I really wish this was the year there was the BCS 4 team playoff

BCS apologists - this year will be your last chance to defend the awful one-game playoff system in college football. I think you're going to have to defend against a lot. I think the BCS system picked the two best teams last year in LSU and Alabama, but certainly not the best game (which would have involved Oklahoma State). This year it may be even tougher to pick the best.

Alabama is undefeated now, nearly unanimous #1. Unless they lose to undefeated Florida, a loss will take the SEC out of the top spot. The brutal game left is at Baton Rouge with LSU. LSU is flukey this year but winning there is no easy task. Two other ranked teams (surprising Mississippi State and conference newcomer Texas A&M visit Bama). Then there's the SEC title game (likely Florida, but Georgia or South Carolina could still fall in). Florida is playing above their talent which is tough week-to-week in the SEC. I see Alabama losing to LSU. Alabama is the better team, but the home field advantage will tip this close battle. There's also the matter of the rivalry game (as we'll see later, there's some huge ones this year) - Auburn. Even with one loss (especially if they beat LSU and with the SEC title) they are probably in the title game. If they lose to LSU, they may not be in the SEC title game, which would virtually eliminate them. Also from the SEC, Florida has Georgia next week, Florida State out of league (that's actually a tough match up for them this year) and the SEC title game if they win out. If the SEC winner is undefeated, we all agree - they are playing in the title game. Don't forget that Mississippi State is undefeated - but that road is as impossible as it gets (At Alabama, Texas A/M, At LSU in consecutive weeks, plus a good Ole Miss team on the road, then the SEC title game).

Lets go out West where speed punishes then kills. Oregon is #3 in the polls and they can't afford to take a week off. Colorado is the only game they have left where they can have a bad day and lose. At USC (they will have a huge stake in the final outcome this year and if teams lose, they could still be in the hunt if they win the Pac 12), a solid Cal team and Stanford. Then there's the Civil War. Oregon State is currently undefeated but they have quite possibly the most easy and bizarre schedule of any team in the Pac 12 (they close with Nichols State in December AFTER the rivalry game with Oregon - I'd expect to see the Beavers lose at Washington or at Stanford). Oregon State is dangerous in this match up every year, despite Oregon usually being much more talented. After that, Oregon has to play USC again (or another solid team in the conference title game). I don't think they can beat USC twice (USC is quietly better every time they take the field). If Oregon losses the regular season game at the Colosseum and comes back to win the conference title game, they are the first one-loss team in (assuming no other two contending teams go undefeated).

Let's talk USC. They don't have any cookies left at all. Their non-conference game is Notre Dame. I love Brian Kelly but I also know USC still has double the talent of Notre Dame. Remember that year Notre Dame grew the grass an inch higher and played USC during their winning streak and they almost beat them? The game is in LA this year, so there will be no such grass. If Notre Dame can get by one-loss Oklahoma (which could also find their way into the title game if they won out and things broke right), Wake Forest is the only other team they play that would even have a chance of beating them. Notre Dame deserves to be in the title game if they win out and only one of Alabama, Florida and Oregon goes undefeated. Beating OU and USC on the road and either of those teams winning their conference title games makes Notre Dame close to a  lock. I don't think they beat either team (but they should get a BCS bowl berth with Ohio State out of play for an at-large, even if they lose both games).

The Big 12 is the defenseless conference, although Kansas State's game against West Virginia (keeping them out of the end zone on offense until the fourth quarter) turned some heads. I would like to see Collin Klein against an SEC defense. I think they could complete. I'd also like their defense in that game. Other than Oregon, I think they would have the best chance of knocking off an SEC team. One could argue that Kansas State's win at Oklahoma was the best win any team has had this year (as far as the title picture) - although there are games coming up that will eclipse this. Their road may be the toughest. Texas Tech (one loss, probably done title-picture wise after narrowly avoiding the loss to TCU) and OK State visit the Wildcats. At TCU, At Baylor and Texas (who they usually give a lot of trouble as an underdog - but will the same thing happen as a favorite). There's no Big 12 title game anymore, which may be a saving grace. If Oklahoma and Kansas State both finish with one loss, K-State wins the conference due to head-to-head, but we all know the BCS always picks the team that loses their game first - the B.S. of the system. Oklahoma will be ranked higher if K-State loses a game.

Ironically there likely will be 2 undefeated teams totally out of play. Ohio State has a fairly easy schedule left other than Michigan at home. Michigan snapped a long Ohio State winning streak last year at the Big House. Urban Meyer will not let his team lose this year in Columbus. Will not. Michigan probably has the better team at the non-skill positions but you can bet the Buckeyes will have scheme to stop Denard Robinson. Then Michigan will win their division and probably the Big Ten. The Big Ten is brutally bad this year. Usually they are right there with the Pac 10-11-12 (whatever they call themselves now) and Big 12, a notch below the SEC. Not this year. This year they aren't that much better than the MAC (which is better than the Big East while the Big East is arguably better overall (and head-to-head) than the ACC). Nonetheless, undefeated Ohio State can't play for the title due to probation. Better get the Buckeyes this year, Big 10, once Urban Meyer has his own players it's over.

Speaking of the Big East, one of those teams likely will go undefeated. Cincinnati (one loss, to.. yikes Toledo?), Rutgers and Louisville are unbeaten in the league with the former two undefeated overall. I doubt they will split 3 ways, despite the most inferior team, Cincinnati's ability to win games late. I say Rutgers wins out - Louisville isn't a finisher. Rutgers undefeated in the Big East with their signature wins over Louisville and usually-strong-this-year-tire-fire Arkansas isn't playing in the title game, nor should they. Probably not even top 4 this year unless things got completely wild at the end.

Prediction time: Alabama loses at LSU, but still gets to the SEC title game against Florida and Alabama wins. Oregon losses to USC in the regular season, but Oregon wins the conference. Notre Dame drops both games to Oklahoma and USC. Kansas State drops one of their remaining conference games, wins the conference but Oklahoma gets the at-large and is ranked higher.

Outcome of this - Kansas State beats the tar out of Florida State (didn't mention them even with one loss, just because the ACC is worse than the Big East even this year). Rutgers earns the Big East a little respect with a win in a bowl game over Notre Dame. Florida and Oklahoma duke it out in a classic. USC destroys Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Alabama plays Oregon in the title game. It's hard to pick against the SEC in the title game. And I'm not doing it this year. The crown stays down south until we get our four-team playoff... and probably after that a bit too.

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