Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: BCS Armageddon Near?

Today's Calls: Oklahoma vs. Missouri, Florida vs. Alabama, Steelers vs. Cowboys, Antonio Pierce vs. Authorities, Blake Griffin vs. Groin Shots, Billups vs. Big Three and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Are you ready for BCS Armageddon? Let's survey the scenarios: ↵

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↵(1) Oklahoma beats Missouri; Alabama beats Florida: Easy. OU-Bama in the national title game. Texas fans pout, but few others have sympathy. (Maybe -- maybe -- Mack Brown can convince AP voters to give Texas its half of the national title.) ↵

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↵(2) OU loses; SEC who cares: Texas would move into the Top 2, to play the Florida-Bama winner. Few complaints. Texas fans enjoy karmic justice; OU fans can't gripe. (Texas Tech fans might have wee cause to be annoyed.) ↵

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↵And then there's the most likely scenario, if you believe the oddsmakers: ↵

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↵(3) OU wins; Florida wins: Seemingly simple -- OU-Florida in the BCS title game, right? ↵

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↵Wrong: It is possible that the BCS formula would put Florida 3rd behind Oklahoma ... and Texas. The result? Florida fans go insane; many others revolt, because no one really wants to see OU-UT II. Highest likelihood of a split champ. National hand-wringing over state of BCS -- you've seen nothing yet. ↵

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↵So, if you assume all three outcomes are equally likely, there is a high likelihood of a relatively acceptable outcome, but the small but potent chance that all hell will break loose on Sunday night. (Consider that last year heading into this final weekend, Missouri and West Virginia were 1-2 in the BCS and LSU was 7th.) ↵

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↵Look for an insane amount of politicking on Saturday night. ↵

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↵The game of the weekend -- no: the game of the year -- is Alabama-Florida for the SEC title. AP No. 1 vs. No. 2. In theory, it is a true playoff: The winner should make the national-title game (SHOULD); the loser is relegated to the Sugar Bowl (not a bad consolation prize). ↵

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↵Nick Saban's defense is arguably the best D in the country; Urban Meyer's offense is arguably the best offense in the country. The game's X-factor is Florida's home-run potential: If they hit 2-3, the Gators win; if Bama contains them; the Tide wins. Pick: Florida (I'm sure you're shocked.) ↵

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↵Meanwhile: ↵

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↵*Ball State goes for the unbeaten finish. ↵

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↵*BC and Va Tech play for the ACC BCS bid. Zzzz ... ↵

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↵*USC goes red vs. rival UCLA. ↵

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↵Plaxico Scandal: Antonio Pierce to be questioned by investigators today. Remember: It is almost never the crime and almost always the cover-up. And, in this case, there are still tons of questions about cover-up-like activities, many of which Pierce may be aware of. Expect cops to get it out of him. ↵

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↵My top 5 NFL Week 14 story lines: ↵

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↵(1) GOTW: Cowboys at Steelers ↵
↵(2) Giants Distracted? Host Eagles ↵
↵(3) Playoff jockeying: Skins at Ravens ↵
↵(4) Prove-It (Again): Falcons (at Saints) ↵
↵(5) Another Bills "home" game ... in Canada ↵

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↵TNF: Chargers thump Raiders for 11th straight time. This time in 3-D! ↵

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↵If only San Diego could play Oakland every week, perhaps they wouldn't be the utter disappointment that they are in 2008. All they are now is help for fantasy GMs (Rivers: 3 TDs; LT: 91 yds, TD; Sproles: 2 TDs; Jackson: 148 yds rec, TD.) ↵

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↵(Seriously: Did anyone catch the game in 3-D? Send along a report.) ↵

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↵Pats bring back Junior Seau: What a sign of how banged up the New England D is that they have to go to a retired ex-player across the country with 4 games to go in the season. ↵

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↵CBB Last Night: Blake Griffin vs. DeMar DeRozan, the NBA Draftnik's dream matchup of 2008-09, given that these two could be the first two players taken overall in the 2009 NBA Draft -- and both are certainly locks for the Top 5. ↵

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↵As usual, Griffin came away the big winner: 25 points and a thrilling 1-point win over the Trojans in Norman. DeRozan was limited to 10 points. If the NBA Draft was today, I'd take Griffin No. 1 overall in a heartbeat. He plays like a younger, spryer version of Carlos Boozer. ↵

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↵Griffin also had his signature highlight of the season, but it wasn't a wild dunk or nifty post move; he got elbowed "down there" ↵by USC's Leonard Washington midway through the 2nd half. He scored 11 of his 25 after that, sealing the win. ↵

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↵Game of the Night: Texas edges UCLA, in a battle of Top 10 teams and Final Four contenders. A.J. Abrams was a stud, scoring 31 -- including Texas' final 6 points of the game. The UT football fans might be disappointed this weekend, but the hoops team didn't. ↵

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↵Buffalo nearly knocks off No. 2 UConn: When I tuned in, the first thing that entered my mind was: What on Earth is UConn doing playing AT Buffalo? The place was rocking, and between this and UB's shot at a MAC football title tonight, it's the most exciting 48-hour stretch in modern U-Buff history. ↵

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↵NBA Instant History: Ah! There were your classic underachieving George Karl Nuggets. They had been hiding behind Chauncey Billups, but they were bound to show up sooner or later. Unsurprising it happened against the Spurs, who got 20-plus each from Duncan, Parker and Ginobili. (Billups: 5/13 FG.) ↵

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↵Meanwhile, thoughts and prayers for Rodney Rogers, who was paralyzed from the shoulders down in an ATV accident. Fans of a certain age will remember Rogers from his heyday at Wake Forest, where he was a scoring and rebounding machine. ↵

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↵NHL: Avery Watch. After meeting with NHL Commish Gary Bettman, how long will Sean Avery be suspended for? And will the Stars bother to take him back? Answers today ... maybe. ↵

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↵CFB Coaching Carousel: Steve Sarkisian to Washington? Pete Carroll's top assistant would inject youth and not a little SoCal cachet -- and, hopefully, some offensive innovation -- to UW's program. Jim Mora will be crushed. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Champ Phillies not standing pat. Philadelphia reportedly made an offer to Derek Lowe, but the bidding is expected to continue, potentially coming from the Yankees and Red Sox. So this is far from over ... Meanwhile: CC in SF? Not if he cares about money ... Speaking of the Giants, they finally got Edgar Renteria, and I'm sure Giants fans are hardly enthusiastic. ↵

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↵A-Rod to play for the D.R. in the WBC? That's what David Ortiz is saying, and I'm all for it. The U.S. team has plenty of talent, and a more competitive Dominican Republic team will only make the WBC that much more interesting to watch. The WBC could use the injection of drama. ↵

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↵The Last Word: Who will get your Heisman vote? It is hardly clear-cut. ↵

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↵*How many voters haven't turned in their ballots yet? ↵

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↵*How many will base their decision on how well (or poorly) Sam Bradford plays in his game, versus Heisman rival Colt McCoy being outta-sight-outta-mind? ↵

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↵*And could Tim Tebow surge past both if the Big 12 QBs split the Midwest vote? ↵

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↵Before the season, I said there was no way Tebow could repeat as Heisman winner. I didn't even expect him to be a top five finalist. For Tebow fans, the fact that he is back in the top three a year later is its own win. (UF fans hope he fares better on the field than the last guy to do that, Matt Leinart.) ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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