It's been a long time and a stressful season. Both are winding down but there is still a lot of uncertainty in the world of college football.
Since I last blogged we have had five different times at number one in at least one poll. Three have fallen, two are unblemished, and one is a center of controversy due to a certain quarterback that may or may not be making more money than his quarterback coach. All the while, we are slowly but surely creeping up on a potential appearance of a non-BCS qualifying team in the national championship game.
Boise State and TCU sit at four and three respectively and are the only teams left unbeaten outside of the top two. At this late point in the season it is highly likely that no one loss teams will jump them, it is also unlikely that should Oregon or Auburn lose that they would remain ahead of these teams.
This puts me in a very difficult position. Because of the likelihood that Boise State will play for national championship should one of these teams lose, I will have to do something I swore I never would: Cheer for Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide.
Friday's Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama marks what has to be considered by far to be the best chance that Auburn or Oregon has to lose a game left. This means that for one day Taylor will need to remove Nick Saban owned knife from that back of his lovely Miami Dolphins jersey, throw on a crimson cap, and exclaim ROLL TIDE!!!
It is very important to me that Auburn loses, as it should be to any true fans of Boise State, TCU, BYU, Houston, Nevada, Idaho, Ball State, Fresno State, Navy, Hawaii, or UTEP. Why? Because whether it's TCU or Boise State playing for the giant crytstal faberge egg, it will break the system, and for the first time in twelve years all of these schools might just get to be judged as equals. The BCS is a joke, I know it, and if you are reading this blog, then you know it too. Because anyone who cares about college football enough to read a blog about knows the system is garbage...... unless you are an Ohio State fan, because your team is the only one to actual never get screwed by the system.
And lo' and behold the politicing started today. Ohio State University's president prclaimed that a one loss team from the Big Ten or SEC should play for the championship before TCU and BSU. LSU head coach Les Miles responded to these commented on Sportscenter by saying that he agrees, especially considering SEC teams. LSU is the top rated one loss team, sitting right behind Boise State in the standings. Coincidence? Doubtful. But is nice to see that once again, the snow is falling, and the snakes are begin to slither about the field trying to sneak their way in with words because they aren't able to do it on the field. This is all part of the system, just ask Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Miami, Washington, USC, Florida State, Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, TCU, Boise State, Utah, Auburn, or LSU fans anywhere. They all have been at the center of BCS controversy at some point in the past decade. Better yet, look at the BCS Wikipedia page. About half of it is just describing the controversies that have unfolded over a mere twelve years.
A national champion from outside a BCS qualifying conference is exactly what the BCS does not want to see and for that reason is exactly what college football needs. The irony of it all is that the BCS darling Crimson Tide can help crush the system by downing their hated rivals.
Roll Tide, Roll.
1. Cameron Newton
2. LaMichael James
3. Justin Blackmon
4. Kellen Moore
5. Andrew Luck
25. USC - I know a lot of people would put Iowa here, but I don't believe in rewarding teams for losing only big (and all of them) and having a lot of preseason hype. The Trojans have played very well for a team that has absoltely nothing to play for.
24. Arizona - The Wildcats have fallen apart a bit late in the season, but still have exceeded preseason expectations.
23. Northern Illinois - With nine wins and an unblemished conference record, Northern Illinois is looking more impressive than anyone expected a MAC team to look this year.
22. Florida State - Still alive in the ACC title race, but more important, the 'Noles have a good chance to beat rival Florida for the first time in five years.
21. NC State - The Wolfpack will be in the ACC title game with a win over Maryland this weekend. If they lose, they will likely be the number four selection from the conference come bowl season. Either way, this has been the breakout season Tom O'Brien has needed for this program.
20. Utah - It took six quarters but the Utes have finally rebounded from the beatdown TCU gave them. If TCU ends up in a BCS bowl, Utah has now clinched the top bowl spot for the Mountain West.
19. South Carolina - The Gamecocks have a chance to win their first SEC championship next, that however does not change that there are at least 4 teams in the Western Division that are better than they are.
