ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03: LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks runs the ball against the LSU Tigers at Cowboys Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Remember a few weeks ago, when we were wondering how the BCS might shake out with a ton of undefeated teams? Good times. Now, we're looking at a different kind of bowl game chaos.
Using this week's momentum ratings as a guide once again, let's look at how the bowls might take shape if the hotter teams stay hot and the colder teams stay cold. As you'll see below, we have a situation. The Momentum Rankings lead us to the following turn of events:
- Oregon beats Stanford by one in Palo Alto, then beats Arizona State to win the Pac-12.
- Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State by two in Stillwater to win the Big 12. (And no, there is no "They don't have Ryan Broyles anymore" penalty. Broyles is almost certainly worth two points, but we won't worry about that just yet.)
- LSU beats a chilly Arkansas team and holds off Georgia, Alabama wins out, Boise State and Houston win out.
Think about what that means for a moment. You've, then, got LSU in the national title game versus ... who, exactly?
An 11-1 Alabama squad that just lost at home to LSU and didn't win their own conference?
A 12-1 Oregon that lost to LSU in Dallas in September?
Oklahoma, a preseason favorite who hasn't lost to LSU ... but lost at home to a Texas Tech team that basically called it a season on the bus out of Norman, a la the Camp Northstar basketball team against Camp Mohawk?
An undefeated Boise State team that isn't as strong as previous iterations but might have better timing?
An undefeated Houston squad? Okay, no, not this one. But 11-1 Stanford? Maybe 12-1 Virginia Tech?
We may be getting the chaos scenario playoff opponents were aiming for, but with only a couple of undefeated teams involved.
For the scenario below, I say Oregon makes the national title game, but it really could be a tossup, not only because of how the computers will react to the above chain of events, but also because of how the humans will manipulate their votes, as we know they will do. We could see a three-way logjam between the Tide, Ducks and Broyles-less Sooners. Have fun with that.
(And no, I am not going to comment on anything regarding Penn State here. They are now projected to hold off Wisconsin to win their division and Michigan State to win the conference, but they've got bigger, more disgusting, more depressing issues on their plate right now.)
|17-Dec||Gildan New Mexico||Wyoming (7-5)||Ball State (6-6)|
|17-Dec||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Toledo (8-4)||Utah State (7-5)|
|17-Dec||R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl||SMU (8-4)||Arkansas State (10-2)|
|20-Dec||Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl||Rutgers (7-5)||Southern Miss (11-2)|
|21-Dec||SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl||San Diego State (8-4)||Nevada (8-4)|
|22-Dec||Maaco Bowl Las Vegas||TCU (9-3)||California (6-6)|
|24-Dec||Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl||Hawaii (8-5)||Marshall (6-6)|
|26-Dec||Advocare Independence Bowl||Air Force (8-4)||Wake Forest (7-5)|
|27-Dec||Little Caesars Pizza Bowl||Iowa (6-6)||Ohio (9-4)|
|27-Dec||Belk Bowl||North Carolina (7-5)||South Florida (8-4)|
|28-Dec||Military Bowl||Miami (6-6)||Northwestern (6-6)|
|28-Dec||Bridgeport Education Holiday Bowl||Missouri (7-5)||Utah (8-4)|
|29-Dec||Champs Sports Bowl||Florida State (9-3)||Notre Dame (8-4)|
|29-Dec||Valero Alamo Bowl||Texas A&M (8-4)||Arizona State (9-4)|
|30-Dec||Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl||BYU (8-4)||Central Florida (6-6)|
|30-Dec||New Era Pinstripe Bowl||Temple (8-4)||West Virginia (7-5)|
|30-Dec||Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl||Virginia (7-5)||Mississippi State (6-6)|
|30-Dec||Insight Bowl||Baylor (7-5)||Nebraska (8-4)|
|31-Dec||Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas||Texas (7-5)||Ohio State (7-5)|
|31-Dec||Hyundai Sun Bowl||Georgia Tech (8-4)||Washington (8-4)|
|31-Dec||AutoZone Liberty Bowl||Houston (13-0)||Purdue (6-6)|
|31-Dec||Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl||N.C. State (6-6)||UCLA (6-6)|
|31-Dec||Chick-fil-A Bowl||Auburn (7-5)||Clemson (10-3)|
|2-Jan||TicketCity Bowl||Illinois (7-5)||Tulsa (8-4)|
|2-Jan||Outback Bowl||Michigan State (10-3)||Georgia (10-3)|
|2-Jan||Capital One Bowl||Wisconsin (10-2)||South Carolina (10-2)|
|2-Jan||Progressive Gator Bowl||Michigan (10-2)||Florida (6-6)|
|6-Jan||AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic||Kansas State (8-4)||Arkansas (10-2)|
|7-Jan||BBVA Compass Bowl||Louisville (7-5)||Vanderbilt (6-6)|
|8-Jan||GoDaddy.com Bowl||Northern Illinois (10-3)||UL-Lafayette (8-4)|
|2-Jan||Rose Bowl||Penn State (11-2)||Stanford (11-1)|
|2-Jan||Tostitos Fiesta Bowl||Oklahoma (11-1)||Cincinnati (11-1)|
|3-Jan||Allstate Sugar Bowl||Alabama (11-1)||Boise State (12-0)|
|4-Jan||Discover Orange Bowl||Virginia Tech (12-1)||Oklahoma State (11-1)|
|9-Jan||Allstate BCS National Championship Game||LSU (13-0)||Oregon (12-1)|