Everything is set up for the BCS to have one last hurrah before it’s replaced by the long-awaited and debated college football playoff next season.
This past Saturday was college football at its best. There were big games and ranked teams being upset all throughout the day. The dust from Saturday was still settling when the first BCS rankings of the season were released Sunday night. Alabama stayed at number one, to nobody’s surprise. But the following group of teams is where the drama for the rest of the season will come from.
Oregon has been ranked second in the Associated Press polls all season. But in the BCS standings — the rankings that decide what bowl games teams go to — the Ducks were jumped by Florida State. The Seminoles high ranking was due to their lopsided win over Clemson Satuday. FSU, then No. 5 in the AP poll, beat No. 3 Clemson 51-14.
FSU deserves to be ranked second after dismantling the No. 3 team in the nation. Oregon has been steadily marching through another PAC 12 season, not scoring less than 45 points in any game thus far. Their toughest stretch of the season begins now, as they host No. 12 UCLA on Oct. 26 and then travel to No. 6 Stanford on Nov. 7. FSU, meanwhile, only plays one more ranked team this season, No. 7 Miami on Nov. 2.
Of course, all of this is assuming that Alabama finishes the season undefeated, which is always a tough task in the SEC. The Crimson Tide still has to play No. 13 LSU and No. 11 Auburn in November.
Then there’s Ohio State, undefeated and ranked fourth in the BCS. Their last game of the season against No. 22 Michigan is their only remaining game with a ranked side. The BCS system’s nightmare has always been multiple teams from the powerhouse conferences finishing the season undefeated, leaving an unclear picture as to who should play in the National Championship game. The most infamous example of this came in 2004, when five teams were undefeated, the first time that had happened since 1979.
Southern California and Oklahoma ended up playing for the title that season, with Auburn, Utah and Boise State left out.
A similar scenario could happen this season if Ohio State, Oregon, Alabama and Florida State win the remainder of their games, which could easily happen. It’s a shame the playoff isn’t being implemented until next year, because college football fans could potentially see some great matchups. Can you imagine Alabama playing Ohio State and FSU going up against Oregon for the right to play for the title?
The BCS system is on its way out and not many people are sad to see it go. It’s only fitting that it leaves us with the same kind of off-field drama it has always provided.