Monday, December 01, 2008

Shakeout | by Jay

I thought Chris Dufresne had a pretty good rundown on the BCS possibilities in the LA Times this morning.

With one week left, the BCS top five is Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and USC.

Florida figures to jump to No. 1 or No. 2 with a win over top-ranked Alabama in the SEC title game.

If Oklahoma defeats Missouri, the Sooners are positioned to grab a BCS title-game spot.

Texas will sit at home, at 11-1, hoping Missouri can pull off the upset that allows the Longhorns to claim the BCS berth.

These are the likely scenarios.

There is no predicting what happens if Alabama suffers its first loss on a last-second field goal. Might the Crimson Tide drop only to No. 2 and earn a rematch with Florida?

What if Oklahoma looks horrible in beating Missouri? Might voters, knowing their ballots are going to be public, reconsider Texas when the final BCS standings are released this Sunday?

Mystery, as much as percentage points, is part of the equation.

Texas also might have a shot at claiming the Associated Press crown. Texas is No. 3 behind Alabama and Florida in that poll, which the AP pulled out of the BCS after the great Texas-Cal fiasco of 2004.

Texas could move to No. 2 in place of the Alabama-Florida loser and stake its national-title claim from there.

USC won the AP title in 2003 after it was snubbed from the BCS title game despite finishing No. 1 in the coaches' and media polls.

Here, in my opinion, is how the BCS bowls are most likely to shake out:

National title: Florida vs. Oklahoma.
Rose: USC vs. Penn State.
Fiesta: Ohio State vs. Texas.
Sugar: Utah vs. Alabama.
Orange: Cincinnati vs. Boston College.
As for the 6-6 Irish, we're still bowl eligible and we'll probably be invited somewhere. CBS Sportsline has us in the Texas Bowl versus Rice on December 30th. NBC likes us in the Hawaii Bowl versus Hawaii on Christmas Eve. And Bruce Feldman of ESPN is predicting the Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego) against BYU on 12/23.