Ever since the calendar turned to November, we have been bombarded with notions that the BCS is in “chaos.” Alabama only falling a couple of spots; Boise State losing; Stanford losing; Oklahoma State blowing it; even losses by then one-loss Oklahoma and Oregon. All of these games have created chaos.
No it has not! If Alabama plays LSU for the BCS title, it will not be the first rematch in a bowl game (or “national championship” game) ever…see Florida v. Florida State in 1996, for example. In that rematch, Florida avenged an earlier loss to the Seminoles to win the AP and Coaches’ national championship.
Also, if Alabama plays LSU again, it will not even be the first rematch between two teams from the same conference…even in the Sugar Bowl! In the 1960 Sugar Bowl, Mississippi avenged an earlier loss to LSU by winning the bowl game 21-0 and splitting the national title (with Syracuse).
Even if LSU loses and still plays in the BCS game it will not be the first time (e.g. Oklahoma in 2003). And if Alabama does play in the BCS game despite not playing in the SEC championship game, it would not be the first time (e.g. Nebraska in 2001). Nor would Oklahoma State jumping an idle Alabama to play be a first (Florida jumping Michigan in 2006).
So none of those scenarios would create chaos.
- Houston loses to Southern Miss in the Conference USA championship game. This removes the Cougars as the BCS Buster and an undefeated claim.
- Georgia beats LSU. Like Houston, a loss by the Tigers removes the last undefeated team from the FBS.
- Boise State beats New Mexico. Should not be difficult, but for chaos we need the Broncos to remain a one-loss team.
- Clemson to knock off Virginia Tech. It is just better this way…trust me!
- Wisconsin to win the rematch against Michigan State. Michigan State is ranked higher anyway, but the Badgers winning the rematch will demonstrate that a rematch can go the other way and still legitimate the champion (of the conference, at least).
- Oklahoma wins the Bedlam Series against Oklahoma State. Gotta take the Cowboys out of the picture…and OU has owned this series.
- Hawai’i knocks off BYU. Not because it will matter in our chaos, but because I want it to happen.
So, do you see the picture that has been painted? The two undefeated teams fall and every conference winner will have at least two (overall) losses. It would have been nice had UCLA somehow upset Oregon, but I want the Bruins to end up 6-8 after their bowl game.
Now, with that mess, which teams go to the BCS title game? The highest ranked conference champ would likely be Oklahoma…with two losses! Alabama and Stanford would not have lost, but did not even win their division. Boise State would have only one-loss, but does not automatically qualify because they did not win their conference; they’d have to go as an at-large…IF chosen at all.
In other words, the BCS game would have no other choice but have two teams that did not win their conference. It would also destroy any argument that the BCS should only have conference champions because which teams are you going to take — two-loss Oregon and two-loss Oklahoma!?
You want chaos? Pray for the scenario above to play out!