As the college football season enters November, there are four teams worthy of a shot at the national title. Alabama, the defending national champion, deservedly will earn a spot if the Tide continue to roll through the Southeastern Conference.
Kansas State is the leader on points, but that could change quickly. Both Notre Dame and Oregon face stronger opponents moving forward and a four-team unbeaten quagmire could once again turn the nation into football Armageddon. (OK, that’s a little hyperbolic, but you get my point.)
But let’s live in reality. All the stress over an unbeaten major-conference champion (or Notre Dame) missing the title game will evaporate once the upsets start to happen. Oregon must play USC, Stanford, Oregon State and possibly USC again. Notre Dame plays at USC and faces traditional thorns Pittsburgh and Boston College. Kansas State plays dangerous offenses in Oklahoma State, TCU, Baylor and also faces Texas.
Any of those teams can lose a game or two. Alabama also plays dangerous opponents in LSU, Texas A&M and, potentially, the SEC East champion. An unbeaten season isn’t a given for Alabama, either.
Where the real chaos lies is with a one-loss SEC champion (Alabama, LSU, Georgia or Florida) and two major-power unbeatens. Would the SEC’s overall strength allow its one-loss champion to trump an unbeaten like Oregon, Notre Dame or Kansas State? That in itself is a reason for a four-team tournament.
BCS — Alabama vs. Oregon
I still think these are the best teams in America
Rose — Michigan vs. USC
I think Nebraska loses at least once, maybe twice
Fiesta — Kansas State vs. Notre Dame
Would an unbeaten season finally give Bill Snyder the credit he’s due, as in greatest coach ever?
Sugar — Georgia vs. Oklahoma
Might as well get an early start in calling this the “Champions Bowl”
Orange — Florida State vs. Louisville
Bigger question is will Charlie Strong coach this game for Louisville?
BIG TEN/BIG 12 BOWLS
Capital One — Wisconsin vs. LSU
Might be the nation’s lowest-scoring bowl game
Outback — Nebraska vs. Florida
Tom Osborne goes out as NU’s AD with the match-up that solidified his legacy
Gator — Michigan State vs. South Carolina
Spartans have lost 3 Big Ten games by a combined six points (2010 Iowa anyone?)
Buffalo WW — Northwestern vs. West Virginia
More points in this game than if they played basketball against one another
Meineke — Oklahoma State vs. Iowa
Match-up kind of reminds you of the 1993 Alamo Bowl — if Iowa wins two more games
Heart of Dallas — TCU vs. Minnesota
Jerry Kill was the best man in Gary Patterson’s wedding
Cotton — Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M
Hopefully nobody throws any fecal material at the buses this year
Alamo — Texas vs. Oregon State
Will Mack Brown still coach the team if the Longhorns land here?
Holiday — Iowa State vs. UCLA
ISU needs two more wins — KU and a big one — to make it to Sea World
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