In a stunning turn of events, Oklahoma State will face LSU in the BCS Championship Game on Jan. 9, not Alabama, as had been widely believed until the wee hours Saturday night.
The final BCS Standings will be close between OSU and Alabama, with the computers locking in the Cowboys at No. 2 and Alabama at No. 3. And then it would be up to the voters to render their final verdict.
More of them will still have Alabama at No. 2, in both the coaches and Harris polls, but OSU's edge in the computers will be enough to overcome the Crimson Tide's advantage in the two human polls.
A few things that happened tonight turned the tide:
* Oklahoma State's impressive victory over Oklahoma was a resounding statement. The Cowboys proved that not only they could score, but they could play sound defense and cause game-changing turnovers.
* Virginia Tech's blowout loss against Clemson removed a direct competitor for the precious No. 2 votes, not to mention the all-important No. 3 votes. Remember, OSU was No. 5 in both polls coming into Saturday night's game.
* CBS's shameless and disingenuous cheerleading for Alabama ultimately will prove to have done more harm to the Tide than help. If CBS had done nothing, it's likely it wouldn't have caused enough voters to have such a revulsion to decline an LSU-Alabama rematch. Whereas Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson definitely made the difference in Florida's favor in 2006, the opposite must be said in this case.
* Finally, the fact that the only other worthy 1-loss teams: Alabama, Stanford and Boise State all failed to win their respective conferences bolstered OSU's case. Even though the BCS never made that a requirement to reach the title game, many voters would like to consider that a prerequisite.
So that's the shocking conclusion to this strange regular season that really proved that LSU is unquestionably the best team in the land. But because of the system that we have, the Tigers will have to play one more game to make it official. They're probably glad that it won't be the Crimson Tide.
There will be more drama beyond the unveiling of the participants in the BCS title game. For my complete analysis see here at SB Nation.
Here's the projected final BCS Standings:
1. LSU, 2. Oklahoma State, 3. Alabama, 4. Stanford, 5. Oregon, 6. Boise State, 7. Arkansas, 8. Kansas State, 9. South Carolina, 10. Wisconsin, 11. Baylor, 12. Virginia Tech, 13. Michigan, 14. Houston, 15. Oklahoma, 16. Michigan State, 17. Clemson, 18. TCU, 19. Georgia, 20. Nebraska.
And the projected BCS bowl matchups:
BCS Championship: LSU (SEC champion, No. 1) vs. Oklahoma State (Big 12 champion, No. 2)
Rose Bowl: Oregon (Pac-12 champion) vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten champion)
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (at-large) vs. Stanford (at-large)
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State (at-large) vs. Michigan (at-large)
Orange Bowl: Clemson (ACC champion) vs. West Virginia (Big East champion)