COLUMBUS, Ohio — Iowa and Iowa State were beaten Saturday by teams with national-title aspirations.
However, Ohio State and Baylor not only must win the rest of their regular-season games, but would need help from outsiders to play in the final BCS championship game. As of now, the champions of the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences would be dispatched to postseason games other than the Big Kahuna.
All of which is beautiful. Most of you who care would surely disagree with the wish here that Oregon, Alabama (or Missouri), and Florida State (or Miami) all win out, as well as Ohio State, Baylor (or Texas Tech), and what the heck, fellow unbeatens Fresno State and Northern Illinois.
That’s how the BCS should go out, with several unbeaten teams crying about the injustice of it all, and people forever thinking the final BCS title bout was totally tainted because it didn’t determine a true champion.
On the other hand, if every team in the nation finishes the season with at least one scratch, that would also work. And there’ s not really a great need to see Alabama back in the championship contest.
There was a time when it would have seemed inconceivable for an unbeaten Big Ten club to not be in the BCS championship. There was a time when it would have seemed inconceivable for an unbeaten Big 12 team to not be in the big game, either.
Now, it’s within reason to see Ohio State log a second-straight unbeaten regular-season. Baylor, even though it beat Iowa State by 63 points more than Texas did, still has Oklahoma and Texas Tech and Oklahoma State and TCU and Texas to play. If the Bears run that gauntlet without a loss, those Harris Poll and coaches’ poll people better clear space for them.
But after what we’ve seen from Alabama, Oregon and Florida State, can you expect two or three of them to get defeated by anyone the rest of the way? Florida State certainly made its claim of greatness Saturday night with its 51-14 savaging of Clemson.
This is all silly conjecture when we haven’t even reached November, of course, but it’s fun. All five major-conferences have a major domo, though Baylor won’t be believed as the Big 12′s unless it roughs up those Texases and Oklahomas.
Ohio State may be more likely to be done in by its schedule than any opponent. None of the Buckeyes’ five remaining foes are ranked right now. After so-so Penn State plays here Saturday, OSU plays Purdue, Illinois and Indiana in succession, then closes at Michigan. It will play someone good in Indianapolis. Probably.
Alabama still has LSU, Auburn, and someone good in the SEC title game. Oregon still has UCLA, Stanford, and someone good in the Pac-12 title game. Florida State still has Miami, Florida, and either Miami or Virginia Tech in the ACC title game.
Ohio State, meanwhile, could have a 26-game winning streak going into the 2014 season and no appearance in the national-championship game for it.
Meanwhile, Maryland got pounded by Wake Forest Saturday, 34-10. Maryland enters the Big Ten next season. Not exactly a Missouri, is it?
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