BCS Rankings: 10 BCS National Championship Matchups We'd Love to See

Michael WillhoftContributor IIINovember 15, 2011

BCS Rankings: 10 BCS National Championship Matchups We'd Love to See

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    The Week 12 BCS rankings have been released and, as expected, there was a shakeup among the Top 10 teams.

    Stanford’s loss and Boise State’s loss—both as home favorites, I might add—have pushed them out of national title contention, while Oregon and Arkansas continue their march up the rankings with convincing wins last weekend.

    Unless the Mayans were off and the apocalypse is actually happening this year, it seems we’re headed towards a BCS National Championship Game involving Louisiana State and A-Team-To-Be-Named-Later.

    And while Oklahoma State currently has the best chance at meeting LSU in that game, there are still several variables that need to play out as the college football regular season comes to a close.

    Because nothing is set in stone—or painted in the Superdome end zones—regarding the BCS National Championship Game, we can still talk about the potential title game matchups we’d love to see.

    Here’s my list of the best possible title matchups and how we could see them happen (however unlikely the scenarios might be).

10. Stanford vs. Louisiana State

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    Just hear me out: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck playing against the best team defense in college football, Louisiana State.

    Remember, I said this would be a list of the best potential matchups—not necessarily the most likely to occur.

    Even though this matchup won’t happen unless the phrase “alternate universe” is involved, people would be excited to see Luck play in what amounts to his personal NFL Scouting Combine. Besides, there’s the draw of LSU being motivated to stop college football’s most fundamentally sound quarterback.

    How it happens

    LSU wins out (as expected). Jim Harbaugh takes a leave of absence from coaching the San Francisco 49ers—their next game is against the Arizona Cardinals, so no one blames him—to rig the BCS computers so that Stanford ends the season ranked No. 2.

9. Stanford vs. Oklahoma

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    Again, it’s unlikely (in the most generous sense of the word). However, a Stanford vs. Oklahoma national championship matchup would give the viewers plenty of offense, as quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Landry Jones are projected as the No. 1 and No. 2 NFL prospects at their position.

    Think about it: Luck throwing darts to receivers out of pro-style offensive sets and Jones countering with a spread-option passing attack that stretches the field.

    The scoreboard operator will be the most unlucky guy in the building, as he’ll be too busy changing the score to watch the action on the field.

    How it happens

    Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Battle, then plays and wins an exhibition game against the Indianapolis Colts. LSU loses its last two games and San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh works his magic on the BCS computers.

8. Oklahoma vs. Oregon

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    The Oklahoma Sooners: tradition personified. The Oregon Ducks: We have sweet uniforms. Not a bad hook for a potential title game, if you ask me.

    Speed will be the name of the game in this matchup and points won’t be at a premium. Between the hype surrounding both offenses and the story lines relating to Oklahoma’s history and Oregon’s arrival as a football powerhouse, this matchup has a lot going for it.

    Not to mention the awesome contrast of the Oklahoma crimson and cream against the optic green—or whatever shade of highlighter that Oregon calls it—of the team uniforms.

    How it happens

    Oklahoma and Oregon win their remaining games. LSU forgets how to play football and loses at Mississippi and in the SEC Championship Game. Alabama loses at Mississippi State, then barely beats Georgia Southern at home, 21-20.

7. Oklahoma State vs. Oregon

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    Both Oklahoma State and Oregon have weapons on offense, and that might be putting it lightly.

    Oklahoma State runs out quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who combine to create the nation’s second-ranked passing attack in yards gained and points scored per game.

    By comparison, Oregon showcases a one-two backfield punch of quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James. Together, Thomas and James lead a team that racks up an average of 291.8 rushing yards per game.

    In all honesty, you can’t say that’s a boring matchup. (Plus, I’m a big fan of the helmets for both teams. So, there’s that.)

    How it happens

    Oklahoma State wins out, Oregon blows out USC and Oregon State and LSU loses its final two games as it falters down the stretch. (Alabama sulks in the corner as Oregon jumps the Tide in the rankings by the narrowest of margins.)

6. Oklahoma vs. Louisiana State

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    In a matchup of Big 12 and SEC powerhouse football programs, Oklahoma vs. Louisiana State would give these historically dominant conferences another reason to prove they’ve earned BCS automatic qualifying rights.

    LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and the rest of the vaunted Tigers defense will have their hands full against a legitimate quarterback in Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, who might have more than 4,000 passing yards and 35 touchdowns by the time of the BCS National Championship.

