BCS Standings: 5 Teams That Wish They Could Have 1 Play Back
After the 2011 season turned into 2007 over the weekend, the severity of blown opportunities have only been magnified for pretenders-turned-contenders-turned-pretenders-again.
With almost every loss by teams at the top of the polls coming in dramatic fashion, many fanbases can look to a single play to see exactly where their team's season began to unravel.
Here are five teams who would be in a much different position today if they could take back just one play.
Boise State: Missed Field Goal vs. TCU
The Broncos appeared to still be a long shot just a week and a half ago, with three major unbeaten teams ahead of them in the BCS standings. They hosted TCU in what turned out to be a classic.
After TCU took a 36-35 lead on a two-point conversion with just over a minute to play, Kellen Moore drove Boise State into field goal range with time running down. However, Dan Goodale's 39-yard attempt sailed wide right.
After losses by Stanford and Oklahoma State over the next week, the Broncos were left kicking themselves for letting their first legitimate chance to play for the national title slip away. As much publicity as last year's loss at Nevada gained, that game did not cost Boise State a BCS Championship Game berth. The loss to TCU might have.
Alabama: Wide Receiver Pass vs LSU
Even the team who will find themselves No. 2 in Sunday's BCS Standings is without a clear-cut path to New Orleans. Alabama's fate will be determined partially by Friday's Arkansas-LSU game, and of course by their performance on Saturday in the Iron Bowl at Auburn.
While the kicking game cost the Tide in their only loss of the season—in overtime to LSU—their best scoring chance came in the fourth quarter with the game tied at 6-6. That's when tight end Michael Williams appeared to be open at the goal line.
After lining up in the wildcat formation, wide receiver Marquis Maze saw Williams open, but his pass was intercepted at the last minute by Eric Reid.
Alabama would not score again.
Oklahoma State: 3rd and 6 at Iowa State
The Cowboys built what appeared to be a comfortable 24-7 lead in Ames over 5-4 Iowa State, but slowly the 'Pokes perfect season began to come apart. The Cyclones cut the lead to 24-17, but OSU was driving midway through the fourth quarter to try and put the game away.
At the Iowa State 41-yard line, and needing only one first down to move into field goal range, Brandon Weeden missed a wide open Jeremy Smith over the middle that would have given the Cowboys a new set of downs and kept the drive alive.
The pass fell incomplete, and Oklahoma State punted. Iowa State drove the length of the field on the ensuing drive to tie the game. After a missed field goal by OSU's Quinn Sharp, Iowa State pulled off the stunning upset in double-overtime.
Oregon: 2nd and 10 vs. USC
After a furious rally pulled Oregon within 38-35 after trailing by 24 points, the Ducks had a chance to tie or win the game on their final drive. Some highly questionable clock management by Oregon forced them to have to settle for a 37-yard field goal attempt without ever getting a chance to try and score a touchdown.
Facing a 2nd and 10 at the USC 18-yard line with 20 seconds remaining, Darron Thomas' pass to Lavasier Tuinei went for a two-yard loss. With timeouts in hand, there was time to either take a shot at the end zone or move the ball into much closer field goal range.
Two plays later, Alejandro Maldonado pushed a 37-yard field goal attempt wide left, as the Ducks' suffered their first loss at Autzen Stadium under Chip Kelly, knocking them out of national title contention.
Wisconsin: 40-Yard Touchdown at Ohio State
After a gut-wrenching loss on the final play of the game to Michigan State, Wisconsin had a chance to right the ship with a big road win at Ohio State.
The Badgers built a 29-26 lead in Columbus, and the Buckeyes were out of field goal range with only 20 seconds remaining. Once again, Wisconsin was beaten by the long ball, as Braxton Miller threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith to upset the Badgers, 33-29.
A month later, a one-loss Big Ten team would be right in the mix for the national title. The Badgers would likely have had a chance to avenge the loss to the Spartans in the Big Ten Championship Game and improve their title chances.
Despite the loss in East Lansing generating more hype, the Badgers' national championship dreams truly ended a week later in Ohio Stadium.