Favorites fall in the Big 12, Florida swamps LSU and the end of result of Saturday was this: College football seems headed toward another impossible predicament when it comes time for the BCS to pick national championship game participants.
Take a look at the top of the polls. See No. 1 Texas, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Penn State. There’s a good chance none of those teams will be playing for the national championship.
The 2008 season might not match 2007 for unprecedented unpredictability, but it already has become obvious that it’ll take a minor miracle for the race to the BCS title game to have a tidy outcome.
After the second weekend of the season in which three top-five teams lost, there are 10 undefeated teams left in major college football. Three (Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State) play in the same division, and the best of those three — the Longhorns — have a murderous remaining schedule to navigate. Congratulations on beating Oklahoma 45-35 and being No. 1, coach Mack Brown. Now go get your team ready for No. 11 Missouri, No. 8 Oklahoma State and No. 7 Texas Tech, the Longhorns’ next three opponents.
Five of the unbeaten teams — BYU, Utah, Boise State, Ball State and Tulsa — are from conferences without an automatic BCS bid, which means they don’t really even apply to the topic at hand … or do they?
BYU and Utah meet to end the regular season, a game the Mountain West is praying will essentially be for a BCS bid. Keep an eye out for the ninth-ranked Cougars. They’re already way ahead of the pace in the rankings of previous BCS busters. If ’08 reverts to ’07, and the two-loss teams start piling up, talk about unbeaten BYU getting a shot at the national title will heat up.
That leaves Alabama and Penn State as the only perfect teams from BCS conferences without another undefeated team left on its schedule.
Out of the Southeastern Conference contenders, the Crimson Tide have the most favorable schedule — for whatever that’s worth these days. Alabama is at LSU on Nov. 8. Its other road game is against unraveling Tennessee. Then there’s that SEC title game.
Penn State plays at Ohio State in two weeks, by far it’s toughest remaining test. And with no conference title game, the Nittany Lions are probably in the best shape to stay unbeaten and reach the national championship game in Miami.
And if you listen closely, you can hear fans in the SEC and Big 12 groaning about the mere thought of having another Big Ten team playing for the national title.