As many thought, the Harris Poll results are being withheld until after the final BCS standings are released later tonight on ESPN. This has largely been expected considering that we are roughly two hours beyond their normal release time, but Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated confirmed the matter for good measure. Nailbiting as though it will be, we are just going to have to huddle around the TV sets later tonight on ESPN waiting to see which team's logo appears alongside Mike the Tiger.
Admittedly, for better or for worse, this is a foregone conclusion at this point. The Harris Poll ballots are in, the computer polls have been calculated, and the final BCS ratings have undoubtedly been tabulated. This is a done deal, quite frankly, and the only thing left is for the world to find out the final results. Nothing can be done now.
In terms of the overall analysis, the basic overview at this point is relatively simple: Oklahoma State will undoubtedly make a large surge in the Harris Poll but will most likely not outright pass Alabama in that poll. It's possible, to be sure, but it remains relatively unlikely. From there, with 'Bama likely leading in both human polls, it will come down to the computers. If Oklahoma State retakes the number two spot in the Massey ratings and the Peter Wolfe ratings they will be the unanimous number two in the computers and will overtake Alabama in the final BCS standings. If 'Bama can hold onto to either of those computer polls, the Rematch of the Century is on and we're headed to New Orleans come January 9th.
Now, as you know, Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated reported earlier that Alabama was number two in the Peter Wolfe ratings, though that has not been independently confirmed. To be absolutely certain there is no real reason to doubt Staples' report, but against there is just no outside verification of it, and the final Wolfe ratings have not been released on his website. As is the case with the Harris Poll, it seems that the remaining computer polls will also be withheld until after the final BCS standings are released.
For what it's worth, for those grasping to any signs of hope, Aaron Suttles of the Tuscaloosa News posted earlier on Twitter that someone he trusts has informed him that it is Alabama v. LSU in the BCS Championship Game. And for those truly desperate for anything whatsoever, Danny Sheridan is "reporting" the same thing, per two different sources (no word yet on the identity of the bag man). For obvious reasons, take that last source with a grain of salt roughly the size of Soviet Russia.
We have a live open thread for the BCS Selection Show set to publish here on RBR at 6:50 central, but in the meantime pass the time here and obviously we'll update with any developments in the interim as necessary. You've got two hours to get the celebratory cigars and the strychnine ready.
Addendum: Jerry Palm of CBS Sports says that the Rematch of the Century is on:
Addendum II: The official Cotton Bowl Twitter account, prescient or just trolling? You decide.
Addendum III: Stewart Mandel says it's a done deal with 'Bama v. LSU in the Rematch of the Century. The remainder of the BCS will be Oklahoma State v. Stanford (Fiesta), Clemson v. West Virginia (Orange), Wisconsin v. Oregon (Rose), and Michigan v. Virginia Tech (Sugar). Nothing official yet, boys, but it's looking damn good.