Strange doings this week. It seems there are now a lot of Oklahoma State fans in central Texas, LSU fans in Florida and Los Angeles, and lots of new Iowa fans ... well, everywhere.
What you won't find too many fans of right now is the BCS. Every year college football partisans go into the season what sort of horrible outcome the BCS will produce this year, and we're seldom disappointed. We know that there are three undefeated teams left in the BCS conferences with three to four weeks left in the season. And, whichever of those teams you're a fan of, or whichever one-loss team you support that stands a chance of sneaking back in to the title chase, you've already gone to the message boards, collaborated with your posse, and cooked up what has to happen for your team to make it to Miami.
I'm an Iowa fan. All our title game scenarios involve sudden outbreaks of the Ebola virus. So, instead, I've given some thought to what the worst possible outcome could be not just for my team or my conference, but for all of college football. I came up with it. It's scary. What's even scarier is that it could actually happen.
It's pretty simple, too. Here it is: Every currently undefeated team wins out. None of them have to play each other. Some of them don't have any really tough games left.
Now, understand, there are not three undefeated teams left; there are six. You can't forget Ball State, Boise State, and Utah. None of those three schools will get a shot at the title unless there's some horrific chain of wreckage in the BCS conferences. But, see, that's the problem. We all know that the BCS has loosened the onerous burden placed on the Plain-Bellied Sneetches; what we tend to forget is that the BCS is only obligated to take one mid-major team, no matter how many qualify. And do you really think they'll start feeling generous by offering one of the at-large spots to a team they don't absolutely have to?
So we could wind up with six undefeated teams coming into the bowl season ... and five coming out of it. If Penn State gets iced out of the title game, they're going to Pasadena. If you think there's even the slightest chance that the Rose Bowl people would stage a matchup of two unbeaten teams instead of a Pac 10/Big Ten matchup, you clearly haven't been paying attention. The Rose Bowl will take the Big Ten and Pac 10 champions if they're available.
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If only one mid-major gets in, it'll be Utah (should they make it) or Boise State (should they not, because there's no way the Broncos are losing any of their remaining games). That sends Ball State, who would be the champions of the MAC to ... the Motor City Bowl. Yes, your reward for an undefeated season in the MAC is a game with some piece of low-hanging fruit from the Big Ten whose fan base is wondering if they can do Detroit as a day trip. And Boise State wouldn't even go anywhere if Utah wins out, technically; the WAC champion plays in the Humanitarian Bowl against the ACC's eighth-best team, assuming there are even eight bowl-eligible teams in the ACC this season.
So here's the meltdown: Texas Tech and Bama in the title game, Penn State beats USC, whatever mid-major gets into the BCS wins, and the two snubbed teams win their hanging-curveball games ... you've got five undefeated teams after the bowls. Pass the Alka-Seltzer.