Down the Stretch With the B.C.S.
By Paul Myerberg // Nov 9, 2011
The main difference is in the bottom line: L.S.U., not Alabama, will be the SEC representative in the B.C.S. national title game. But the basics remain the same: the SEC will have a chance to continue its run atop college football with a team defined by a defense-first mentality and a confidence to go toe-to-toe with any team in the country, whether home or away. It’s just L.S.U., not Alabama, and no, I don’t think we’ll see a rematch. Which is a good thing. At least Alabama will still see its season end in B.C.S. play; you can no longer say the same of Nebraska, which blew its shot at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.
Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs. Oregon (At-Large)
So it won’t be the Cornhuskers: Nebraska took a wonderful opportunity — controlling its own destiny in the Legends division — and threw it away, losing at home to a fairly average Northwestern team to drop one full game behind Michigan State in the conference standings. Wisconsin would get the better of the Spartans in a rematch, in my mind, and all Oregon needs to do is not lose to Stanford and U.S.C. over its next two games. The Ducks will go to Pasadena at 10-2, but not at 9-3.
Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Boise State (At-Large)
For O.U. to get this far — and farther, since that’s a possibility — it would obviously need to knock off Oklahoma State in the season finale. But the Sooners could theoretically land a Fiesta Bowl berth even with a loss to the Cowboys, should O.S.U. earn a spot in the national title game. Waiting in the Fiesta, should that be where the Sooners fall, is Boise State: O.U. remembers Boise State. We all remember Boise State and Oklahoma’s meeting six years ago, and I can’t believe it’s been that long.
Alabama (At-Large) vs. Oklahoma State (At-Large)
There’s a way for Alabama to land a rematch with L.S.U. in January, but it’s far more likely that the Crimson Tide land in the Sugar Bowl for the first time since losing the 2009 version to Utah. Alabama’s defense would meet Oklahoma State’s offense — each team at 11-1 — in perhaps the most intriguing bowl matchup of the season outside the national title game.
Virginia Tech (A.C.C.) vs. Cincinnati (Big East)
Cincinnati can lose to West Virginia and still take home the Big East, such is the job the Mountaineers have done blowing a conference that seemed theirs for the taking. In appreciation of winning the Big East, the Bearcats will earn a second B.C.S. bowl date with Virginia Tech since 2009, when the pair met in, yes, the Orange Bowl. To get to this point, the Hokies need to get past Georgia Tech on Thursday — a very serious test — and then get the better of Clemson in the pair’s second meeting on the season.
B.C.S. Championship Game
L.S.U. (B.C.S. No. 1) vs. Stanford (B.C.S. No. 2)
I think Stanford should play in the national title game ahead of Oklahoma state even if the Cowboys, like the Cardinal, finish the regular season without a loss. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily be upset about the B.C.S. rankings should O.S.U. get the call; clearly, the Cowboys would be deserving, even if the Cardinal, in my opinion, are the better team. But I don’t think O.S.U. survives without a blemish; even with O.U.’s losses, such as Ryan Broyles to a knee injury, I think the Sooners win the season finale. That would put Stanford here. L.S.U., of course, is cruising here with little trouble, most believe.
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Tags: Alabama, B.C.S., B.C.S. National Championship Game, Boise State, Cincinnati, Fiesta Bowl, L.S.U., Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Orange Bowl, Oregon, Rose Bowl, Stanford, Sugar Bowl, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin
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