——-(team above is WAAAAY ahead of the rest of the league)
6. South Carolina
——-(teams above are all huddled in a pack, one might still be a BCS at-large)
10. Mississippi State
——-(teams above will compete for final bowl berths, teams below will not)
12. Ole Miss
The SEC East couldn’t possibly be more muddled. No one is eliminated, and no one has the post position. Georgia takes the lead by a half game, but Tennessee has the tiebreaker over Georgia. Tennessee controls their own destiny, but does anyone really believe that Tennessee is the best team? Florida was eliminated from ANY National Championship consideration, and may have helped to keep the SEC from getting an at-large BCS bid. The SEC now has to hope that Georgia can run the table and crash the BCS’s world. Mississippi State got one of their biggest wins in recent years, and may go bowling this year. LSU’s life gets significantly easier after the “Saban Bowl” this weekend.
1. Arizona State
——-(teams above are all still battling for Pac 10 title)
6. Oregon State
——-(teams above should still be in shape for bowl berths, teams below are in trouble)
9. Washington State
Look, I said that if ASU beat Cal, I’d give them respect. I’m not sure I was REALLY convinced by their win Saturday night, but they do deserve respect from me. That being said, Oregon looked like the best team in the conference with their win over USC. They looked good on both offense and defense, which isn’t easy to do. USC has all-but-eliminated themselves from the Pac-10 race, but with ASU still on their schedule, you can’t call them dead yet. I can say with confidence that no more than 6 Pac-10 teams will be bowl eligible.
1. Ohio State
——-(team above is the class of the league)
——-(team above is the next best team in the league)
5. Penn State
——-(teams above are still competing for New Year’s Day bowl games)
10. Michigan State
——-(teams above will all compete for remaining bowl berths, team below is awful)
Ohio State is the best team in the country. That’s the first time I’ve tried saying that this season, and I think it feels about right. Ohio State can throw the ball and they can run the ball. They have a solid O-Line, a great defense, and even solid special teams. They are better than anyone they will play the rest of the regular season, and will win out unless they trip themselves up. If Michigan is undefeated or has just one loss, a scary proposition would be a Michigan team playing for a shot at the Rose Bowl in Ann Arbor. Ohio State might be good enough to play for a title with 1 loss, as long as that loss doesn’t come to Michigan.
——-(teams above are all still eligible for the BCS)
5. Oklahoma State
6. Texas A & M
7. Texas Tech
9. Kansas State
——-(teams above will compete for bowl eligibility, teams below will not)
11. Iowa State
Texas is out of the Big 12 title picture, but still very alive for BCS consideration. Oklahoma is the league’s best team, and could also get in if they don’t win the league. Kansas has to win the league to get into the BCS party. The good news for Jayhawks fans is that they don’t have any of the big boys before the Big 12 Championship game. Nebraska is teetering on falling into the lower part of this league, but isn’t quite there yet.
1. Boston College
——-(team above can call themselves the class of the league after a big win)
2. Virginia Tech
3. Wake Forest
——-(teams above are still in the picture for a league title)
6. Florida State
9. Georgia Tech
——-(teams above will compete for the remaining bowl berths, teams below will not)
10. NC State
11. North Carolina
I have to credit BC for their remarkable comeback win at Virginia Tech, complete with the onside kick. However, if they face Virginia Tech again for the ACC Championship, I will again pick VT, as I think VT is a more complete team. Wake Forest is still alive, but they’d need some help. NC State took a huge step in the Tom O’Brien era, but I believe it’s just too little, too late to salvage their season.
1. West Virginia
2. South Florida
——-(teams above are still alive for BCS consideration)
——-(teams above are in good position for bowls, teams below have no shot)
South Florida lost their stranglehold on the Big East title, but could still be an option should they, UConn, and West Virginia all finished tied with two losses. UConn may lead the Big East right now, but I can’t pick them to win the title because West Virginia is a better team. West Virginia is not completely out of the national championship picture either. South Florida HAS to win the league to get into the BCS, making their situation much cloudier right now.
0 and 1 loss teams:
This next list is all teams in the BCS Top 25 with 0 or 1 in their loss columns. There are 3 actual lists. The first list is my order of likelihood for undefeated teams to play for the BCS title should they finish undefeated. The second list is my order of likelihood for 1 loss teams to play for the national championship should they finish with one loss. The third list is a combined list of likelihood to play for the National Championship should ALL teams finish with one loss.
1. Ohio State
2. Boston College
3. Arizona State
One Loss teams:
4. West Virginia
7. Boise State
Combined list should ALL teams finish with one loss (granted, this is impossible-as teams on this list still play each other. But this is hypothetical.)
2. Ohio State
5. Boston College
6. West Virginia
7. Arizona State
12. Boise State
Again, all of the above can change depending on who these teams lose to. That is merely hypothetical. Moving on…
BCS National Championship Game (Jan 7, New Orleans)
Ohio State vs. LSU
Nothing changes here. If anything, Ohio State improved their chances of getting here should they lose another game before Michigan. LSU has a cupcake schedule between Alabama and the SEC Championship Game, and I think BC still has a loss on their schedule.
FedEx Orange Bowl (Jan 3, Miami)
Virginia Tech vs. West Virginia
This is tough. I still think VT will win the ACC, despite their loss to Boston College. However, if Boston College or anyone else wins the ACC, they go here. West Virginia is virtually assured of winning the Big East, and the Orange Bowl will take them with South Florida no longer really being an option.
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (Jan 2, Glendale)
USC vs. Hawaii
Fans in the Valley have to hate me right now. I’m sorry, I just still see ASU falling both to Oregon AND to USC, keeping them out of the BCS. Hawaii’s only test will be at home against Boise State; Washington is not a test of any sort.
Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan 1, New Orleans)
Texas vs. Auburn
Texas is sitting pretty to slide in, as they will be attractive to any BCS Bowl. Certainly Michigan would be a popular choice as well, but a 3rd loss could easily keep them out of the BCS. If Georgia were to somehow win out, but Tennessee win the SEC East, Georgia could still be an option here, as they wouldn’t have a loss to LSU in the SEC Championship Game. Auburn is holding on to a VERY slippery slope, as I have them in only because the SEC deserves a second bit, and they’re the best option FOR NOW. If LSU were to somehow lose the SEC Championship game, they end up here.
Rose Bowl Presented by Citi (Jan 1, Pasadena)
Oregon vs. Oklahoma
What a great match-up. Oklahoma gets the chance to claim revenge for their controversial loss in Eugene last year. Everyone would love to see this contest. Both teams are 1A options should the National Championship get cloudy, but I’m keeping them both here for now. Michigan moves in if they beat Ohio State.
Also, my Heisman vote right now would go to Colt Brennan. That’s right.
Questions? Thoughts? Arguments? Just let me know.