After seeing #1 Kansas State fall to Baylor and #2 Oregon fall to Stanford in the same night - the college football world started buzzing immediately. And with good reason.
Can this be the year we see college football's most storied university in Notre Dame square off against the "evil empire" that is Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide for the National Championship? Dr. Pepper sure hopes so.
The BCS has been bashed for years. The argument against it is that it's not the best way to crown a National Champion. I've sided with the BCS way of doing things for two reasons:
1. It forces a football program to strive for perfection.
2. The BCS game, for all it's worth - seems to get the correct two teams in the championship game every year.
The BCS math actually isn't that hard to follow. It's just a pattern of wins and losses rated by difficulty and ranking. Take for instance the fact that in the SEC the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama Crimson Tide are on a collision course to play for the SEC Championship no matter what the results are in next weeks games and it's generally perceived that whoever wins the SEC will be in the National Championship game. But in the case that either Georgia loses to Georgia Tech or Alabama loses to Auburn - the two loses will keep them out of the big game no matter the outcome of the SEC title game. Florida is also a one loss team in the SEC but because their one loss came at the hands of Georgia, the SEC sees it as two losses. Did I lose you? Good. Let's continue.
Notre Dame should be a shoe-in for the National title game because at the time they are the only undefeated team that matters. Next week they have their annual showdown against USC (who may or may not be with Matt Barkley by then) - if USC gets the win at home, Notre Dame in my eyes may only drop to number two. Notre Dame doesn't play any of the smaller schools like Western Kentucky, Arkansas Tech or Missouri State (all were played by Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State respectively). Notre Dame plays teams that are BCS eligible teams. They've played four ranked teams, one of them being (an at the time) # 4 Stanford and their biggest win of the year beating #8 Oklahoma at Oklahoma. USC may drop out of top 25 or just barely hang around, none the less - losing to them would be more of a shock then a blow to their National Title hopes.
Kansas State needed to stay undefeated because the Big 12 Conference isn't regarded as one that plays much defense. They've hung up big numbers against teams that are allergic to defense like West Virginia and Texas Tech. Credit must be given that they only had one "cup-cake" team on their schedule, but nearly losing to Iowa State raised some concerns about the validity of this team and getting annihilated by Baylor last night pretty much has them on the outside looking in, hoping they can get a win next week against Texas and hoping the SEC Champion has two losses.
See, it's not that difficult to understand. . . let's continue.
Oregon was the most exciting team to watch this season but deep down every college fan had a feeling that this team that was putting up video-game numbers, reality would set in and they would get stopped. I thought USC was going to be the one to hang the "L" on Oregon, but Oregon crawled out of that shoot-out winning 62-51. Oregon's schedule wasn't too tough, although the competition in the PAC-12 has definitely stepped up from previous years - but their over-time loss to Stanford at home is a huge blow. If Stanford wins next week against UCLA, which won't be an easy task - they will take the North Division of the Pac-12 and go on to the Pac-12 Championship game, which locks out Oregon. Oregon has to hope for a Stanford loss next week, but their minds shouldn't be on Stanford as they have their rivalry game against Oregon State next week. This rivalry proves often that the records and rankings mean nothing, and playing at Oregon State won't help the Ducks either.
The last piece of simple BCS math deals with the ACC Conference. Florida State is 7-1 and Clemson is 7-1. Clemson actually has a chance to finish with a better record than Florida State and still have no chance to play in the ACC Title game and much less the National Title game. Clemson's only loss is to Florida State and since they both are in the same division of the ACC, that means Clemson is S.O.L. Both teams have games next week, but they are against SEC opponents which will hold no weight in the ACC title chase. Florida State has got to be kicking themselves right now for losing to North Carolina State 17-16 in early October because if their record would've stayed unblemished they would've been controlling their own fate towards the BCS title game. Florida State must also be kicking themselves because being in the ACC doesn't help their cause whatsoever. The ACC is so weak in the BCS' eyes that if there was an undefeated SEC team, an undefeated Big 12 team and undefeated Notre Dame - Florida State would be ranked 4th. They shouldn't feel so bad, because an undefeated Big East team would probably rank 10th.
It's a lot to take in, but it makes perfect sense. Or am I just telling myself that?