Domino Theory: How West Virginia Can Play for the BCS Title

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Domino Theory: How West Virginia Can Play for the BCS Title
IconAnd the dominoes continue to fall West Virginia's way.

After Thursday night's completely-predictable-in-hindsight Arizona upset over Oregon—and we mean completely predictable even if Dennis Dixon hadn't been injured—West Virginia's outlook is that much brighter.

Assuming no further upsets this weekend, WVU should move up to No. 5 in the BCS rankings, which ought to look like this:

1. LSU
2. Kansas
3. Oklahoma
4. Mizzou
5. WVU

If all the teams win out, the worst WVU can end up is No. 3.

Why?

Kansas plays Mizzou on Nov. 24th. The loser of that game will drop below WVU.

The winner of Kansas-Mizzou will likely play Oklahoma in the Big 12 final. The loser of that game will drop below WVU.

Which means, worst-case, the season-ending BCS Top Three will look like this:

1. LSU
2. Oklahoma/Kansas/Mizzou
3. WVU

This scenario keeps WVU out of the title game, but just one more upset—just ONE more—will get the Mountaineers a ticket to the big dance.

Not bad for a team that was given up for dead after losing to South Florida.

Where might that upset occur?

My guess is in the SEC title game. An LSU-Georgia matchup seems likely. Georgia's offense is riding a freshman breakout running back and playing with black-hat attitude—and the Bulldogs are generally healthier than the Tigers.

Other possibilities:

- Oklahoma at high-scoring Texas Tech on Saturday.

- Oklahoma must also play rival Oklahoma State on Nov. 24—but I watched the Cowboys put up a valiant fight against the Jayhawks, and the Pokes just can't stop anyone.

- Likewise, Missiouri must travel to Kansas State (5-5) on Saturday, but this is a  Wildcats team that got 73 points hung on them by a terrible Nebraska team.

It's hard for me to see Kansas losing to 3-8 Iowa State, especially at home.

Granted, the Mountaineers wouldn't have had to worry about any of this—and would have been sitting at No. 1 for the past month—had they not lost to South Florida.

But to their credit, Rich Rodriguez and Co. have continued to win.

They must now win tomorrow night at Cincinnati—yet another "biggest game in the history of [fill in the school]"—before they come home for the final two games against UConnn and Pitt.

If West Virginia keeps winning, and if this season keeps doing that thing it does, the dominoes might just end up falling favorably for the Mountaineers.
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