With so few weeks remaining in the 2011 regular season, many are wondering which teams will emerge as the top two teams who will play on college football's biggest stage: the BCS National Championship.
The National Championship, however, can be considered more or less one-sided, with many already inserting Alabama or LSU as one of the teams who'll punch their ticket to New Orleans.
The opponent, however, has yet to be determined and is still up in the air as to who Alabama/LSU will be facing in the BCS National Championship. What teams possibly have the ability to separate themselves from the pack and face off against the inevitable Alabama/LSU opponent? Read on to find out.
The matchup of the college football season.
Imagine a high-powered offense pitting itself against one of the best defenses in the nation, and seeing who will come out victorious.
Oh wait, that was the 2011 title game.
All the same, a repeat of that matchup could be in the cards if Oklahoma State faces LSU in the Sugar Bowl.
LSU has a physical, speedy defense that has been labeled amongst the best in the nation. The Tigers are led by play-maker Tyrone Matthieu, who would be leading his unit against Cowboys quarterback Branden Weeden's high-octane attack.
The pairings of these two will certainly be an interesting game to watch, and could provide many with the answer of if defense winning championships still holds true against an offense like Oklahoma State's.
Once again, this matchup is very identical to the one against LSU—only Alabama's defense may actually be better than LSU's defense. Some have gone so far as to call the Tide's unit one of the best of all-time.
Head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart have orchestrated a top-notch defense that plays at a high level week in and week out.
Their defense may be the only one with a realistic shot at containing Oklahoma State's powerful offense.
Saban knows how to win (two BCS titles), and would make sure to limit the amount of times that Oklahoma State has in the game.
You can bet that running back Trent Richardson will get the call plenty throughout the game to wear out Oklahoma State's defense.
We can talk about the defense that Alabama would bring, but we have not talked about the kind of test that the defense itself would have: a future NFL quarterback in Stanford's own Andrew Luck, whom some are calling the best pro prospect at that position since Peyton Manning.
Luck has been the unquestioned leader of the Stanford offense, and has kept them rolling in this first season after the departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers.
While Stanford looks certain to lock up a BCS Bowl bid barring a late-season stumble (that November showdown against Oregon in Palo Alto looms large), they must overcome questions directed toward their schedule if they are to warrant consideration for the title game.
Saban and the Crimson Tide staff will be sure to give Luck a great send off to the NFL if this matchup does in fact occur.
No matter which team faces LSU or Alabama, they will have to deal with a top-notch defense that has the ability to limit or shut down any offense that crosses their path.
Oregon would love the opportunity to face off against an SEC team again, especially since Cam Newton will not be there to spoil their hopes once again.
However, they will be facing a defense that will be a tougher challenge than Newton was to prepare for. But, Oregon is the best at running their fast paced spread, and despite their injuries, they have still managed the same amount of production.
Chip Kelly has coached his players well, and they are eager to return to the big stage once again. A rematch against the Tigers would have Ducks fans chomping at the bit, as that first-game loss in Dallas has yet to dissipate.
Yeah, I figured you might say that.
But think about it. Boise State and Oklahoma State stay at Nos. 3 and 4 in the BCS standings for the remainder of the season (we'll assume Boise picks up enough points with a win over a resurgent TCU team to stay that high in the polls).
Then the Broncos need help, of course. The winner of LSU and Alabama then has to lose in the SEC title game. Stanford would have to lose to Oregon, and Boise would then have to hope that a one-loss team doesn't leap-frog it in the standings.
That's a lot to ask, of course, but think of how awesome a Boise-OSU game would be with all that offense! This could be a 56-48 game like USC and Stanford played on Saturday night -- only without the triple overtime.