Opening Salvo for the Debut Standings
By Paul Myerberg // Oct 19, 2011
The early results are in, and they’re… yawn. There’s precious little exciting about the debut B.C.S. standings, which deviates little from either major poll. Which was to be expected, I suppose, and there’s still plenty of time for the B.C.S. standings to make the nation furious. With the opening standings come thoughts on the B.C.S. bowls themselves, so here’s an opening salvo of predictions. All scenarios to follow are hypothetical, of course.
Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs. Stanford (Pac-12)
Pretty straightforward — the Big Ten’s best against the Pac-12’s best — but with a twist. Unlike in the past, a Wisconsin could run the table, winning the Big Ten’s regular season crown, before losing to a Nebraska or Penn State in the conference championship game. Likewise with Stanford, which could beat Oregon on Nov. 12 but lose in the Pac-12 championship a month later. Both teams should land in the B.C.S. either way, but those would-be losses would drastically alter the B.C.S. landscape.
Oklahoma State (Big 12) vs. West Virginia (Big East)
This is contingent on Oklahoma State beating every team outside of Oklahoma, which is far from a sure thing. But if the Cowboys do go 11-1, they’ll fill the Fiesta Bowl’s Big 12 spot, which typically goes to the conference champion. West Virginia would be an option in the Sugar Bowl if an Arkansas gets that bid, not L.S.U., and could very well go to the Orange to play the A.C.C. champ.
L.S.U. (At-Large) vs. Boise State (At-Large)
L.S.U. falls here after losing to Alabama, its only setback on the season. Would the B.C.S. love to pit Boise State against an SEC foe? I’m not sure. But if West Virginia wins the Big East and Oregon, as you’ll see below, edges out a few teams to gain an at-large bid, the committee would have no option but to send Boise to New Orleans. Remember, L.S.U. has already played both the Mountaineers and the Ducks.
Virginia Tech (A.C.C.) vs. Oregon (At-Large)
What? Virginia Tech already to Clemson, right? I know, I know. But I have a feeling that should push come to shove, should both teams meet again in December, the Hokies will have the last laugh. And Oregon? This would be a two-loss team, mind you. But what other two-loss team would get a bid? I don’t think the B.C.S. would take Arkansas, a third SEC team, even if the Razorbacks’ two losses came to L.S.U. and Alabama. Two-loss Nebraska, if both came to Wisconsin?
What if Clemson is 12-1 with a loss to Virginia Tech? I’d say the Tigers get this bid; unfortunately, I think Clemson is dropping one game in the regular season and another to the Hokies — and this after bowing in front of Chad Morris yesterday morning. What if Houston runs the table? Well, let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
But this final at-large bid will be hotly contested. And there will be at least one team that cries foul, I promise you. As of now, I’m saying Oregon. But there are three or four other programs with a solid case to make.
B.C.S. Championship Game
Alabama (B.C.S. No. 1) vs. Oklahoma (B.C.S. No. 2)
There’s little doubt that Oklahoma and the SEC champion will play for the national title if both run the table. If Alabama wins in Tuscaloosa, I can’t see them losing one of its last four games: Mississippi State, Georgia Southern, Auburn and the East division winner. Oklahoma still has Texas A&M and Oklahoma State on the schedule, but I can’t see the Sooners slipping up.
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Tags: Alabama, Arkansas, B.C.S., B.C.S. National Championship Game, Boise State, Clemson, Fiesta Bowl, Houston, L.S.U., Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Orange Bowl, Oregon, Rose Bowl, Stanford, Sugar Bowl, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin
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