So now that the latest Game of the Century has ended in bone-rattling 9-6 victory for the LSU Tigers, what does this do to the overall picture of the BCS Title Game? Keep in mind that the BCS is not about who's Number One. It's all about identifying who is Number Two. How has Saturday's old school tilt affected the selection of LSU's opponent?
First off, it appears that there is a strong chance that we are looking at an LSU/Alabama remtach, plain and simple. This makes the assumption that either Oklahoma State will not win out (still highly likely in my opinion) or that 'Bama will jump them (highly unlikely, the computers love the Cowboys). I certainly hope that the same opponents and voters who were so opposed to Nebraska playing Miami in 2001 on the logic that you can't not even win your division, but play for the national title, will come out of the woodwork.
I don't want a rematch. Alabama had LSU on their home field in a night game and didn't get it done, plain and simple. No whiny lines like "Kickers shouldn't decide a game like this," please. Until field goals and extra points are outlawed, you'd better take the position a little more seriously. Nebraska figured this out right about the time Byron Bennett was hooking a winner against Florida St. Care to bet that Saban is already making an upgrade a priority in recruiting this year?
When #1 plays #2, style points don't matter, you just have to get it done and LSU did just that. They scrimmage a resurgent Western Kentucky program (5-4, 5-1 Sun Belt) and Arkansas and Georgia or South Carolina in the SEC title game are the only threats left. Anything's possible in college football, but they are a step above all these teams.
#2 Oklahoma St.
Another week, another Cowboy victory devoid of anything resembling a defense. LSU's victory over #2 on the road fails to convince some of the computer geeks that Okie St. isn't the true #1. They remain at the top of three out of six computer rankings. Unbelievable.
I GUESS IT WAS PRACTICE GAME
Mississippi St., Georgia Southern and Auburn are all that remain. The Tide, now the biggest fans of whomever Okie St. plays, get to win out and hope voters don't agree with me.
The Cardinal took care of bidness against Oregon St. and now are basically playing for their chance to make a statement. A win over Oregon should give them a strong boost with the computers even if voters treat them like they are 10-0 in the Mountain West. Alabama only sliding to #3 has to have them worried in Palo Alto though. Hoping Okie St. loses is one thing. 'Bama has no threats left.
#5 Boise St.
They have TCU this weekend, but it certainly isn't the top 5 TCU of the past few years. Still, I'll be hoping for a Horned Frog victory to end the annual sham. Congrats to Boise for trading one toothless conference for another.
THE ONE LOSS PARADE
All of the sudden, every one loss squad not named Alabama appears to be out of the running. However, will the odd love that computer rankings have for Oklahoma State translate into a monster boost for the Sooners should they handle the Cowboys? Something to think about. For that reason alone, I see them as the only one loss team with a chance to slide into the title game given a few breaks.
Hmmm. So Arkansas defeats a top ten South Carolina team while Oregon takes care of an OK but not that great Washington team, and the Ducks jump the Pigs? Sorry, I don't get it, but at this point, it may not matter much. Oregon's basically playing for the Rose Bowl berth this Saturday and won't get to the title game without a truckload of goofiness.
Sometimes, it really, really sucks to be in a certain division. Arkansas will go bowling and a BCS game is not out of the question. However, they do get a chance to throw a big ol' wrench in the works in a few weeks...
Sorry, sometimes I just get hooked on Southern phonics. Still very much in the running to go to the Orange Bowl. A likely ACC title game opponent is Virginia Tech, the only team not to score in double figures against the Tigers this year...
#10 Virgina Tech
... but ranked #10 nonetheless. There's just not many one loss teams left I guess.
This time last year, we were all bitching about Cotton and Martinez. Last weekend's running woes aside, both are greatly improved. That concludes this episode of "Hey, There's A Silver Lining!"
See you next week.