The 2011 B.C.S., Take Three
By Paul Myerberg // Nov 1, 2011
They’re dropping like flies. Two weeks ago, Oklahoma and Wisconsin came off the board. This past Saturday, it was Clemson and Kansas State — and nearly Stanford, who staved off U.S.C.’s quest for an upset in triple overtime. So a list that included 13 teams mere weeks ago has been trimmed down to six: Alabama, L.S.U., Stanford, Boise State, Oklahoma State and Houston. In case you hadn’t heard, at least one of those six will have a loss come Sunday morning. Let’s take a peek at the projected slate of B.C.S. bowls, keeping in mind that any and all scenarios to follow are completely hypothetical.
Nebraska (Big Ten) vs. Oregon (At-Large)
Nebraska clearly has a problem with Wisconsin. Good news: the Cornhuskers may not need to deal with the Badgers a second time in the Big Ten title game. Instead, Nebraska may get Penn State, a team it plays in two weeks, and that’s great news in Lincoln. As for Oregon, the Rose Bowl becomes its landing spot if Stanford — as I’m projecting below — meets the SEC winner in the B.C.S. championship game. In a slight twist of fate, Nebraska spent much of its spring and summer implementing a fast-paced offense modeled on Oregon’s. The Ducks are just a little bit farther along on that side of the ball.
Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. West Virginia (Big East)
Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State in the season finale to take the Big 12 championship. That ensures a Fiesta Bowl berth, even if that’s of little consolation to a team and program dreaming of a perfect regular season. The Fiesta Bowl, which has the first selection of teams not locked into a B.C.S. bowl, then chooses West Virginia. Boise State is an option, of course, and could very well be the pick if the Mountaineers end up gaining access to the Big 12 in 2012, not 2014. One thing the Fiesta wouldn’t do is pit the Sooners against the Cowboys in a rematch.
L.S.U. (At-Large) vs. Oklahoma State (At-Large)
This is where the Cowboys land, in the Sugar Bowl against L.S.U. in a battle of defensive nastiness versus offensive potency. It’s an intriguing matchup, to put it lightly. The Tigers get here simply: lose only to Alabama. If L.S.U. loses on Saturday then again against Arkansas in the season finale, it’ll be the Razorbacks making a repeat trip to the Sugar Bowl, not the Tigers. Likewise for Oklahoma State, which would likely be left out of the B.C.S. pictures if it loses twice in November.
Virginia Tech (A.C.C.) vs. Boise State (At-Large)
This is where the scenarios get a little more hypothetical. Boise State is here; if not here, the Broncos are in the Fiesta or the Sugar. But Virginia Tech? This scenario involves the Hokies getting the better of Clemson in an A.C.C. title game rematch, which now seems a bit more likely than it did a week ago. So it’s not a huge hypothetical. But based on how things currently stand and how things seem likely to play out, the A.C.C. representative in the Orange Bowl is the most unpredictable B.C.S. bowl slot.
B.C.S. Championship Game
Alabama (B.C.S. No. 1) vs. Stanford (B.C.S. No. 2)
Well, this one — or at least half of this one — will be settled by the end of Saturday night. Either it’ll be L.S.U. here or Alabama here; I’m leaning toward the Crimson Tide, in part because of the Tuscaloosa advantage and in part thanks to the fact that, believe it or not, I think Alabama’s the better team. Come Sunday night, you’ll see Oklahoma State in the B.C.S. driver’s seat as the second-ranked team in the country. But I think the Cowboys lose, which might push Boise State into that spot for a week. That would be great. Unfortunately, it won’t last. If Stanford goes 13-0, you’ll see the Cardinal meet the SEC champion in the B.C.S. National Championship Game.
You can also follow Paul Myerberg and Pre-Snap Read on Twitter.
Tags: Alabama, B.C.S., B.C.S. National Championship Game, Boise State, Fiesta Bowl, L.S.U., Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Orange Bowl, Oregon, Rose Bowl, Stanford, Sugar Bowl, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Leave a Comment