18. Texas A&M - The Aggies are the hottest team in the Big 12 right now and are technically still in the Big 12 title hunt, but they will have to be very convincing this week against Texas and need a Oklahoma win in the Bedlam Game.
17. Oklahoma - The Sooners have struggled to win games most of the season, but close wins are still wins. Even if the games are close, Oklahoma has led most of the way and have beat some very good teams.
16. Missouri - Ahead of Oklahoma because they beat them. They don't have the strength of schedule that the Sooners do, but I value head to head wins way more than a statistic.
15. Nebraksa - The Huskers are at the top of the 2 loss tiebreaking cycle between themselves, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
14. Michigan State - Sparty has not played well at all since beating Wisconsin in October. They have had to spark late comebacks for the last few victories, including last weeks game against a bad Purdue team.
13. Virginia Tech - The Hokies have won nine straight games and will play in the ACC championship game for a shot at the BCS. A lot of people wrote them off early after the shocking loss to James Madison. I'm one of the believers in the "Boise beat them twice" theory. The Hokies only had two days of practice for this game while coming off a huge heartbreaking loss. For strength of schedule guys, it's worth noting that the Hokies are unbeaten against BCS teams.
12. Nevada - The Wolfpack have won a few close games, but they blow out the bad teams, and have one of the best offensive units in the country. However, the whole season will be ignored by pollsters unless they pull off a huge upset over Boise State this season.
11. Arkansas - Arkansas has won some very impressive games and are still very alive in the BCS hunt. A win over LSU this week could give the Hogs a real shot at getting to the Sugar Bowl.
10. Alabama - The Crimson Tide have looked absolutely dominant in virtually every win this year. The only close win was over Arkansas, which is the best win on the schedule.
9. Ohio State - The Buckeyes have played very well since going down to the Badgers. Still, the strength of schedule is not very impressive and leaves them near the bottom of the one loss pack.
8. Oklahoma State - Everyone seems to be laughing off the one loss Pokes as far inferior to Ohio State and some SEC two-loss powerhouses. But recent events have made the victory over Texas A&M look better than anything on the Buckeye Schedule.
7. Wisconsin - The Badgers seem poised for the Rose Bowl unless Northwestern pulls of a giant upset on Saturday. As long as the Buckeyes beat Michigan, the Badgers will hold the tiebreaker throughthe BCS standings.
6. LSU - Judging LSU is difficult. On one hand, the record is outstanding and the strength of schedule is as good as it gets. On the other, the Tigers have looking convinving in no more than three wins all year. Struggling against Ole Miss at home is not the sign of a title contender.
5. Stanford - No one loss team in the country plays more complete and solid football than the Cardinal. This team should be taken ahead of any Big Ten at large team for a BCS. However, this is the BCS and it seems likely they will get to watch less deserving teams in the big games.
4. TCU - The Horned Frogs are in a bad spot. Despite sitting at three for the past few weeks, a drop behind BSU seems almost certain this weekend. It will take a lot of help to put the Toads into the title game.
3. Auburn - The Tigers have the best strength of schedule of any undefeated but their defense is playing much worse than any other unbeaten. They also have their best player as a source of controversy that could end up hurt the school exponentially. A convincing win over Alabama on Friday will put them in my top two and likely guarantee a spot in the title game.
2. Boise State - Do they have a better schedule than Auburn? No, not at all. But I think of strength of schedule as more of a tiebreaker if the teams perform equally, and Boise has a much more complete team than the Tigers based on the strength of their defense.
1. Oregon - The Ducks may have struggled against California, but that is the first time all year anyone has given them any kind of scare after halftime all year. Chip Kelly's squad is now only two weeks from sending Oregon to it's first title game.
Also Considered: Iowa, Penn State, Hawaii
Alabama 42 - Auburn 31
Boise State 49 - Nevada 14
TCU 1,000,000 - New Mexico 0
Oregon 45 - Arizona 27
Michigan 20 - Ohio State 45
Oklahoma 27 - Oklahoma State 28