    For LSU, the quarterback carousel will likely continue as Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson have been effective in the games they’ve platooned at quarterback; if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

    How it happens

    LSU wins out and Oklahoma wins out, including a signature road win over now No. 2 Oklahoma State. (Not much Oregon and/or Alabama can do to improve their résumés in this scenario.)

5. Alabama vs. Oklahoma State

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    Now we’re getting to the more serious (read: possible) national title matchups. An Alabama vs. Oklahoma State championship game isn’t outside of the realm of possibility, and it pits a powerful offense against a stout defense.

    A potential Heisman Trophy winner could also make an impact in this game as well. Alabama running back Trent Richardson and Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden are sure to impress the viewers, as they have all season.

    If there’s a secondary purpose for the BCS National Championship game—besides determining college football’s best team—it’s to showcase the nation’s best players. If Bama and Okie State play, there will be a few stars on the field for sure.

    How it happens

    Oklahoma State wins out. Alabama wins its last two games convincingly. LSU loses two in a row. Oregon struggles against USC or Oregon State down the stretch.

4. Alabama vs. Oregon

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    They’ll need some help, but both Alabama and Oregon can backdoor their way into a matchup in the national championship game.

    An Alabama vs. Oregon matchup in the title game would pit one of the nation’s best rushing attacks—the Ducks—against one of the nation’s best defenses—the Crimson Tide.

    The country’s fastest offense against arguably the fastest defense in college football—sounds like a combination that would make for an entertaining championship game to me.

    How it happens

    Alabama and Oregon both win out convincingly. Oklahoma State loses a close game to Oklahoma and LSU loses its last two games.

3. Oklahoma State vs. Louisiana State

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    Although it’s the most reasonable of the title game matchups—since it’s probably the one we’ll actually get—an Oklahoma State vs. Louisiana State championship matchup isn’t the one most coveted by the fans.

    Oklahoma State has the type of offense that can step toe-to-toe with the LSU defense, which would definitely make for an exciting game; the problem is the public generally isn’t sold on Oklahoma State as the second best team in the country.

    However, it’s the BCS that decides which team will take on the LSU Tigers in January (assuming they win out), and it’s likely to be Oklahoma State (assuming it can take care of business over their final two games).

    How it happens

    LSU and Oklahoma State both win out (as expected).

2. Alabama vs. Louisiana State

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    An Alabama vs. Louisiana State BCS National Championship Game would undoubtedly break all kinds of records in terms of the hype it would generate.

    The only problem with the game itself would be the marketing hook: “The Game of the Century 2.0?” “Bama vs. LSU: Round II?” “The Most Ridiculous Tailgate and After-Party in History?”

    I think you see where I’m going with this. Despite the lack of offense in the initial meeting between these two teams, the build-up for the rematch would be phenomenal.

    Alabama and LSU are widely considered to be the best two teams in the country; the fact that they play in the same division is unfortunate for those who want to see them in the title game—they almost cancel one another out based on their result in Week 10.

    How it happens

    LSU wins out and Oklahoma State loses. After that, the strength of schedule—and reputation—of the SEC should be enough to bump Alabama into the title game.

1. Oregon vs. Louisiana State

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    Yes, the best possible bowl matchup—sorry SEC fans­—is a different rematch: the Oregon Ducks against the Louisiana State Tigers.

    The Week 1 game between Oregon and LSU was billed as a potential BCS National Championship Game; as much as I didn’t want to believe the hype, it turns out that this matchup in the title game would be the best case scenario.

    The Oregon offense is once again running at full speed—blatant pun clearly intended—and the team is rounding into form at the best possible time. LSU has been strong all season, and it doesn’t seem like things are going to change for it now.

    Fast offense and fast defense, that’s what this game would be about. And for the Oregon Ducks, knowing that SEC speed is a real thing—after what happened to them in last year’s championship game—might serve them well this time around.

    LSU’s defense is certainly up to the task—just ask Alabama, West Virginia, Florida, etc. You can even ask Oregon what it thinks (as a result of the first meeting between these two teams).

    Both LSU and Oregon weren’t operating at 100 percent in the season opener, but a rematch for the national title would leave no doubt as to which is the better team.

    How it happens

    LSU wins out. Oregon handily beats USC and Oregon State. Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma. Alabama barely wins its final two games. (The real debate is whether a one-loss Pac-12 champion—Oregon—is better than a one-loss SEC runner-up—Alabama.)