The BCS is the most competitive National Championship run we have had in about 12 months. Every year we go through analysts doing what they are paid to do, over analyze. Each year we hear about who the big wins are for each school and how it justifies their national championship qualifications. Well I’m here to tell you that the Oregon Stanford game does matter but only for the voter who looks at week to week. To be honest that game counts for very little. Alabama beat Texas A&M and Florida State beat Clemson who are similarly rated opponents. However let’s take a little deeper look into the main contender’s schedules.
Alabama has really faced absolutely nobody besides Texas A&M (who have lost twice this year and have fallen to 15th). Yes they played Virginia Tech at a neutral site and without Christian Jones, Alabama would’ve lost that game, but we’ll get into that later. The Tide’s fortune will change in the next couple weeks when they play at home versus a very capable LSU team and an Iron Bowl away against a reinvigorated but overrated Auburn, but until then no one has done so little in a year to be the number one team in the nation. I do give the Tide the benefit of the doubt since they won the last two but this year they’ve done nothing so far compared to the other teams in the hunt. However, we already know how the AP Poll is going to vote so it’s pointless to rant (1. Florida State 2. Oregon 3. Alabama just saying).
Washington should be single handedly destroying Oregon’s chances at a national championship game but somehow they are not. Washington was 4-0 and 15th in the country when they stepped onto the field to play Stanford. Since then they are 1-3 and unranked. Oregon’s big issue has been continually picking up Stanford’s sloppy seconds (UCLA played Stanford the week before), but with this in mind the highest current ranked team they’ve played is 19th. Stanford will most certainly change the Oregon argument but then again Stanford lost to Utah.
Wisconsin is a team that could make a run and Ohio State needs to be begging for it if they want any hope for a National Championship. With the absolute failings of Northwestern since their obliteration at home at the hands of the Buckeyes, Ohio State has zero decent wins. However, Wisconsin has the potential to run the table and get to a decent ranking. So Ohio State, we know you’re going to win the rest of your games. But then again I know in the next week I’m going to eat Chipotle and we shouldn’t celebrate the automatic. Your hope falls on the shoulder of the Badgers, don’t ya know.
Baylor has been an absolute fringe team this year yet . However if they beat Oklahoma at home this Thursday we’re going to have to start taking them seriously. Afterward, Oklahoma will have to run the table to make Baylor legit. However this win should pole-vault them over Ohio State but just barely. Baylor still has some huge games left this, Texas, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, year that should make them a favorite if everyone goes undefeated. Baylor will have the best middle body of work but no top 5 victories to help them along. To be a National Championship contender Oklahoma will need to win out for Baylor. In a fair world this should leap frog Baylor over everyone with the strength of schedule they would have to run through in the Big 12. The problem for the Bears is that most voters left the Big 12 Bandwagon behind them and they will most likely be clinging to a BCS game.
Now we get to the most important team that has screwed things up for everybody. Dear Virginia Tech you were brought in to be an ACC/National Championship contender. While the other ACC schools appreciate you beating UConn in an Orange Bowl, more is expected of you. I know Logan Thomas has been dreadful but anyone with a football mind would’ve called that 2 years ago. Virginia Tech has been known for bringing in playmakers at the QB position (Vick, Vick, Randall, Taylor) but this saga has been a complete failure. Two weeks ago, with just a loss to Alabama, Tech clawed their way to 14th. Then they ran into the Nurf Buzz Saw that is the Duke Blue Devils. Yes the mighty Hokies got beat up on by Dukies. Oh and then they were felled by Boston College with another dismal offensive display. However this doesn’t punish just the Virginia Tech faithful. Alabama and Florida State are the main victims. If Virginia Tech won out Florida State would face their 3rd top ten opponent in their season. No voter could ever rule the Seminoles out of the BCS’s biggest game of the year with 3 top ten wins. However, it now doesn’t matter what Virginia Tech does this year. Yes the Seminoles need them to beat Miami this week just so they can play a different feature team in the ACC championship game but the lack of ranking hurts the ‘Noles and Tide.
All players in the National Championship carousel can only win the games in front of them it’s true. It is also great to beat a top 15 ranked team. However, the merits of those opponents should be tracked throughout the year. Week to week BCS rankings are great but let’s look back at the end of the year and see where everyone stands. If Washington and Northwestern continue to lose, Ohio State and Oregon have to be out of the running. Oregon will have two quality wins against Stanford and UCLA. Ohio State will have one quality win against Wisconsin and will most likely be jumped by Baylor. However Alabama will have three wins in the top 15 (Texas A&M, Auburn, LSU) putting them at sizeable #1. Florida State should have the inside track because the way Washington is moving, Florida should be the better win. So Tuck Sauce’s SBDS final BCS rankings and you can take it to the bank will be:
5. Ohio State
3. Alabama (guessing they’ll lose)
1. Florida State