Oregon is number one?
According to the AP and the Coaches Poll, yes. The BCS has them at number two. Behind Oklahoma.
But, are Oregon (#1 AP, #1 Coaches, #2 BCS), Oklahoma (#3 AP, #3 Coaches, #1 BCS) ... or Boise State (#2 AP, #2 Coaches, #3 BCS) ... the best teams?
Of course not. And maybe, just maybe, that'll be proven out before the end of the season. Oregon still has a few games left. And there's no guarantee they'll make it through unscathed. Oklahoma has a few left, too. As does Boise State. Only, the thing is, they're probably better than all the teams they have left on the schedule.
But, the better team doesn't always win. Just ask Alabama. Or South Carolina. Or Florida.
So, they could end up at #1 and #2 at the end of the year. Which would mean that the BCS game will have something other than the best two teams.
Why am I hating on Oregon, Oklahoma, and Boise State? I'm not. They're all good teams. Probably all deserve being in the top 25. Maybe even the top ten. Maybe.
If they played an SEC schedule, though, they wouldn't be undefeated at the end of the year. Or, maybe now, depending on who they played when.
Put any of those teams in the SEC West, for instance. That means having to play Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Louisiana State, Mississippi, and Mississippi State. And, three teams from the SEC Ease (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt). Plus any cross-state rival that's not in the SEC.
Could Oregon make it though that? Of course not. Oklahoma? Nope. Boise State. You must be joking.
What about the rest of the teams in the top ten? TCU (#4 AP, #4 Coaches, #5 BCS), Michigan State (#8 AP, #8 Coaches, #7 BCS), Utah (#9 AP, #9 Coaches, #9 BCS)? No way.
Or any of the other undefeated teams in the top twenty-fives? Oklahoma State (#17 AP, #15 Coaches, #14 BCS), Missouri (#18 AP, #16 Coaches, #11 BCS)? Again, no way.
Who have I left out? No one. No other non-SEC team is undefeated. And those with one or more losses already don't play an SEC schedule. No way they'd be undefeated if they did play an SEC schedule.
So, am I saying that undefeated doesn't equal best? Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.
Maybe college football will straighten itself out by the end of the year, and the SEC champion will end up in the title game, beating some poor victim by 20-40 points. If that happens, then the BCS will have dodged a bullet.
But, as it stands now, it's possible that either LSU or Auburn could go undefeated (they play each other this coming Saturday), beat USC in the SEC title game in December, and be shut out of the BCS "championship" game.
It happened to Auburn a few years ago. It could happen again. It shouldn't, but it could.
Of course, the SEC isn't immune to how screwed up things are.
Alabama, Auburn, and LSU are all in a position that, if any one of them win out, that team wins the SEC West. The other three teams in the West all need help; if they win out, they still might not win the West.
In the East, South Carolina, Florida, and Vanderbilt are in the same position: if one of them wins out, they win the East. The other three teams all need help to win the East.
And, yes, you are reading that right. