Stanford and Boise State losing on Saturday night has just made the final three weeks of the college football regular season very interesting.
The most popular hypothetical BCS scenario right now is, what if Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma on December 3? Who then plays LSU for the national championship?
This scenario obviously assumes that LSU wins the SEC title (beating Georgia in Atlanta) and Oklahoma State losing their "Bedlam" game against their in-state rival.
This scenario, in all reality, leaves just three teams battling for a ticket to New Orleans site of the BCS Championship: Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon.
Right or wrong, an 11-1 Oklahoma State would not make it back to the championship game. A regular season finale loss would be too much to overcome in the human polls, despite the computers' fascination with the Cowboys.
Oklahoma might have the best chance. Unfortunately, many voters do not simply ask themselves, "Who are the two best teams in America?" when they vote at the end of the year. That reality opens the door for the Sooners to sneak back up to No. 2 in the BCS despite an awful loss to an inconsistent Texas Tech team. Oklahoma is a definite possibility.
Alabama also has a chance to sneak back in. If Oklahoma isn't impressive in their game against Oklahoma State, then the door might be open for voters to pencil in a rematch between the two SEC rivals. This seems unlikely as many influential pundits will voice their opinion that this weakens the regular season result between LSU and 'Bama.
What about Oregon? Oregon probably would have the best resume of any of these teams on December 4 when the bowl pairings are announced.
Oregon's only loss will be a Week 1 battle to No. 1 LSU. Three months later, Oregon can argue that they are not the same team and would be the best bet to face LSU again for the title.
This argument carries weight. Right or wrong, the time a team loses a game factors in their ability to climb back up the polls and potentially get a rematch. Alabama will have a loss to LSU at home one month before the bowl selections. Oregon will have a neutral-site loss to LSU three months before the bowl selections.
Don't discount (and if you do, you're not realistic) the attractiveness of Oregon's offense and its star player, LaMichael James. The Oregon offense is admired by many coaches and former football people alike (Harris Poll folks). Oregon against LSU again would be a simple sell if Alabama and Oklahoma are the only other legitimate opponents for LSU in the title game.
It's not just food for thought. It's more likely than you think.
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