It's six weeks into the college football bowl season, and already the mighty have fallen.
When defending national champion Alabama fell last week on the road at South Carolina, the path to the title game turned into a seven-lane freeway for schools like Boise State and TCU.
Still, teams like Ohio State, Oregon, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Auburn, and LSU remain undefeated, and if just two of those teams finish that way, an undefeated Boise State or TCU will likely again be forced to wonder what if.
But the season is still young, and there is no doubt that Boise State and TCU have the easiest remaining schedules of any top 10 teams.
So assuming Boise State is able to go undefeated again this season, and that TCU will be left out because the Broncos are currently ranked higher than the Horned Frogs (BSU No. 3, TCU No. 4), we can conclude that Boise State will be first in line for the title game if Ohio State or Oregon lose just one game.
So who will they play?
Boise State vs. Oregon
Boise State will be lining up against the Ducks in the national title game this coming January. Oregon will remain undefeated, as the Ducks have already beaten their toughest opponent (No. 9 Stanford 52-31, after trailing 21-3 in the first half).
Sure, a lot has to happen and not happen in the Broncos' case for it to work out, but let's take a look at how it's shaping up.
Ohio State is currently the top-ranked team in college football, followed by Oregon at No. 2 and Boise State at No. 3.
However, the projected BCS standings by many have the Broncos and Ducks at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. Granted, it's only through six weeks, and a lot can change, but this isn't entirely a fluke.
SEC and Big 12 Struggle
It comes as no surprise that Boise State must run the table and finish 12-0 to find themselves in the championship game, and Oregon also, but where will the other teams slip up?
Taking a look at the SEC, we find that Auburn and LSU lead the conference with matching 6-0 records. Halfway there, yes, but in a conference known for beating up on itself, LSU or Auburn running the table and winning the SEC championship with a 13-0 record is extremely unlikely.
Moving to the Big 12, we see something similar. Oklahoma and Nebraska both sit at 5-0, but they're not alone.
Missouri and Oklahoma State also sport undefeated records. However, conference matchups will most likely result in a few losses to those teams.
Also, the idea of a Big 12 team going undefeated in the regular season, and following that up with a victory in the Big 12 championship game, is somewhat far-fetched, based on the quality of the conference this season.
The Buckeyes Must Fall
Assuming a one-loss SEC team won't jump an undefeated Boise State or TCU, we find that only one more team stands in the way of an Oregon-Boise State title game.
Ohio State, the team that seems to make its way into the conversation year after year, is right there at the top again this season.
So where will the Buckeyes slip up?
Three games stand out upon looking at the schedule. This Saturday at No. 18 Wisconsin, November 20th at No. 15 Iowa, and the season finale in the horseshoe against bitter rival Michigan.
It's tough to say for sure which one of these games Ohio State will lose, but their final road game at Iowa in November seems like the potential roadblock in a national title chase.
The Hawkeyes have a quality offense, and a defense that is more than capable of stopping Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State.
If they make it out of this one alive, they still aren't in the clear, as the following week they take on Michigan and their extremely elusive play-making quarterback Denard Robinson.
Ohio State loses one for sure, and maybe two if the loss to Iowa keeps them down for too long.
The National Championship Game
Boise State and Oregon are in the title game—so now what?
Sure, we've seen this game before, last season when Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount sucker-punched a Boise State player on national television.
But that was at Boise State, and Oregon is much better this season.
This time around, two prolific offenses square off in Glendale, Arizona, and will likely light up the scoreboard in one of the all-time great championship games.
Hey, why not?
Patrick Clarke is a student at Towson University and a writing intern for Bleacher Report.
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