Several things happened this weekend to move the college football universe one step closer to a possible all-SEC matchup in the BCS Championship.
The speculation of course refers to a possible rematch of LSU-Alabama in the national championship game. With Wisconsin and Oklahoma losing, it moves us closer to the champions of their respective conferences exiting the regular season with at least one loss. Having the conference champions from each AQ conference to have at least one loss is the key. Wisconsin and Oklahoma were two of the teams most fans thought could run the table and face off against an SEC Champion.
The rematch idea came close to occurring during the 2006 season when many thought Michigan and Ohio State would face off against eachother in the title game. Of course, Florida leap-frogged Michigan after beating Arkansas in the SEC Championship (there was no Big Ten Championship Game) and went on to smoke the Buckeyes in the BCSCG. Two main factors helped prevent the rematch of 2006: 1) The Ohio State – Michigan game was the last game of the season and the rematch idea isn’t as attractive to voters when its a rematch following such a recent game. 2) There was no Big Ten Championship game and while Florida showcased its talents against a talented Arkansas team, Michigan was out of sight, out of mind for voters.
So what needs to happen for this to come to fruition in this year’s postseason?
1. The LSU-Alabama game needs to be competitive, close and all-around impressive.
This game needs to live up to the hype. The reality is that the voters are subjective and if this game is one of the best games in recent memory, voters will be more likely to want to see it again for the national championship. It would probably help if Alabama is the team to win since the game is in Tuscaloosa. Voters might justify a close LSU loss to Alabama having the edge at home and on a neutral site for a bowl game, the teams would be even. The game needs to also be impressive in all facets of the game. We don’t want a defensive showdown where the game ends 9-6 on five field goals. We need impressive offense and impressive defense. I think we’ll get both. If we get an Alabama win 28-27 over LSU, it’ll likely help get the rematch.
2. A few teams need to lose.
Surprise team of the year, Clemson, needs to lose. They are now 8-0. They still have tough games against Georgia Tech, South Carolina and a likely ACC Championship Game. I think there is a very good chance that Clemson drops at least a game.
Oklahoma State is still undefeated as well. I think there’s a good chance they lose to Oklahoma at the end of the year. They also play a good Kansas State team in two weeks.
Stanford is undefeated and if they run the table would likely jump a non-SEC Champ to get into the title game. They still play a number of decent teams including USC, Oregon, and Notre Dame. Check out Stanford’s schedule. They’ve beaten nobody this year yet. I think they definitely lose a game.
What about Boise State? I think a one loss, non-SEC Champion LSU or Alabama team jumps ahead of Boise State. LSU and Alabama are absolutely smoking everyone this year and are making the case that they are way ahead of the other teams. They’re not just barely pulling out SEC wins each week – they are killing teams. What voters think LSU or Alabama even with one loss is not a better team than Boise? If they are being honest, none.
Things are honestly set pretty nicely for this to possibly happen. I’d say there is a very good chance that Clemson, Oklahoma State and Stanford all lose a game before the season wraps up. I think there’s also a very good chance that LSU and Alabama win out and play each other very competitively on November 5th.
Interestingly, this possibility isn’t escaping other members of the media. Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel writes:
Besides, there are no standards with the BCS. We’ve had two-loss teams play for the title. We’ve had teams that lost their last game advance. We’ve had teams that lost their last game by four touchdowns advance. We’ve had teams that didn’t win their conference. We’ve had teams that didn’t win their own division.
So how do you count out anything?
Especially when the case for, say one-loss LSU could be so powerful. For the sake of this argument, we’ll assume the Tigers lose the big game (Vegas has Bama as an early six-point favorite).
Check out these links:
What do you say SEC fans? How about going after the conference’s sixth straight with an All-SEC Championship Game? I guess first things first. Let’s enjoy the epic November 5th game coming up in under two weeks.