Michigan State celebrates after a BCS-busting win over Wisconsin. How will the National Championship Game look after the Badgers and the Sooners suffered losses?
College football is good for several shockers every year.
Just when the fans think the national picture is painted, pandemonium happens. Alabama was tied with Tennessee at halftime, 6-6, at home. Arkansas got everything it wanted and then some from Ole Miss. Boise State almost dropped a conference game for the second year in a row, this time surviving against Air Force.
Just when Wisconsin looked unbeatable, the Michigan State Spartans convert a desperation Hail Mary and in what could be the biggest shocker of the season. Texas Tech goes to Norman and takes it to the Sooners in the first half and barely holds on for the win.
Now that chaos is beginning to set in—as it normally does in BCS rankings season—these are the teams that I feel have the best shot at a national championship.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban and LSU Head coach Les Miles meet again, this time with both teams as front-runners for the national championship.
The marquee game of November 5th is what I am calling the T-Town Throwdown, with Alabama and LSU meeting in Tuscaloosa. In a battle of what will very likely be the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation, the winner of this game should have no difficulty getting through the rest of the schedule.
Alabama will have to travel to a disappointing Mississippi State team the next week, then host Georgia Southern before the Iron Bowl in Auburn. Auburn's two biggest weak spots are tackling and consistency at the QB position, the two very things you can't afford to have against the Crimson Tide. The running game should be able to break tackles consistently, and the defense is so punishing that anything but excellence at the QB position normally means a loss.
As for LSU, they will play Western Kentucky after Alabama. After that, the Tigers will play Ole Miss, possibly the worst team in the SEC West, before ending the regular season at home against Arkansas, who has been inconsistent throughout the year, especially on the road.
Since the winner of this game will likely go undefeated and move on to the SEC Championship Game, the opponent there will either be Georgia or South Carolina, with Florida lurking. Both of these teams beat Florida in the regular season, and with the injuries that have plagued the Gators, that probably wouldn't be much of a game. Georgia is at a down point in their program, and although there is a wave of impressive talent coming in, it isn't up to snuff with the years of top notch talent LSU and Alabama have, and the same goes for South Carolina.
Long story short, all signs point to the winner of this game being champions of the SEC and the easy choice for an invitation to the national championship game in New Orleans.
Quarterback Brandon Weeden leads a prolific Cowboys offense that might get the chance to show its firepower in the BCS National Championship Game.
This is where the Oklahoma loss to Texas Tech starts to show up. Normally, this spot would belong to the Sooners, the preseason No. 1 team. But now, I think this spot belongs to the Sooners' high-scoring in-state rival, the Cowboys of Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys have one of the most electrifying offenses in the nation and has only two games worth note for the rest of the season, and the bigger of the two at home. Texas Tech in Lubbock could be a test if the Red Raiders stay confident, and then comes the Bedlam Game with Oklahoma in Stillwater.
I didn't count Kansas State because Oklahoma State is so much more talented than the Wildcats, I feel like they will be over matched in that game. If Oklahoma State can navigate those two games, the path is seemingly clear for a national championship appearance.
All the hype surrounding Andrew Luck will certainly be amplified if he lead his team to a national championship appearance.
Before we I get started on Stanford, let me clarify that there are two "Knocking On The Door" teams, and I did not put them in the order they are in for a reason. I would say the two teams are close to even in probability.
Now, the Stanford Cardinal are obviously dependent on a Oklahoma State loss. If that does happen, the Cardinal look like a serious contender. Four of the Cardinal's five last home games are big ones: at USC, at Oregon State and hosting Oregon and Notre Dame.
If the Cardinal can make it out unscathed and win the Pac-12 championship game, they would look very, very strong if Oklahoma State's spot needed to be filled.
This could be the year that Kellen Moore finally breaks through and puts the Broncos in the Big Game.
Boise State is perched near the top of the BCS rankings, as usual. But now, with only one tough game remaining against TCU and the teams ahead of them slowly but surely dropping off, this just could be the miracle year for the boys in Boise.
It helps a lot that Georgia looks like they have righted the ship and very well could appear in the SEC championship game, making that win look very good.
Will Dabo's luck push him all the way to New Orleans?
In a down Atlantic Coast Conference, the Clemson Tigers have risen to the top as the cream of the crop after a big, unexpected win on the road against Virginia Tech.
With that, if Auburn can pull some late heroics to make that win look better, and if Oklahoma State and Stanford lose, it is possible the Tigers could jump over Boise State and rob the Broncos of a national championship appearance based on strength of schedule.
This scenario is not likely—that's for certain. But crazier things have happened in college football. Just ask Boise, I'm sure you'll get a vivid memory of a certain Fiesta Bowl against a certain opponent that fell just short of making this list.
Who will be holding this crystal ball in New Orleans when everything is said and done?
Time to sift through the madness and give my thoughts.
In reality, the LSU-Alabama game, the T-Town Throwdown, is basically a national semifinal match-up. Bryant-Denny Stadium will be impossible to play in that night, and I think it will be the hostile crowd and the hostile defense for Alabama that gives the Crimson Tide that win. The Tide will probably go on to lock its spot in the BCS National Championship in the next month, leaving only one spot left up for grabs.
I think that spot gets taken by Oklahoma State. I think the Cowboys offense will be just too much for all of the opponents left in the way. Many think Oklahoma can topple the Cowboys, but the Sooners struggled with the Texas Tech offense at home. Going to Stillwater is no easy task, and especially so when you're facing the same kind of offense that gave you your first loss of the season, just with much more talent.
Alabama and Oklahoma State meet up in the national championship game, and from there, all bets are off.