This is the time of year when following the BCS is sort of like watching an accident in the making — you know you don’t want to see it happen, but you can’t quite force yourself to look away.
And this year even the so-called truisms that frequently have been applied to the process don’t seem to be holding up.
I keep reading in the national sports press that LSU and Alabama, currently ranked No. 1 and No. 2 with one more week to go, probably will meet in the BCS championship game no matter what, despite already having played each other. The consensus seems to be that LSU will make it to the game even if they lose to Georgia in the SEC championship because of their record, which includes wins over three teams that were ranked in the top three of the coaches poll at the time they played: Oregon, Alabama and Arkansas.
Meanwhile, Alabama, which didn’t even win its own division in the SEC, appears unlikely to be dislodged by No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Stanford or No. 5 Virginia Tech, even if Okie State decimates Oklahoma in its finale or the Hokies do the same to Clemson in the ACC championship.
So much for the reasoning used against Georgia in 2007 when the inactive Dogs were jumped in the BCS standings the last week, despite being the hottest team in the country. At the time, the Dogs not winning their own division was chiefly cited by ESPN’s talking heads as the reason.
Likewise, the old saw that if you’re going to lose a big game, it’s best to do it early in the season apparently has been thrown out the window in the case of the 2011 Dogs, who have reeled off 10 straight wins since opening 0-2 against highly ranked opponents, and yet who seem unlikely to crack the BCS Top 10 even if they win the SEC championship. Having just dominated a ranked Georgia Tech, Georgia proceeded to drop one spot in the latest BCS standings!
Guess that also means the SEC champion is no longer a lock for the BCS title game, as has often been proclaimed in recent years.
So LSU basically has nothing much to gain by beating Georgia in the SEC title match other than preserving its unbeaten record. The Dogs, on the other hand, can secure a BCS bowl (the Sugar) with a win.
I’m not suggesting that the Tigers will be looking past Georgia to the BCS, because LSU by all evidence is a team that shows up ready to play every week.
But it’s clear which team has the most to gain with a win in the Georgia Dome.
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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg