Sunday’s Sloppy Seconds: Boise State Inches Closer

In one of the most uneventful Saturday’s we’ve had in a long time, there was one measly top 25 upset. Nebraska was taken down by Texas A&M in a boring clash of inept offenses. Some would say it was the amazing defenses on both sides of the ball. Excuse me but Oklahoma State hung 38 on the Aggies and Missouri put up 30 as well. Nebraska gave up 41 to the Cowboys and 30 to lowly Iowa State. These aren’t amazing defenses, this was just a bad game. But it was the only one that provided any drama this weekend. That’s what happens when the top 3 all get the week off I suppose.

Let’s look at what did happen that was at all noteworthy. First, Nebraska lost to Texas A&M meaning the Big 12 just got a whole lot more interesting. If Nebraska beats Colorado they are in the title game. If they lose and Missouri beats Kansas, then the Tigers win the North. The South is pretty crazy too. If Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma, then they will win the South. If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State and Texas A&M beats Texas, then we have a three way tie for the top of the South. Sound familiar? This has happened before so we all know the rules- the highest ranked team in the BCS standings will win the South. I can’t see Texas A&M getting much of a boost for beating Texas, so presumably Oklahoma would win the tie breaker and play either Nebraska or Missouri for the Big 12 championship. Edge? Oklahoma. Or if the Cowboys win the South, edge to them, as neither Nebraska nor Missouri is looking at all impressive at the moment.

Let’s examine some more crazy conference madness with the Big Ten. As it stands, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are in a three way tie for the top. Because Michigan State and Ohio State didn’t play each other this year, if this tie remains, the highest ranked team in the BCS standings will go to the Rose Bowl. This would be Wisconsin as it stands. Michigan State has to play Penn State, the Buckeyes get Michigan and Wisconsin plays Northwestern. Quite honesty all of those games, while the ranked teams are favored, could go either way. You never know what can happen. If any of them lose it’s probably the Spartans on the road at Penn State. Meaning the Badgers still win the conference for having the head to head tie breaker against Ohio State.

So here’s how it would all play out. If all three win, Wisconsin wins. If only one wins, that team wins. If only the Spartans lose, Badgers win. If only the Badgers lose, Ohio State wins (if they stay ahead of the Spartans in the BCS.) If only the Buckeyes lose, Michigan State wins. Following me? Let’s all pray Michigan State loses or Ohio State wins. If ever there was a Big Ten team undeserving of a BCS game it’s Michigan State.

I failed to mention something about the Big 12. Texas is the only school in the South right now not bowl eligible. Who would have guessed that when they started the season ranked in the top 10. It doesn’t seem likely they will get bowl eligible either, not with how the Aggies are playing right now. Shame.

On to the ACC. Virginia Tech has their division all wrapped up, much to the joy of Boise State. The Atlantic division is North Carolina State’s to lose. If they beat Maryland they win. If they lose to Maryland then Florida State wins. Either way Virginia Tech is going to a BCS bowl, as they will clobber either team.

The Big East finally got a lot clearer on Saturday. Just about every team had 2 conference losses going into the day, so the conference was pretty much up for grabs. Pitt escaped South Florida and remains on top with just 1 conference loss. However they have West Virginia and Cincinnati left to deal with. If West Virginia wins and Uconn beats Cincy, there is a three way tie for the title, with Uconn coming out on top since they beat the Panthers and Mountaineers. Pitt is in the drivers seat and controls their own destiny. Win out and go to a BCS bowl. Lose and it puts Uconn in the best position, as they have the tie breakers against Pitt, West Virginia and Syracuse, the top 3 teams in the conference. Put the Huskies still need to win their last two conference games to stand a chance. Gosh I hate the Big East. What a terrible conference. I hope TCU joins and smokes everyone.

No one cares about Conference USA but UCF will win the East and SMU is winning the West. If they win out they stay on top. Lost a game and Tulsa could take it. No one in the country really cares either way.

The Independents are all bowl eligible for the first time in who knows how long. Meaning Army is bowl eligible for the first time in who knows how long. Congrats to all of them. Since they have no conference to win they are all winners.

I think no one can wait for the Ohio and Northern Illinois showdown for the MAC title. Yawn. PS- Northern Illinois really should be ranked right now and not Mississippi State. Look at the Bulldogs’ schedule. Everyone on there who is currently ranked account for their 4 losses. The 7 currently unranked account for all their wins. A team that can’t beat anyone good should not be ranked.

