Friday, November 23, 2007

Strange Days

If the 2007 isn't the most surreal of recent college football seasons, then Trojan fans will be rooting for the Bruins.

Wait, they will be, at least this weekend.

That's just one of the many unreal subplots in this penultimate weekend of the 2007 regular season, consider:

* No. 1 LSU was beaten for the second time this season in triple overtime. The first defeat, at Kentucky, knocked the Tigers down. This one, a shocker of a loss to Arkansas at home, knocked the Tigers out of the national championship chase.

* The Tigers' loss is cheered in places like Morgantown, Columbus, Norman and ... Ann Arbor?

* You betcha. By LSU losing a chance to go for the BCS national title, Les Miles becomes that much closer to be Lloyd Carr's successor. In fact, he could be Michigan's next coach as soon as 10 days from now.

* The Rose Bowl will be packed with USC fans cheering on UCLA this Saturday. They'd like to see the Bruins go on to defeat Oregon and then get pummeled by the Trojans next week. All that to send USC back to Pasadena.

* Or New Orleans?

* Don't look now, but two-loss teams are entering the conversations again for the national title. It probably won't happen, as two teams are guaranteed to have fewer than two losses (Ohio State and Kansas). But a split national championship might be in the cards once again.

* And if you claim that you'd predicted that the biggest game of the season would be played in Kansas City between Missouri and Kansas, then your name must be Nick Saban.

All this sets up a potential BCS championship game between West Virginia and Ohio State. Yep, if the Missouri/Kansas winner loses in the Big XII championship game, then that's probably what you'd get on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.

And that'd be a crying shame.

Can anyone really say that these are the best two teams in the country? Honestly? No. While they each have lost just one game so far, they also benefited from playing in the two weakest BCS conferences -- neither the Big Ten nor the Big East currently have another team in the Top 15 of the BCS standings. And neither Ohio State nor West Virginia played a remotely challenging non-conference schedule.

The Guru knows better than to traffic in playoff talk -- it's a pipe dream that'll never happen -- but you have to wonder if a season like this really deserves one. Or, if you like your football retro, then we'd be better off reliving the days of a good ol' free-for-all, like Jan. 1, 1984.

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