News Of The Day: Texas, Florida Use Halloween Slaughters to Separate From Pack; Another BCS disaster on horizon
They’re stories that Alabama, TCU, Cincinnati, Iowa, Boise State and maybe even Oregon fans won’t like, but ESPN.com’s Pat Forde and Mark Schlabach accurately point out that Texas’s rout of Oklahoma State and Florida’s dismantling of Georgia go a long way to setting the stage for the national championship everyone was expecting heading into the season.
As a little bit of a side note, the BCS is headed for a huge potential controversy. If you hadn’t noticed, there are six teams remaining that could very easily go undefeated.
Florida’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 14-20 with only one ranked team left on the schedule in South Carolina (and they probably won’t be ranked today after getting crushed by Tennessee yesterday). Alabama still has a decent run to make with LSU and Auburn left on the schedule (with Mississippi State and Chattanooga in between), but if they’re able to make that run and pick up some credible wins, they’ll face Florida in the SEC championship. One of them would have to emerge undefeated (again, barring an upset).
Texas has already virtually locked up the Big 12 South. They would have to lose all of their remaining three conference games to lose their lead in the division. That’s unlikely, with Central Florida, Baylor, Kansas and Texas A&M left on the schedule. Then they go to the Big 12 championship to play the winner of the North (probably Kansas State or Nebraska). There’s no reason why they should lose any of their remaining games.
TCU has been dominant, winning by an average of 24 points. Their only real hurdle to perfection is No. 16 Utah, who they play at home.
The toughest game Cincinnati has left is their season closer at No. 15 Pittsburgh. Before that, they have Connecticut, West Virginia and Illinois, all at home. You know they’d love to have Tony Pike back, but the way Zach Collaros is filling in for him, I don’t know that they need him back any time soon. In two starts, Collaros has 548 yards, seven TDs and 0 INTs, with QB ratings of 271 and 214. UConn, West Virginia and Pittsburgh all have better defenses than the Syracuse and Louisville defenses Collaros posted those numbers on, but I still don’t see Cincy having any problem finishing the season undefeated.
Iowa still has a serious hurdle at Ohio State on Nov. 14. Other than that, they have Northwestern and Minnesota (both 5-4) at home. Iowa should finish undefeated.
And Boise State cleared its only hurdle on the first game of the season against Oregon. And that was fortunate timing for the Broncos, because if they play now, I think Oregon smokes them. Boise State should finish undefeated, but they are out of the championship mix because they take a strength of schedule hit every week, and they’re already way down at No. 80.
The BCS could be headed for yet another season of great controversy. However, it should also be pointed out that this is not the first time this has happened. We have had a number of undefeated teams that looked like they could win out late in the season before, only to have a number of them stumble against teams everyone thought they’d beat easily. So, take this early concern with that in mind. It will just be interesting to see, yet again, how the season plays out and what that means for the BCS debate.