Every year we get this Saturday when everything gets turned upside down. Ever since LSU beat Alabama in the 1-2 SEC showdown, we’ve been pretty sure it’s going to be someone from the Big 12, probably Oklahoma State, maybe Oklahoma, who’ll get a shot against the Tigers for the National title. No more.
Where do we begin? The Cowboys, no.2 in the nation, 10-0, went to visit Iowa State in Ames, getting stunned in a double overtime game, eventually losing 37-31, despite holding a 24-7 lead early in the third quarter. Brandon Weeden through for 476 yards and three touchdowns, but got intercepted three times as well.
Well, then, that meant it was Oklahoma’s chance of spearheading the Big 12, right? Nope. Landry Jones was outplayed by Robert Griffin III, with both of them combining for 923 yards. Griffin threw four touchdown passes. Jones threw one… interception. The Sooners dropped to 8-2. No national title hopes there.
So lets go west, to Eugene, where Oregon, 9-1 and backed up by their win over Stanford, had a chance to improve on their #4 BCS rankings. Wrong. USC, with no hope of anything this year, led by Matt Barkley (323 yards, 3 TD) upset the Duck, sans LaMichael James, and both teams are now 9-2. Stanford, by the way, regrouped and improved to 10-1, beating California 31-28.
So Clemson, from the ACC, they have a shot right? Ranked 7th, the should have had. But they lost to the Wolfpack, badly, 37-13, in Raleigh. They’re 9-2 now.
In the big Big Ten showdown, Michigan beat Nebraska 45-17, as Denard Robinson throwing for 2 TD and running for two more.
So where are we? In the ACC, Clemson lead the Atlantic Conference (5-2), and have a to visit South Carolina next weekend. Virginia Tech, leading the Coastal Conference (6-1), have an easier way to go, facing Virginia.
Big 12? Oklahoma State still lead the conference with 7-1, but they have their Oklahoma showdown on December 3. After this loss to Iowa State, national title hopes don’t look good. But things change, and fast.
Big Ten? Michigan State and Penn State lead the divisions, but no one is going to get a national title game from the conference, with four teams with a 9-2 record being the best (Spartans, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin).
Houston are 11-0, but that will only get them a BCS bowl. At best. Pac 12? Stanford are the only team with one loss, that came to Oregon who lost to USC who lost to Oregon. Oregon still have one more conference game against Oregon State, always tricky, no matter the rankings. Stanford have Notre Dame, much more comfortable.
Which leaves us with the SEC. LSU, unless something very unlikely happens, like Arkansas crushing them, are in the national title game. After last weekend, Alabama are the most likely team to join them, despite losing to the Tigers already. I don’t like it, I never did, but if we get no more major upsets, it looks like an Alabama – LSU title game. Houston should get a shot in my opinion. An 11-0 record is an 11-0 record. But they won’t.