SouthernComfort guest blogs at The Wimple today, from South Carolina.
This Season has an eerie feel to it. As of Saturday’s College Game Day Finale, Mark May’s "Top 5 Teams" were:
Alabama, Ohio State, Florida, Nebraska, Oregon.
Lou Holtz’s "Top 5 Teams" were: Alabama, Ohio State, Oregon, Oklahoma, Nebraska.
Notice who’s missing? Boise State is the 3rd ranked team in the country; where are they? TCU is the 4th ranked team in the country; where are they? Curiously, if Boise had lost to Oregon State, would TCU have broken into who people "really" feel are the top 5 programs? I doubt it . . . probably would have been even worse for TCU. They would have all said, "see!!!! 'Those' schools [meaning Boise and TCU by extrapolation] can’t sustain it if they played even mediocre BCS conference schools week-in/week-out." And then they would have pointed to how closely SMU played TCU . . . giving SMU no credit for their steep curve upward as a program.
Ohio State isn’t going to lose. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Penn State are all playing a notch lower. Ohio State will play for the national championship. That leaves one spot.
The chances of BOTH Florida AND the winner of the SEC West losing, which may not be Alabama, is looking doubtful. Alabama is not what they were last year (and remember, even last year they needed a little luck to stay undefeated), but Auburn could run the table. If the winner of the SEC goes undefeated, you will see AP/Coaches/Computer magic to move that team over Boise and TCU. And then there’s Oregon, who showed cracks this week, but may still run the table, and Stanford, who hasn’t shown any cracks. The press loves the PAC 10. You think they’ll let an undefeated PAC10 team play in an "also ran" bowl while TCU, or likely Boise, play for a National Championship? And what about Nebraska's chances of going undefeated with Texas struggling for an identity and Oklahoma playing almost all its games close? I just don't see all those teams losing before year end. And, as they continue to win, the pressure to leap frog Boise and TCU will increase.
TCU and Boise are finally getting some superficial recognition. Let’s face it though. What Lou Holtz and Mark May show us are . . . if there are undefeated BCS conference teams, they will get first dibs on the National Championship, and by the end the polls and everything else will make it happen.
Particularly when, as this week, TCU takes 2 and a half quarters to assert its dominance. TCU’s trouncing of Baylor is already a distant memory.
With many years of head-to-head matchups to come, I have no interest in seeing TCU and Boise play each other again at the end of the year. If you have any karma favors stored up . . . start praying for chaos, upheaval, and upsets . . . but save a little karma for the Air Force and Utah games…. And your new second favorite team is the Nevada Wolfpack (the only team that will even come close to giving Boise a game for the rest of the season).