>\n\nThe BCS Run in: Two Weeks to go Edition \n\n\n\n

The BCS Run in: Two Weeks to go Edition

Written by Ben Morgan on 11/22/2010

And so here we are at the tail end of the season and everything out there is pretty much still to be decided. At least the really big prize anyway. With 2 weeks to go there's still 4 unbeaten teams in contention for the National Championship Game and as of right now, it could be any 2 from 4 (yes really!). So who's got what to come and how much have they got to do to reach College Football Nirvana? Here's the grid:

1. Oregon 2. Auburn 3. TCU 4. Boise State
New Mexico 72-0 Arkansas St 52-26 (24) Oregon St 30-21 @ (10) Virgina Tech 33-30
@ Tennessee 48-13 @ Mississippi St 17-14 Tennessee Tech 62-7 Idle
Portland St 69-0 Clemson 27-24 Baylor 45-10 @ Wyoming 51-6
@ Arizona St 42-31 (12) South Carolina 35-27 @ SMU 41-24 (24) Oregon St 37-24
(9) Stanford 52-31 Louisiana-Monroe 52-3 @ Colorado St 27-0 @New Mexico St 59-0
@ Washington St 43-23 @ Kentucky 37-34 Wyoming 45-0 Toledo 57-14
Idle (12) Arkansas 65-43 BYU 31-3 @ San Jose St 48-0
UCLA 60-13 (6) LSU 24-17 Air Force 38-7 Louisiana Tech 49-20
@ (24) USC 53-32
@ Mississippi 51-31 @ UNLV 48-6
Idle
Washington 53-16
Chattanooga 62-24 @ (6) Utah 47-7
Hawaii 42-7
@ California 15-13
Georgia 49-31 San Diego St 40-35
at Idaho 52-14
Idle Idle Idle Fresno State 51-0
(21) Arizona @ (10) Alabama @New Mexico at (19) Nevada
@ Oregon St @ (18) South Carolina Idle Utah State

Since we checked in last on this not a huge amount has happened. We've lost a few unbeatens as the likes of Missouri, Michigan State and Utah's challenges have slipped (or tumbled) away. But the big 4 are still there. So what's in store for them. Well Oregon and Auburn have the inside track on the big game but it ain't going to be a cakewalk for either of them.

1. Oregon

With their destiny still very much in their own hands but they still have a couple of potential banana skins to come. Arizona are ranked in the Top 25 and won't be easy. But Oregon should really have enough to overcome them as long as they play to something like their full ability. Then there's that in-state rivalry game to finish off? Well Oregon wouldn't be the first potential Pac-10 National Champ to come a cropper at the hands of the Beavers. So their place in the big game is far from guaranteed. If they win out it's pretty much a given enough pollsters will rank them high enough to get in regardless of what Boise or TCU might do. If those same pollsters rank them this high already I see no reason for that to change. Even though, if I'm honest their schedule hasn't been all that tough with only a win over a very good Stanford team to really show for their season's efforts so far. It's an odd schedule filled with plenty of decent opposition but not anyone who really scares you apart from the Cardinal. And they got to play them at home. I guess if Oregon were ranked #2 I wouldn't have such a hard time with it but you look at who Auburn have beaten so far and who Oregon have beaten and you have to wonder why the positions aren't reversed.

2. Auburn

Perhaps those positions aren't reversed because Auburn doesn't play very well on D at all. It's fair comment. If you're conceding 24 points to the likes of Chattanooga your D is not pulling it's weight. Maybe the pollsters keep on looking down that schedule and have seen that looming matchup in Tuscaloosa. Auburn have some great wins this year and have put up a mountain of points, beating nationally ranked opponents 3 times including that rather good looking outfit out of Louisiana State as well. And these aren't teams ranked way down in the late teens or squeaking into the polls at 24 or 25 either. No they've played 3 teams inside the Top 12 (at least when they played them) and all are still top 20 teams now. But a closer look shows all those games were at home and that Auburn's road form has been less than stellar. Two 3 point victories to "powerhouses" Mississippi State and Kentucky aren't likely to fill pollsters (or Tigers fans) with too much confidence in Auburn's ability to still be unbeaten this time next week. One thing's for sure, it's going to be a great game. I just have this suspicion that even if they can come out from under the Tide with a win, the effort needed might leave them ripe for a shock loss to South Carolina in Atlanta the week after. I guess what I'm saying is I don't expect Auburn to finish the season unbeaten. Their Defense is going to have to step it up HUGE this week if they hope to finish with no losses. I keep hearing talking heads mentioning a 1 loss Auburn team making the National Championship Game anyway. I really hope those guys don't have votes. But when it comes to the BCS, never count anything out!

3. Texas Christian

Alas, TCU's chances of making the National Championship Game probably lie in the outside hope that 2 of Boise, Auburn and Oregon lose a game. Even that might not be enough if indeed Auburn still have the cache to get in as a 1 loss team. TCU have only 1 game remaining against the less than competitive New Mexico. That's not going to be getting you too many votes or computer points when all 3 of your competitors play against ranked teams this coming week. Effectively TCU are already in the Clubhouse but needing the leaders to slip up. To make matters worse if Boise State can beat out a Nevada team this week who may or may not be frauds you should probably expect to see Boise move past TCU next week. They're close to doing so already after TCU didn't put away a useful San Diego State last week. What probably caused TCU to drop even more points though was when their 1 defining win of the season turned out to be not worth a whole heck of a lot when Utah got spanked by Notre Dame. Still, there is hope. Oregon and Boise could slip up leaving a mouthwatering National Championship game between Auburn and TCU. I'd pay to see that one.

4. Boise State

Well, 3 excellent wins on the bounce and one awful loss by Utah has put the Broncos right back in the National Championship picture. Following TCU's destruction of Utah it was generally thought if one of Oregon or Auburn slipped up it would be TCU more likely to take their space. Things change quickly in College Football. Boise play their 3rd primetime Friday night game this week against the intriguing but somewhat unproven Nevada Wolfpack. Nevada have looked very impressive most of the season but without actually beating anyone any good. So in all likelihood if the Broncos win, even winning big, a lot of voters are just going to say "well Nevada were frauds" and not give Boise much of a boost. But, playing on a Friday when no other games are scheduled worked out really well for Boise last week. Every man and his dog got to see just how dominating this team can be on both sides of the ball against a half decent Fresno State team. People watching the whole game cannot have failed to be impressed watching that, and they could win over some voters this week as well. Enough I think, to take them over TCU and into the top 2 if Oregon or Auburn slip up. Whilst they don't have the captive National audience this week they had last week, at least they're not clashing with that Oregon/Arizona game either. All Boise can do is keep playing like they have been, dominate their opponents on Offense and Defense and hope 1 or both of the top 2 lose a game.If Virgina Tech hadn't lost to James Madison maybe things would be different, a season defining victory on the road to a Top 10 ranked team would have significantly boosted Boise's resume but it wasn't to be.

Ultimately whoever finishes 1 and 2 it's going to be an epic National Championship Game with 2 deserving teams. My heart wants it to be a Boise State v TCU game because I think those are the 2 best all round teams I've seen play this year. But at the same time, an Oregon v Auburn matchup would be an offensive showdown for the ages. Whoever it is in the big game, I think the only losers will be the money men and the fans of the unlucky 2 who don't make it.   

Last Edited: 11/21/2010




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