Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Disturbing Trend

The upset epidemic seems to have subsided. So to everyone's surprise, for the first time this season we will have the same top five teams -- in the same order -- for a second consecutive week.

The Guru projects that Ohio State will maintain its hold on No. 1 while Boston College will gain a little separation from one-loss LSU, idle this week, for No. 2. Arizona State and Oregon will stay at Nos. 4 and 5.

Now that the dust settles a bit on this turbulent season, we see an emerging picture, and that's not a pretty one. It's likely that Ohio State and Boston College, two teams playing in weak conferences -- the Big Ten and ACC, respectively -- will meet for the national title. Meanwhile, champions from the best two conferences, the SEC and Pac-10, will be shut out.

The Buckeyes' lone remaining tough game is their season-ending visit to Ann Arbor against Michigan, the only other unbeaten team in Big Ten play. Ohio State has built its resume by feasting on the absurdly mediocre Big Ten, which may end up with no other team in the Top 25, and the likes of I-AA Youngstown State, MAC teams Akron and Kent State and Pac-10 bottom-feeder Washington.

The same can be said for Boston College, which until Thursday's dramatic comeback against Virginia Tech, hadn't played a ranked team all season. BC's non-conference slate consisted of I-AA UMass, Army, Bowling Green and everybody's favorite cupcake (yes, Charlie, I'm taking my shot now) Notre Dame.

Meanwhile, LSU, Oregon and Oklahoma, three teams that suffered a last-second, gut-wrenching loss in conference play, might each end up 12-1 and not get even a piece of the national championship. Arizona State and Kansas, the only other remaining unbeaten teams (besides Hawai'i), might have a slim chance of making a move toward the end of the season. Their toughest games are still ahead.

In college football, schedule is everything.

The Guru's projected BCS Top 15: 1. Ohio State, 2. Boston College, 3. LSU, 4. Arizona State, 5. Oregon, 6. Oklahoma, 7. West Virginia, 8. Kansas, 9. Missouri, 10. Virginia Tech, 11. Florida, 12. USC, 13. Georgia, 14. Michigan, 15. Texas.

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