Oregon Ducks, Auburn Tigers Have Clear Path To Title Game: Why BCS Is Smiling

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Oregon Ducks, Auburn Tigers Have Clear Path To Title Game: Why BCS Is Smiling
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Black Friday was the day the underdog died. The big boys from the BCS are sitting at home and laughing at the fact that their flawed system looks like a legitimate answer. 

Going into Friday, the general consensus was that one of the top ranked teams was going to go down and wreak havoc with the BCS. If Oregon or Auburn were to fall, then the great debate over who was most deserving to play in the national championship game would be on. 

If Auburn lost, then the SEC fans would claim that a one-loss LSU or Auburn deserved a spot in the national championship over an undefeated (or two) non-AQ schools like TCU and Boise State.

If Oregon lost, then you'd have a one-loss Stanford (who already lost to Oregon), a one-loss LSU, and a host of one-loss Big Ten teams, and maybe even a one-loss Big 12 champion, all claiming that their team deserved a spot in the big game, not to mention all those same teams vying for an at-large bid into a BCS bowl game. 

If neither team lost, you'd have both Oregon and Auburn going to the national championship game, with one non-AQ school getting a BCS bid, plus the Big 12 and Big Ten champion going along with an undeserving Big East champion and Virginia Tech of the ACC. That scenario would leave about four deserving teams all fighting for one at-large spot in the BCS series. 

Any scenario you looked at, the ultimate answer was a playoff. The debate would rage on all over the country, and everybody would have a valid argument. Yes, the big conferences play a tougher schedule, but on the same note, the non-AQ schools started out the season with a high ranking, and did nothing but win. Both deserve a chance to play for the title. 

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In my perspective a four- or six-team playoff was clearly the answer, because the line was so blurred between the top teams, only a playoff would be fair. 

But then, on Black Friday, after Auburn fell hard in the first half, and looked like they were on their way to causing chaos, they roared back and rolled the Tide in Tuscaloosa, showing that any undefeated SEC team deserves a chance at the title.

A little later, Oregon came back from a halftime deficit and ran away with the game against Arizona, earning them a BCS bowl berth, and putting themselves a win away from a chance at the championship game. 

But then, late, on a cold night in Reno, the first ever on that field pitting two ranked teams against each other, the underdog Nevada Wolfpack fell to the Boise State Broncos 24-7 at half—the same score in that Auburn-Alabama game at halftime. The Wolfpack clawed their way back into the game and pushed the Broncos to the brink, only to be outdone on one of Boise State's most memorable plays ever—and they've definitely had their share of memorable plays.

And just as the Broncos were going to set everything right with the world, and going to prove to the pro-BCS people around the country that a playoff was necessary, their tried and true kicker went wide right, then wide left, sending Boise State to their first loss of the season, and proving everybody at the BCS was right all along. 

Oregon and Auburn. No. 1 vs. No. 2. Just as the big boys had wanted, an undefeated SEC champion vs. an undefeated Pac 10 champion. There is no need for a playoff. The system works. Stanford, LSU, and TCU get a BCS at-large bid, and there is no more need for a debate.

A day after Thanksgiving, on a day called Black Friday, is the day the slipper turned into a pumpkin, or better yet, the day Cinderella died.  

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