybe we could look into the crystal ball and see what it would take to get the Cowboys to the title game. The path will need to be paved with not only some internal successes, but also with several situations around the country. We shall examine some ideas and scenarios that could put OSU to the big game.
To go from point A to point B, some outside factors will have to be eliminated. First off the, media darlings will have to be taken from contention. To do this, USC MUST have a minimum 2 losses and even better yet, would need to NOT be the PAC-10 champion. This could be helped by a definite loss to cross town rival UCLA, and somebody of the Washington/Oregon/Oregon State variety. Best case would be being beaten again by Stanford. Their BCS point value would go down the toilet for the Trojans. Meanwhile, in Big 10 country, Michigan would need to NOT have a Cinderella season and everybody would need at least 2 losses in the conference. Notre Dame also needs not to rise to the occasion, as the media would love to see Notre Dame in the National Championship.
Getting the media darlings out of the picture isn’t a small feat, but an even larger feat is eliminating an entire conference from the national championship picture. The Big 12 had a great season in 2008, but that doesn’t’ mean that the Big 12 is more dominant than the SEC. The SEC has arguably been the best conference overall in college football and expects to stay in the upper echelon for a long time. For any longshot school to make it to the National Championship, it would require the SEC to implode. To move the chess pieces around, let’s say that Ole Miss actually takes the SEC west by storm and beats LSU, beats Alabama, beats Arkansas, but loses to Auburn and Mississippi State. Ole Miss wins SEC West as LSU and Alabama have off years and have 3 conference losses due to injuries that just didn’t happen last year. Meanwhile in the SEC East, the injury bug hits Florida in it’s offensive line, which begins to cripple Tim Tebow’s effectiveness. Tennessee makes a run under Lane Kiffin, but stumbles to a two loss Florida at the last minute. Florida and Ole Miss duke it out in Atlanta and Florida comes out on top, as a conference champion, but a two loss conference champion.
Bear in mind, the ACC continues it’s decline and produces only two bowl eligible teams, both with a minimum of 3 losses.
Meanwhile, back in the Big 12, something is happening in the South. OU’s gamble on a strong out of conference opponent is a wrong one as BYU puts OU at 0-1 for the first time in years. OU picks back up only to lose the Red River Shootout, which puts them at 2 losses. Texas loses early also to Texas Tech and then to Oklahoma State with similar shootouts to last year, but this time the longhorns lose. Mac Brown is stunned on national television both times. Texas Tech loses to a revitalized Nebraska, and subsequently spirals down with back to back OSU and OU losses. Baylor and Texas A&M both continue their battle for basement dwellers of the Big 12 South. In Stillwater, Oklahoma State jumps out to 4-0 in non conference play, and begins the assault on the South, and winning the Bedlam Battle in Norman by a last minute interception and touchdown return, setting up for a Big 12 Championship against a two loss bruised and beaten Missouri team. The Pokes hand it easily to the Tigers 56-34 in the cold December air.
Oklahoma State is the only BCS school that stands undefeated. After much debate, Florida will be in the National Championship as their opponent. And then Oklahoma State comes full circle, starting with an SEC opponent, and ending with an SEC opponent. You decide the winner, this is a doomsday scenario.
By ANY stretch of the imagination, this scenario would be only achievable through lots of bad luck for about 30 teams spanning 5 conferences, but it’s always possible.
Maybe some fiction, but was fun to write. Go Pokes.