Three weeks ago, we had a pretty clear picture of who was the best of the best in college football. We didn’t know who was going to be playing in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship game, but we knew it was going to be two of the four remaining undefeated teams – probably Alabama and Oregon.
Now, two weeks later and only one undefeated team still standing, the national championship picture is really unclear. It’s a complete mess. And nobody knows how it’s going to shake out.
It was just two weeks ago when I wrote a column about how great it’s going to be to see the old school offense of Alabama take on the new school, speedy offense of Oregon in the National Championship game. Of course, as soon as I wrote that these two teams would most likely be facing off for the championship, both of their fates took a turn for the worst.
Alabama was the first to go down when the Texas A&M Aggies marched into Tuscaloosa and took down the seemingly unbeatable Crimson Tide 29-24. For most of us, especially those placing bets in Vegas sportsbooks, the Alabama loss was huge surprise. Alabama was out of the national championship picture.
With three undefeated teams going into last weekend’s football action, I think we all began to wonder which team would be next. Alabama couldn’t make it the entire season and they were invincible. So of course the first to go down was Oregon in what was the game of the weekend. Somehow, someway Stanford’s defense was able to shut down the high-powered Oregon offense and beat the Ducks in overtime 17-14. Stanford also denied the Ducks a chance to clinch the Pac-12 North in the victory.
Meanwhile, Baylor decided to bring its A game against the undefeated Kansas State Wildcats and trounced them 52-24. Not only did Baylor put an end to K State’s national championship hopes, it may have also ended the Heisman Trophy hopes of quarterback Collin Klein.
For those of us living in Colorado without an impressive college team to root for this year (CU is the worst team in all of football, and CSU is not far behind) the Wildcats’ run toward a BCS National Championship was pretty damn exciting, especially with Loveland, Colo.’s Klein playing so well. The Wildcat loss broke a lot of hearts in the region when the Baptists from Waco took it to them hard on Saturday night.
So here we are now, with one or two weekends of college football left and only one team remains undefeated: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame? Really? I know the fans who love the good old traditional football teams of yesteryear are really excited that Notre Dame is having such a good year and that they now hold the keys in going to the National Championship game, but I think it sucks. I can’t stand Notre Dame any more than the Oakland Raiders. There’s no need for me to go into a long description here on why I dislike Notre Dame so much, I just do.
I would have preferred that all four top teams remained undefeated. With Alabama, Oregon, K State and Notre Dame all undefeated, the one team that we all knew wouldn’t find its way to a National Championship game was Notre Dame. I was even kind of happy that Alabama lost to A&M, because I knew it would then be an Oregon-K State National Championship game. But now, with both of those two teams out, and Notre Dame still undefeated, they are the No. 1 team in college football, and I am sick about it.
What makes me even more sick is that next weekend, I’m going to have to actually go for Satan himself, Lane Kiffin, and his beleaguered USC Trojans against Notre Dame. It’s a sad, sad day for me when I must go for Kiffin in a game. And as bad as the Trojans are this year, I do think there is a chance (a small chance) that USC can beat the Irish. With its quarterback Matt Barkley hurt for the game and a season with more losses than expected, the Trojans have little to play for next Saturday, except pride.
The USC-Notre Dame rivalry is one of the best in football, and as rivalries go, many times you can throw predictions out the door. Notre Dame is going to be a heavy favorite but hopefully there will be some Southern California luck in the air and Notre Dame will fall. If not, they will most certainly be in the National Championship.
If, for some wild and crazy reason, USC does find a way to win, and the only remaining undefeated team goes down, the BCS standings will be a complete shitshow, with Alabama now in the No. 2 slot in the BCS standings and with Georgia No. 3 and Florida No. 4.
Two weeks ago, it seemed Alabama’s loss would keep them out of the National Championship picture. Now, with K State and Oregon out of the picture, it seems Alabama is right back in the driver’s seat in its quest to go to another National Championship game (sound familiar?). All Alabama needs to do is beat Auburn this weekend, and then win the SEC Championship the following weekend. That SEC Championship may be a tough one to win, but I would imagine Nick Saban won’t let his team lose two games in a season.
Now, there are a thousand other scenarios that could play out here in the next two weeks, and there seem to be a lot of different teams that could still somehow make the National Championship game. I guess I am hoping that Alabama makes it once again, because frankly I don’t think Notre Dame is going to lose to USC next weekend. And with that, I believe a Notre Dame-Alabama National Championship would be best for everyone.
Alabama would undoubtedly beat the hell out of Notre Dame in a National Championship game, and effectively put all this Notre Dame hype to rest.