Monday with Mike: Six perfect in imperfect year

We’re three days from Thanksgiving, which means the season is winding down.

That’s sad. But what also has been sad is that this season – quite frankly – hasn’t been all that memorable. Instead of there being four or five games every weekend that have been “must watch,” instead it seems as if there have been just one or two.

That’s especially true of late. Think about this past weekend. It was Week 12, yet there weren’t many compelling games that made you want to plop yourself in front of the TV and watch 13 hours of football.

But there has been one intriguing story line through the whole season – the number of unbeaten teams. There are six this week, and that’s the most this late in the season during the BCS era, which began in 1998.

Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Florida, Texas and TCU are the remaining six unblemished teams. What’s weird: There are vastly many more unbeatens than there are one-loss teams (just two: Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh). Heck, there are almost as many unbeaten teams as there are two-loss teams (nine).

The six unbeatens also occupy the top six spots in this week’s BCS standings, which – believe it or not – is newsworthy. Let us explain.

The second-highest number of unbeatens at this point in the season during the BCS era was 2004, when there were five – USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Utah and Boise State. While the Trojans, Sooners and Tigers were first, second and third in the BCS standings, the Utes were sixth and the Broncos seventh. All five of those teams finished the regular season unbeaten, and four – all but Boise State – ended up with BCS bids. USC, Auburn and Utah finished unbeaten. Oklahoma lost to USC in the national title game, and Boise State was beaten by one-loss Louisville in the Liberty Bowl.

Last season, there were four unbeatens at this point in the season – Alabama, Utah, Boise State and Ball State. They were first, sixth, ninth and 15th, respectively, in the BCS standings. None won the national title. Utah was the only one to finish unbeaten. Alabama lost in the SEC championship game, then to Utah in the Sugar Bowl. Boise State lost to one-loss TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl. Ball State ended up losing twice, to Buffalo in the MAC title game and to Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl.