And then there were three, only three teams left who can possibly derail our shot at a National Championship. Oh sure, there are plenty of one loss major conference teams in the mix who I suppose could potentially move ahead of us, but right now I think they’re each irrelevant for the following reasons:
#5 LSU – They need Auburn to lose to Georgia AND Alabama to close out the year in order to jump into the SEC Championship game. Now, hypothetically, if that happened and they won, they would likely be moved above TCU, but does anyone really think it’s likely? So assuming they finish with one loss - and they're losing to Arkansas in Little Rock, mark it - and are shut out of the SEC Championship, there’s no way they get invited to the big one.
#6 Stanford – Same as above as they already lost to Pac 10 leader Oregon and would need the Ducks to lose twice, while the Cardinal win out, in order to get an invite. And with the non-AQ rule in effect for the Rose Bowl, a top 10, one loss Cardinal team will likely be shut out of a BCS game altogether. Waaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! Nerds.
#7 Wisconsin, #9 Ohio State, # 11 Michigan State - One of these teams is going to win the Big Ten by default – and even with two losses, #13 Iowa isn’t dead yet I don't think – but I don’t see how they move up enough spots to make the championship game. Winner will go to the Rose Bowl, our likely landing spot as well.
#8 Nebraska – Out of all the teams sitting with one loss, Nebraska has to be hurting the worst. If they are undefeated right now, I’m not sure they go ahead of Oregon or Auburn, but they’re definitely in third place waiting for a slip up like we are. Who knows – an undefeated, conference championship game winning Big 12 team is typically a shoo-in for the championship game, and with the Big 12 South having a down year, could this have perhaps been the year for the Huskers? Sadly for them, we’ll never know because they somehow got steamrolled by UT. This is the equivalent to TCU going 11-1 in 2005, yet losing to SMU, except that game was on the road and even if we had won out, we wouldn’t have sniffed the championship game. Seriously, this has to be the most hollow inside 8th ranked team ever. That said, if the Huskers win out, which is looking good, and win the Big 12 championship game, also looking good because the Big 12 South is underwhelming this year, that UT loss will haunt them on BCS selection Sunday. Fiesta Bowl is their likely destination.
#10 Oklahoma State – I’ll be honest, if this were OU we were talking about and they only had one loss to the 8th ranked team in the country, we’d be shaking in our boots right now. So we’re pretty fortunate T. Boone’s money hasn’t bought OSU the respect it probably deserves quite yet. If they win out and beat Nebraska in a championship game rematch, I still don’t think they’re making the move into the top 2, but they should definitely move ahead of anything the Big Ten produces. Cowboys fans should probably feel pretty safe making reservations at Jerry World for the Cotton Bowl.
So now all we have left are Oregon, Auburn and Boise State, and Boise State has been effectively eliminated in my mind. Sadly, I will only be doing the movement watch out of habit and duty the next couple of weeks because none of these teams have a major upset matchup until Thanksgiving weekend.
But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try and twist it, right?
#1 Oregon Ducks. Saturday @ Cal. 6:30PM.
Why They’re on Upset Alert. Alright, alright, so you don’t have faith in a 5-4 Cal team that averages nearly 4 fewer TDs than Oregon, lost their starting QB for the year and got creamed by Nevada. I get it, I understand. BUT, you should check the Bears’ box scores before making any sort of judgment because they are INCREDIBLY schizophrenic on the road vs at home. Apparently they feel far more comfortable when surrounded by all the homeless Bay Area schizos because they’re averaging 47 points per game in Berkeley – all wins – and only 15 points on the road where they are 1-4. This has to make Coach Jeff Tedford want to chop down the trees on campus where the hippies live and beat them to death with a tire iron. So that’s what I’ve got for why Cal can win – because they score a shitton of points at home.
Why They Won’t be Upset. Because Cal sucks. They beat Washington State by 7 on the road this past week and while that clearly plays into their season long rollercoaster ride, no one should beat Washington State by less than a billion points even if it’s being played on the Moon and your team forgot to pack the oxygen tanks. And even if they hit their average of 47 points, they’ll STILL fall a TD short of Oregon’s average. Also, I'll never respect a team whose fans live in trees so that the football program can't chop them down to build proper practice facilities. Ducks win by at least 4 TDs.
#2 Auburn Tigers. Saturday vs. Georgia. 2:30PM.
Why They’re on Upset Alert. Well, unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock the past week, surely you’re aware that Cam Newton has a shit storm on his hands that is spinning more and more out of control by the day. Just a brief history of Mr. Newton – Cam Newton was a huge recruit coming out of high school from the ATL. Cam Newton chose Florida. Cam Newton got buried on the depth chart when Tim Tebow decided to stick around for his senior year and John Brantley was anointed starter in waiting (Florida sez WHOOPS, my bad! lol!). Cam Newton also stole a laptop and, if the stories this week are true, was going to be expelled from school anyway because he’s dumb, dumb, dumb and cheated copiously, even stealing another student’s test and writing his name on it. Cam Newton decides to save face and transfers to Blinndergarten. Cam Newton sets the world on fire while there and then decides to transfer to a real school. Cam Newton set out with his old man and likely a few uncles and cousins he wasn’t aware he had and pitched his services to the highest bidder. Cam Newton really wanted to play for Mississippi State because his old OC at Florida, Dan Mullen, took over as HC there and he felt comfortable in his system. Cam Newton then chose Auburn because, as he allegedly put in a taped phone conversation to MSU, “the money at Auburn was too good,” money rumored to be in the neighborhood of $200,000. Cam Newton's father is a minister in ATL, so this money was funneled to him Baylor style with church donations that went immediately into his pocket. Cam Newton and Auburn have known about these allegations since January, yet have done nothing about it, and now the NCAA is ramping up the investigation. Cam Newton should be totally screwed but likely won’t be because the BCS and NCAA can’t bear letting TCU or Boise sneak into the title game, which would happen because without Newton, Auburn is a 7-5 football team at best. Cam Newton has temporarily ruined college sports for me if he is still allowed to play; permanently if he is still allowed to play, it costs us a title shot, and then they Reggie Bush him later.
Get all that? It’s right here in this article. And while everyone is currently toeing the, “WEEEELLLL, it’s all speculation at this point!!!” company line, let’s be serious here – there’s no way Newton’s shit doesn’t stink a LITTLE bit. And while it’s looking like Auburn is going to keep playing it dirty and be anything but proactive about it – in most cases, even if there’s just a hint of wrong doing nowhere approaching the level of what we’re seeing here, a coach will suspend the player without asking too many questions then sort it out later – this HAS to be a huge distraction for the Tigers. Given, Newton threw for a career high last weekend after the story first broke, but he also was playing Chattanooga. And while Georgia isn’t very good, they’ve started to figure things out as the year has gone on and would love to catch Auburn in a lull, reach bowl eligibility, and potentially save their season, not to mention Mark Richt’s job. Newton clearly isn’t a stable young man – he steals, he cheats, and he lets his advisors run every aspect of his life. He also made this comment, when asked about the allegations – “When God be blessin’, the devil be messin’.” I do not know what that means.
All this to say – If Cam be cheatin’, Auburn could get beaten.
Why They Won’t Be Upset. Because there is no justice in the world, Newton will be allowed to play out the rest of the year – seriously, the NCAA has known about this since January and has done NOTHING -, he’ll win the Heisman and the national championship then have it retracted a few years down the road like Reggie Bush and USC, and TCU will realize they should’ve been retroactively allowed to play in the NCAA title game. This will lead me to go on a five state killing spree, then while on the run hold an SCPA office hostage, strangle a bunch of kittens, then escape out the back door and dole out vigilante justice on Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn Dexter style until I am gunned down in a fiery blaze in the backwoods of Alabama. I will then rise from the dead and have my revenge on Atlanta, undead style like all of those zombies in The Walking Dead because that is where Cam Newton is from. Seriously, don't test me, NCAA. I hate internet shorthand, but if there were ever a case to insert FML into a post, this is it.
And all this goes back to the undefeated season that never was for Auburn when they were passed over by OU and USC. You’re telling me there hasn’t been some backroom handshaking since then that if Auburn were to go undefeated, or at least be one of the teams in the title game discussion, they weren’t getting the nod? And that, if their season was looking like it was destined for greatness, that the refs weren’t advised to take some liberties with their calls? That’s the only explanation why BCS head Bill Hancock is still alive – those SEC fans are NUTTY, you can’t honestly believe an angry mob didn’t burn down his house the day after the selections that year, and then continuously burned down each new house he purchased without some sort of agreement, right? You’re better than that guys. When Cam Newton is making it rain on a bunch of Phoenix area strippers in early January with bills being handed to him directly from the Ghost of Myles Brand, don't say I didn't warn you.
#4 Boise State Broncos. Friday @ Idaho. 8:00 PM.
Why They’re on Upset Alert. Remember back in the offseason when Boise State’s AD referenced how much he hated traveling to Moscow to play the Vandals because they’re a bunch of uncivilized drunks and how that made us worry about how Boise would fit in in the Mountain West? Yeah, Idaho’s fans haven’t forgotten either. Think they’ll be extra liquored up for this one against their rival? And could a liquored up Idahoan be perhaps the most underrated fearsome college football fan of all time? I’m not willing to test that theory because the results could be too terrifying. Idaho actually has some semblance of an offense, too. Could this be the week that Boise finally falls in the WAC? It’s also looking like it’ll be the Vandals last ditch effort to right the in-state ship with Boise leaving and apparently not interested in continuing the rivalry. Could a boozed up and unruly home crowd with the knowledge that they can hold long term bragging rights over a hated enemy and derail their title hopes at the same time be enough to knock another team off of our radar?
Why They’re Not on Upset Alert. HELL no. Idaho is basically Hawaii but with less talent. Boise will win by at least 5 TDs.
Well I gave it my best efforts, but I’m pretty sure you can’t spin any of those three matchups enough to point the arrow in our favor. Sorry for the buzzkill. As a cheer up, here’s a video of Utah’s #1 fan from last week’s game. I should probably use this space to point out that it is at least moderately NSFW, but you’re going to click anyway, aren’t you?