Here’s an idea for Chip Kelly, to help the Oregon coach circumvent those pesky BCS computers that just keep shutting off at night.
Kelly should call Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who owes him one after the BCS title game a few years ago. Kelly should ask if Chizik would be willing to trade places. Oregon could go play in the SEC for a week until its Pac-12 schedule gauntlet begins Nov. 3 against USC. That way, the Ducks could benefit from the SEC’s clout in the computer rankings, rather than continuing to be dragged down by its league affiliation. Chizik and his 1-6 Auburn squad could escape the SEC meat grinder and play 1-6 Colorado. A win for everybody.
Unfortunately, Kelly and the Ducks have to stay put in the Pac-12, even after dropping to No. 4 in the latest BCS standings despite their continued dominance on the field. Oregon has won over the human voters, who have the Ducks at No. 2 in both polls, but all the speed and style points sadly don’t mean squat with the computers. Oregon remains No. 6 in computer average, even after it dismantled Arizona State on the road Thursday night. All the Ducks can do is be patient and hope No. 7 Oregon State, No. 9 USC and No. 17 Stanford -- three teams Oregon faces in November -- continue to win. If Kelly’s squad continues to dominate, it should eventually be rewarded. Unless Kansas State and Notre Dame keep winning, that is.
Week 8 seemed to bring out the best in all the national title contenders. Florida crushed South Carolina in The Swamp to strengthen its position at No. 2 in the BCS standings. Kansas State, now No. 3, recorded its second signature road win, dominating West Virginia in Morgantown behind new Heisman Trophy frontrunner Collin Klein. Alabama cruised past Tennessee in Knoxville to retain the No. 1 spot. There’s not much to nitpick about the top four.
Kansas State, the new No. 3, might be the biggest threat to join an SEC team at the BCS title party. Bill Snyder’s team is No. 2 in computer average, plays two ranked teams (No. 14 Texas Tech and No. 23 Texas) the rest of the way and won’t play in a league title game.
Although the weak closing slate could hurt the Wildcats in a debate with Oregon, it’s time to embrace the very real possibility of a perfect season for K-State.
Notre Dame didn’t dominate its Week 8 opponent, but the Irish didn’t need to. With Notre Dame, it’s all about the two marquee road games, the first of which arrives this week at Oklahoma. If Notre Dame wins in Norman, it heads to USC on Nov. 24 to play for a spot in the title game. Given Notre Dame’s computer clout (No. 3 average) and the schedule it has played, if it wins out, it deserves to be in.
The SEC continues to dominate the standings with three of the top six teams and five of the top 11. Although it’s conceivable to see Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia or even unbeaten Mississippi State at the title game, several will suffer late-season losses, usually the kiss of death in the final BCS standings. LSU, rated a spot ahead of Oregon State despite the Beavers’ perfect record, still has the best chance among the 1-loss teams to make it to Miami, followed by Oklahoma and USC. An All-SEC title game remains a possibility, but only if all other unbeatens stumble.
The Big 12, SEC and Pac-12 all have impressive contingents in the standings, while the ACC and Big East each have two entries. The Big Ten, shut out of the initial BCS standings, made an appearance Sunday with No. 22 Michigan and No. 25 Wisconsin. MAC unbeaten Ohio also entered the mix at No. 24.
Week 9 should provide more clarity. In addition to Notre Dame-Oklahoma, Alabama hosts Mississippi State, Kansas State hosts Texas Tech and Florida and Georgia meet in Jacksonville.
As for Oregon? The Ducks get Colorado. Another thrashing will take place. And potentially another drop in the BCS standings.
Right now, it’s not easy being green.