College Football Madness: Putting the BCS Chaos in Perspective
It's an interesting paradox, isn't it? Upsets actually restoring a sense of order to the BCS standings. It seems almost illogical, but really, it's not.
Just over two weeks ago, we were salivating over the prospects of an Alabama-LSU rematch in the BCS title game. The general consensus was that the Tide and the Tigers were going to play "the game of the century."
Nov. 4 came and went. LSU triumphed at Bryant-Denny Stadium with a gritty 9-6 win. But the game wasn't appreciated for its true value. That showdown between No. 1 and No. 2 was a brilliant display of defensive prowess, an exposition of two teams laden with NFL talent duking it out in primetime for SEC and national supremacy.
Most attributed the game's low score to poor offensive play, a valid criticism. But where were those detractors when Alabama hung 38 on No. 3 Arkansas earlier in the season? Or when LSU pasted Florida 41-11?
Both of these teams are competent offensively. The fact that there were only 15 points scored in their Nov. 4 matchup is a testament to the talent of both of these defenses.
With Alabama falling to 8-1, there was hope that a rematch wouldn't happen. In fact, a rematch was one of the least popular scenarios—outside of the SEC country, at least.
The Tide fell to third in the BCS standings that week, opening the door for then-No.2 Oklahoma State. All the Cowboys needed to do was beat Big 12 bottom-dweller Iowa State, who had gone 2-4 in conference play coming into Friday night's matchup in Ames, before welcoming Oklahoma for the annual Bedlam game.
Do you want to see an LSU-Alabama rematch in the National Championship Game?
The Cyclones stunned the Cowboys with a 37-31 overtime victory. There's no Big 12 title game this year, but the Dec. 3 Bedlam game now becomes the de-facto conference title game. And that's bad news for OSU. That game could have been their chance to clinch a ticket to New Orleans for the national title game.
The upset opened up the door for the Sooners, who needed to beat Baylor and the Cyclones before heading to Stillwater on Dec. 3. Almost on cue, Landry Jones and OU were upset by the Bears.
Actually,upset is the wrong word here. The Sooners were RGIII'd. The Baylor dual-threat QB torched Bob Stoops' vaunted defense for 551 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.
Stanford's hopes at a shot against LSU went out the window a week earlier when Andrew Luck and the Cardinal fell at home to Oregon. Luck appeared mortal for the first time all season, throwing two interceptions in the 23-point loss.
Luck's loss was the Ducks' gain, as they were now one of the likely candidates to face LSU in the national title game. Of course, that scenario went out the window when the Ducks had their 19-game conference and 21-game home winning streaks snapped by USC.
The Barkley-led Trojans appeared dominant Saturday at Autzen stadium, beating the Ducks in every facet of the game.
After all the chaos in Week 12, we are now back to the same place we were three weeks ago, with Alabama and LSU atop the BCS standings.
To the chagrin of most non-SEC fans, these two defensive powerhouses will likely meet in the National Championship Game.
I'm reluctant to use that word, likely. Wasn't Oklahoma State likely to beat Iowa State? And Oregon likely to beat USC? Barring a repeat of this weekend's action, the Tide and Tigers will have a date at the Super Dome on Jan. 3.
While most college football fans are cringing at the prospect of a rematch, this is exactly the scenario that we all clamor for each year when we denounce the absurdity of the BCS.
These are the two best teams in the nation, hands down. Oregon, Stanford, Oklahoma State, Boise State and Oklahoma, they all had their chances to qualify themselves for the title game.
It didn't happen. Each of the aforementioned teams forfeited their rights to play for the National Championship. Alabama is undoubtedly the best one-loss team in the nation.
By the looks of it now, the two best teams with the two best resumés will play in the title game. Isn't that what we all want from the BCS every year? That the two best teams play for the right to be crowned the nation's champion?
It appears that that's exactly what we're going to get.
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