Much to my chagrin, Oregon State's utility for the rest of us is about to run out. As nice as it was for them to eliminate USC from the title picture, Their best case is 9-3 and a TIE in the PAC 10. Realistically, they lose one of their last three against the 'better' half of the Pac 10 schedule, and they close at 8-4 or so.
This likely has several important ramifications.
USC will be the Pac 1+9 champ again, and they will THROTTLE the Big 10+1 rep—no matter who it is. With all apologies to the fantastic Joe Paterno, I sort of hope that Michigan State wins so the Rose Bowl and all their stubborn tradition gets the eagerly awaited... tongue in cheek... USC-Ohio State matchup!
I hope it is worse than 35-3 this time, and it may well be if the Trojans are focused and angry.
The more losses Oregon State takes, the worse USC stands to fare in the 'who is the best one-loss team' discussion. The Beaver's reward for a strong season will likely be an also ran in the Big XII in the Holiday Bowl—Okie State or Mizzou—either one of which will blitzkrieg Oregon State in epic fashion.
As to the Big XII, Tech running the table may be a stiffer challenge than some think. I believe Stoops' Sooners are 56-2 or something in Norman under his regime. So let's have fun and assume that OU beats Tech. Now we have our impossible to solve, everyone is right, and everyone is wrong problem.
Even though I vomit in my mouth a little each time I think it, Oklahoma probably jumps Texas in the BCS standings. I can only hope that the coaches (and not their assistants) really sit back and examine the merits of one's body of work—which SHOULD include head to head matchups, quality of wins AND losses.
Potential flys in the ointment:
A suddenly forgotten, but formidable Mizzou in the Big XII game.
A pesky South Carolina or talented, but raw Florida State.
Rivals Oklahoma State, Auburn, Texas a&m- who have made a living out of being overlooked.
If form holds, Texas Tech will play Florida in Miami, and it will be a thriller! That being said, form NEVER holds this time of year. I will forecast the most unlikely scenario of all:
- OU beats Texas Tech, then loses in Stillwater and returns to Dallas for the Cotton Bowl—where they will wipe the field with LSU or some other SEC 2nd tier.
- Florida squeaks by Spurrier and co., coasts through Citadel (in November... REALLY?), and gets shocked in Tallahasee. They then CLOBBER Alabama.
Tech wins the Big XII, and the suddenly invisible Texas Longhorns slide into the BCS game for a little rematch/payback. The rematch is just as thrilling, but Texas wins this time (by the same margin of 6 if you want to know). Everyone now asks what that solved, and the truthful answer is... NOTHING!
As many as six teams have a legitamate belief their team earned the right to be there. This doesn't even account for potentially undefeated Utah or Boise State—or even Ball State if you're into that sort of thing.
Looking forward to your thoughts.