Hello, college football fans!
That was some weekend in college football! Four of the top seven ranked teams in the BCS lost.
The interesting thing about everyone losing is assuming everything goes to plan (which of course means it won't), here's who I have in the championship game...
LSU vs. Oklahoma State
Yes, the same as last week.
I think the voters will do a repeat of the Michigan/Florida situation in 2006-07. I think Alabama will be #2 when the polls come out today. In fact, I see the top three in the polls being 1) LSU, 2) Alabama, and 3) Arkansas. Of the remaining teams, Oklahoma State has to be ranked fourth. Well, next weekend's Arkansas/LSU game will knock the loser out of the top 3. So, assuming LSU wins, Oklahoma State moves up to 3. If Oklahoma State wins Bedlam, I can see the voters switching Oklahoma State and Alabama in the final poll. There will clearly be backlash at an LSU/Alabama game and Oklahoma State's loss was a road loss in overtime the week after two of their women's basketball coaches died in a plane crash. I think those two considerations might give the pollsters a reason to switch to the Cowboys, especially if Oklahoma State wins convincingly.
At least we know Oregon, Oklahoma, and Clemson won't be playing in the BCS title game with two losses now. Stanford probably will not give a chance at the title game unless Oregon loses one of their last two games (both their game with Oregon State and the Pac-12 championship would be in Eugene, although so was last night's game). Could you imagine if Boise State had won last week?
National Championship: LSU vs. Oklahoma State
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon
Sugar Bowl: Alabama vs. Houston
Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Big East Champ
Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs. Michigan
SEC: LSU - Two wins from a national championship.
Should Arkansas win, Alabama will go to the SEC Championship game if it beats Auburn. In a three way tie, it goes to the BCS rankings except if the second ranked team is within five places of the highest ranked team and beats the first head to head, they go. I assume in a three way tie, LSU will be the lowest ranked of the three. Even if Arkansas jumps Alabama, they won't be five places ahead. Alabama beat Arkansas. Advantage Alabama. I would love to see if Arkansas gets ranked #1 in the BCS but can't even play in its conference championship!
Big 12: Oklahoma State - Only need a home game vs. Oklahoma to clinch.
If Oklahoma wins out, they will win the Big 12 bid to the Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State would be tied and Ok State would have the tiebreaker. Even if Kansas State wins its last game, they lost to both Oklahoma schools. Kansas State cannot make the Fiesta as the Big 12 champion because they will at best be tied with Oklahoma State.
Big Ten: Wisconsin
Michigan State is in the championship game from the Legends Division. Whoever wins Penn State at Wisconsin wins the Leaders Division. I still have Wisconsin winning out.
Oregon can still clinch the Pac-12 North and host the Pac-12 champion if they beat Oregon State in the Civil War.
As for the South, UCLA clinches it if they win at USC (unlikely). Should Arizona State and Utah win and UCLA lose to USC, there will be a three way tie for the South spot (USC is ineligible) and a three way head to head split. Next up comes divisional record. UCLA would be 2-3 while Utah and Arizona State would be 3-2. Arizona State would get the spot with a head to head win over Utah. Should ASU lose and Utah and UCLA tie, Utah will play in the title game.
Despite Clemson's loss, I still have Clemson winning the ACC Championship. They will definitely be favored vs. Virginia and if it's a Virginia Tech rematch, Clemson still won 23-3 in Blacksburg. I can guess the Orange Bowl committee will be cheering hard for Clemson so they don't have to have Virginia Tech play there for the fourth time in five years. Clemson's last Orange Bowl appearance was 1981, the year they won the national championship.
Big East: Again, don't ask! Especially with Cincinnati losing and five teams with two losses. Maybe next week I will predict who will win the Big East (and will probably be wrong).
As for my BCS selections, the only change I have is Michigan taking the spot over Oklahoma.
I say an 11-1 Stanford team that doesn't go to the Rose Bowl is a guaranteed pick for the Fiesta Bowl.
Should Oklahoma lose, they will have three losses and without Ryan Broyles and will presumably be out. Other possibilities would be Kansas State if they win out, Virginia Tech if they lose to Clemson in the ACC, Boise State (would be an at large pick, not an automatic), or potentially unbeaten Houston. Of these, I would think Michigan would be the biggest draw nationally although Kansas State is a lot closer to Arizona. Even if the Fiesta chooses Houston, the Sugar Bowl almost certainly would take Michigan (if they beat Ohio State) against Alabama. We could get two Big 10/Pac-12 matchups on Jan. 2nd.
Ironically with four losses in the top seven BCS ranked teams, there was only one change in my bowl projections. Go figure.