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Sifting through the madness

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As long as you weren't in a coma yesterday, you know the BCS is currently in shambles after Oklahoma annihilated Missouri and West Virginia pulled one of the biggest choke-jobs in the history of college football against twenty-eight point underdog Pitt, in Morgantown. So, I figured I would do a piece here at RBR trying to sift through the madness.

Let's begin with trying to sort out the ten teams that will be making the BCS.

Six teams have officially clinched spots in the BCS as a result of winning their conference championships. Ohio State, LSU, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, USC, and Oklahoma have all guaranteed spots in the BCS thanks to winning their conference championship. As a result, those six teams are definitely in.

So who are the remaining four teams that will get the at-large bids?

Georgia will be one of those teams. The Bulldogs finished the season 10-2, and will finish in the top five in the final BCS standings.

Kansas, unfortunately, should also be making a BCS game as well. Though they lost to the only quality team they played all season, the Jayhawks are nevertheless 11-1 and came into the week fifth in the BCS standings. The most likely scenario has them being passed by LSU, Oklahoma, and USC, but that would only drop them to eighth in the BCS and that will be good enough to clinch a BCS berth. Though it may seem wrong that the Jayhawks will go ahead of Missouri, though the Tigers beat Kansas, it nevertheless just shows once again that, when speaking of conference championship games, it is better to sit at home than it is to advance and lose.

Arizona State, too, will be BCS-bound. The Sun Devils finished 10-2 and today knocked off in-state rival Arizona 20-17 in a close game. That win ties them with USC at the top of the Pac-10 (though the Trojans win due to the tiebreaker). Coming into this week, Arizona State was 13th in the BCS, just needing someone in front of them to slip up. Well, they got that today, as Boston College lost in the ACC Championship Game, and now that should be enough to get the Sun Devils in a BCS game as an at-large team.

The final BCS spot will go the Hawai'i Warriors. The Warriors came into today needing to just beat Washington at home to advance, and they came from behind to do just that. As a result of them finishing in the top twelve in the final BCS poll, they will headed to a BCS game.

So... all of the hoopla aside, the aforementioned will be the BCS teams for 2007. Ohio State, LSU, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, USC, and Oklahoma will get the guaranteed bids, and Georgia, Kansas, Arizona State, and Hawai'i will get the at-large bids.

Now that the bids -- to my best estimation -- have been established, what about the national championship?

The BCS Championship Game is most likely going to pit Ohio State versus LSU. The Bayou Bengals' win over Tennessee wasn't overly impressive -- Cal, Florida, and Alabama beat the Vols in more impressive fashion -- but all they needed to do was win, and they did just that. Though they are currently seventh in the BCS, they will pass both Missouri and West Virginia due to their losses, likely pass Kansas (no-brainer), and then likely pass Georgia (didn't win their division) and Virginia Tech (annihilated by LSU earlier in the year). It may not work out that way, mind you, but the overwhelming odds are that LSU shoots up to the unanimous number two in both the Harris and USA Today polls, and that will put them into second in the BCS.

USC and Oklahoma will both surge upwards in the BCS, likely passing Virginia Tech in the process, but it seems very unlikely that they could pass either LSU or Georgia. They will likely both close the gap, but again they will likely remain behind them.

The top four in the BCS will in all likelihood be: (1) Ohio State, (2) LSU, (3) Georgia, (4) USC.

All of this will create a very interesting and very important Rose Bowl game. USC will be in the Rose Bowl, and they will be facing whoever among LSU / Georgia that does not make the national championship game. That will most likely create a Rose Bowl between USC and Georgia, but either way an SEC team seems almost a given at this point. And yes, that will mark the first SEC team to make the Rose Bowl since Alabama in 1945.

When all is said and done, that is probably what it will come down to. But don't expect the controversy to end in New Orleans. Unless Ohio State wins the national championship game -- and honestly they will be the underdog, as weird as that seems -- a two-loss team will be national champion, and that will create even more controversy. If that happens, there is a very good chance that we end up seeing a split national title between the winner of the national title game and the winner of the Rose Bowl.

Complicated, I know. But that's my best guess of things.