Top Teams Begin Push to BCS Title

The NCAA’s earth-shattering amendment to the BCS establishing a four-team playoff utilizing the current BCS bowl locations as semifinals and championship location is still two years from coming to fruition, and this year’s off-Broadway production of “Why Don’t We Have a Play- off?!” appears to be the most controversial and entertaining yet. Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame, Kansas State and the Big East’s finest Louisville Cardinals are all entering the second weekend of November undefeated and looking stronger after facing stiff challenges last week. Alabama went into Death Valley and shocked SEC West rival LSU in the waning seconds after being outplayed for 58 minutes. Notre Dame, down 14 in the fourth quarter at home against a talented but overmatched Pittsburgh squad, knotted up the score and won in a three-overtime thriller behind Everett Golson’s sneak. Kansas State and Heisman favorite Collin Klein continued to prove themselves with an offensive explosion against Oklahoma State while Oregon casually dropped 62 in the Coliseum on USC’s defense behind Kenjon Barner’s typo-pondering 321 yards and five touchdowns. Putting aside Louisville for the time being, it is quite reasonable to believe that the BCS will cave to among four un- defeated teams to fill the two spots in the national championship. The team that looks in the best shape both on the field and in the rankings is the Crimson Tide, which after blowing through the SEC West behind the nation’s best defense and an offense of emerging weapons faces the high-powered No. 15 Texas A&M Aggies in Tuscaloosa. Dual-threat quarterback Johnny Manziel, aka “Johnny Football”, has led A&M to a 4-2 conference record in their first season in the SEC and has shown the ability to light of SEC defenses. Bama catches the Aggies in their third road game in a row, but after allowing 435 yards against a pedestrian LSU offense a week ago, will have to make the necessary adjustments to the dynamic A&M attack. If Alabama scoots through this week only Western Carolina, Auburn and a meeting with an SEC East team in the SEC Championship stands between Nick Saban’s bunch and Miami. The Tide have been head and shoulders above the rest of the country this season and carving through the SEC all but assures them a BCS Title Game birth. Even one loss and some help may be enough to get in the game. Bill Snyder’s surprising Kansas State Wildcats continue to turn heads and impose their will on opponents with a Heisman favorite and a fast defense. Kansas State is in great position to sweep through its remaining schedule with slippery road matchups at TCU and Baylor before taking Thanksgiving weekend off and host- ing a good Texas team. The Wildcats have been playing mistake-free and have been exploiting the mistakes of others, scoring 111 points off turnovers. With no Big 12 Championship game to play, Kansas State has been methodical and explosive at the same time and should make it through the rest of its schedule unscathed.

Even if the Wildcats finish undefeated, they may be topped in the BCS by the Blur offense at Oregon. The Ducks are running up and down the PAC 12 so far this season averaging 54.2 points per game and have scored at least 43 points in every game this season. Oregon has been plagued by a down PAC 12 schedule but in its manhandling of the conference has accumulated style points week after week. Doesn’t hurt when you have instant touchdown machines in D’Anthony Thomas and the aforementioned fantasy machine Barner. The win last week over USC helps, but Oregon will need to run the table against ranked opponents Stanford and Oregon State with flare, and then take it to USC in the conference championship game in order to jump over Kansas State into the BCS title game.