Making Sense of the B-C-Mess
So what does a 45-14 beatdown on the heels of an embarrassing loss to Stanford get you? Well, thanks to the wonderful BCS, it gets you a rematch. After dropping to 0-2, an upset over USC has put Oregon State in line for a rematch with Penn State in the Rose Bowl. I’ll pass.
Then there is the FedEx Orange Bowl: Cincinnati against whatever ACC team can manage to finish the season with ONLY three losses. I’ll pass.
Then there is Utah. I have to feel for the Utes (and so do the computers ranking them ahead of Florida and USC). Two quality wins over TCU and BYU, a win over potentially Rose Bowl-bound Oregon State, and how many teams can say they beat the storied Michigan program.
Still, tell me if you’ve heard this story before. Undefeated non-BCS team crushed by superior SEC powerhouse. Opening line Florida v. Alabama loser giving two touchdowns to Utah in the Sugar Bowl. I’ll pass.
Now that we’ve covered the three bowl games that will make even the networks hate the BCS, we get to the real fun part.
The BCS has to be pulling hard for Alabama. If Alabama can beat Florida in the SEC title game, no one could challenge their spot in the BCS Championship Game. Unfortunately, that is the only win out and be in without a gripe scenario.
That leaves us with the rest of the one-loss BCS crowd hoping to get in: Texas (No. 2), Oklahoma (No. 3), Florida (No. 4), USC (No. 5) and Texas Tech (No. 7).
USC's hopes totally lie in the balance of other teams. If the Big 12 can decide a clear winner and Florida doesn’t end up losing to Florida St. and then beating Alabama, the most likely scenario will pit some form of Big 12 and SEC. Pete Carroll is the biggest Chase Daniel fan at this point.
While Texas Tech might be the lowest ranked currently in the BCS, they are an Oklahoma St. win at home against Oklahoma from winning the Big 12 South via their win over Texas. Still, a win over Missouri would not guarantee them jumping over Texas in the BCS.
If Florida wins the SEC, they will likely lock up a berth in the big game, but maybe not rightfully so. Florida’s one loss is clearly the worst of the bunch, at home to Ole Miss. The Big 12 teams have only beaten up each other, and USC lost to Rose Bowl-bound Oregon State.
The problem is the human polls have a “what have you done lately mentality,” and with Florida’s loss coming early, they seemed to have been forgiven. The computers, on the other hand, have all three Big 12 South teams ranked above the Gators.
Now for the fun—Oklahoma and Texas. So long as the rest of the Big Three win out this weekend, the three-way tie by rule would be broken by the BCS Standings. A win over Oklahoma State will likely be enough to push Oklahoma over Texas, but again, the pollsters and the computers have left us baffled before.
For better or worse, the team who wins the BCS tiebreaker would likely lock in a BCS title berth with a win over Missouri.
If Missouri wins the Big 12, all bets are off. Could a one-loss Alabama hold on to the No. 2 spot and force a Florida-Alabama rematch? Would a team like USC, Utah, or Penn St sneak in? Would a Big 12 team who found themselves on the outside of a tiebreaker make it in despite not even playing in the conference title game?
Finally, one last BCS scenario to ponder. Say Florida loses to Florida State and beats Alabama, Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma, and Texas Tech subsequently loses to Missouri.
Somehow Charlie Weis pulls it together and beats USC, and voters unwilling to put a non-champion Texas in the BCS championship game give us a glorious, drum roll please, Penn St. v. Utah BCS Title Game.
I can see President-Elect Obama licking his chops now.
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