One more mess for the BCS

Iowa State celebrating
Iowa State fans storm the field after their double-overtime upset victory over #2 Oklahoma State. Photo from

Jacob Pollack

Staff Writer

Oregon’s 21 game home winning streak at Autzen Stadium — snapped. Oklahoma State being undefeated — not anymore. Clemson was a top ten team — broken. Oklahoma controlling its own destiny to the BCS Title Game — shattered. On a week in which four top ten teams bit the dust, the BCS computers now once again face the daunting challenge of pitting the two most deserving teams in the National Championship.

This past weekend, the dream of reaching the title game likely ended for both Oregon and Oklahoma, as both teams fell short in their contests versus USC and Baylor, respectively.

Clemson slipped out of the BCS top ten, tumbling to #17 following their loss to North Carolina State, 37-13. Oklahoma State fell to Iowa State on the road in double overtime, 37-31, Oregon doomed itself at the hands of USC, 38-35, and Oklahoma was upset by Baylor, 45-38.

With Oklahoma State losing to the Cyclones, Oregon needed to win convincingly in its contest with USC to leap back into championship contention. The Trojans seized the opportunity on the road and shocked the nation by leading the Ducks 38-14 late in the third quarter. Though the Ducks would make a valiant comeback, USC ended Oregon’s championship hopes with the 38-35 victory.

On the other hand, don’t count out Oklahoma State from the championship game just yet. Although the Cowboys sit ranked fourth in the latest BCS polls, second ranked Alabama and third ranked Arkansas face tough obstacles this week; if Alabama loses to #24 Auburn on the road and if the Razorbacks fall in Baton Rouge to top ranked LSU, the Cowboys control their own destiny to the Sugar Bowl.

If the Cowboys can knock off Oklahoma on December 3, they will, without a doubt, get that bid, assuming both Arkansas and Alabama lose this weekend.

The biggest surprise coming from this week’s BCS standings is that the Virginia Tech Hokies are ranked fifth. The Hokies have played a fairly weak schedule at best, with their only quality win coming from their victory over Georgia Tech. Clemson was the only other ranked team they have faced this season. Virginia Tech has been proven overrated, and there are many other teams that deserve that ranking over Virginia Tech. Stanford, Houston and Boise State are ranked behind the Hokies.

With the conference championships taking place next week, the possibility that most of the teams ranked in the top ten will go to BCS bowls is quite strong. But, don’t be surprised to see a few teams outside the top ten make trips to BCS bowl games due to at-large eligibility. Bowls can select at large participants to fill in the remaining bowl berths if they have won at least nine games and if they rank amongst the top fourteen in the final BCS standings. No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers (conference championship winners) or at-large selections, unless they are ranked numbers one and two at the season’s conclusion. Thus, with two weeks left in the 2011 college football season, here are my revised BCS bowl projections.

Allstate BCS National Championship Game:

LSU (BCS #1) vs. Alabama (BCS #2)

Allstate Sugar Bowl:

Arkansas (at large bid) vs. Houston (at large bid)

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio:

Wisconsin (Big 10 Champion) vs. Oregon (Pac-12 Champion)

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl:

Stanford (at large bid) vs. Oklahoma State (Big-12 Champion)

Discover Orange Bowl:

Virginia Tech (ACC Champion) vs. West Virginia (Big East Champion)

With the complexity of the BCS, why doesn’t college football have a playoff system? Wait, that’s already been proposed?