I think everyone knew who was winning the MWC before the season even started. What no one could have guessed when the Cougars were 1-4 was that they would be playing Utah in the last week of the season for second place in the MWC. To be honest they really should have lost to San Diego State, so they should be playing Utah for bowl eligibility, which would make the game much more interesting. The way both teams are playing right now, BYU could pull off a second place conference finish and represent the MWC in the Las Vegas Bowl for the 500th straight year. Congrats to the Aztecs by the way for a great turnaround of that program. Brady Hoke deserves a lot of credit. I wonder who might fill that vacancy at Colorado?

The Pac-10 has turned into a two horse race, with Oregon controlling their own fate. They have Arizona and Oregon State still to deal with. If they lose those games, Stanford is going to the Rose Bowl. If they win just one, they are guaranteed at least a Rose Bowl and at best a BCS championship. The Pac-10 may surprisingly end up with only 3 or 4 bowl eligible teams this year with USC having sanctions and what not. Pretty pathetic. More like the Pac-2 + 8.

The SEC is all wrapped up and Auburn will play South Carolina for the conference championship. Wait, that sounds familiar…right, Auburn already beat up on South Carolina earlier this year. Yawn. I do have something to say on the Cam Newton controversy. I know you are innocent until proven guilty, but I think if there are allegations against you, allegations with proof to back them up, then you are obligated to prove your innocence. You don’t have to give credibility to every allegation ever made, but ones this serious, and again, accusations that have real evidence to back them up, then you have to say something. Cam Newton and his dad are not saying anything. Just come out and answer all the questions if you are innocent, it’s that easy. As it stands, Cam Newton is not winning the Heisman. The voters are too old school. And Reggie Bush is fresh on the mind. Looking at the allegations, the evidence and the reaction of the accused, this kid has ineligible written all over him. He may be the best player this year. But rules are rules, and seems they were broken, so even if it takes a year or two to prove it, no one is giving him the Heisman to hold on to in the mean time. Congratulations Kellen Moore- you stand to benefit the most from this I think.

Now on to the WAC. The Boise State and Nevada match up is interesting. For one, a win here puts the Broncos ahead of TCU in the BCS for sure, meaning a slip by Oregon or Auburn puts them in the BCS championship. Why? TCU plays New Mexico this week, won’t help strength of schedule. And if Utah loses to BYU that will really hurt. Nevada will really boost Boise State in the computers and should be enough to pass TCU. But another interesting spin- if Nevada wins, there could be a three way tie for the WAC championship between Nevada, Hawaii and Boise State. Does anyone know the tie breaker rules in the WAC? That’s what I thought, but then again, does anyone care?

Last and of course least, and I mean very least of all, is the Sun Belt. There isn’t a bowl eligible team in the lot of them. What’s worse is that none of them may end up being bowl eligible. You see there are three teams with 5 wins in the conference. None of them play each other in the remainder of the season. I’m actually not kidding here. I looked at the schedules and the 4 and 5 loss teams. There is a scenario where not a single Sun Belt team could reach 6 wins. It makes you wonder why the big boys are against a playoff. I mean c’mon, your first round opponent could be Florida International at home. I’m not sure which is more of a guarantee for the second round, that matchup or a bye. Two playoff games, even if you lost in the second round, would bring any school way more than they are making now, and that’s a fact. Imagine the teams that get to play 3 playoff games, or 4. Now that is some serious cash.

Lastly, let’s look at the BCS picture. Here’s how I see things playing out. Auburn will lose. Whether to Alabama or South Carolina, they will lose. My guess is Alabama. Boise State will jump TCU in the rankings. So here’s how I see things playing out:

BCS Championship: Oregon vs. Boise State
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. [1st choice of replacement pick] I’m going to say this is Stanford since Boise State is in the championship. The wording of the rules means they don’t have to take TCU as they don’t automatically qualify, only Boise State does.
Sugar Bowl: Auburn vs. [at large bid] This will undoubtedly be Ohio State. Sorry TCU.
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. [at large bid] This will easily be an SEC team, either LSU, Alabama or Arkansas. I’m leaning toward Crimson Tide. Sorry TCU.
Fiesta Bowl: [Big 12 champ] I’m thinking Oklahoma State vs. [Big East champ] I’ll say Uconn just because

So there you have it. TCU gets screwed and immediately will jump ship to the Big East at season’s end. The MWC is already moving to replace them with Hawaii. And the WAC continues it’s slide into irrelevance and obscurity. Looks like the end of this season is setting up to be an exciting one!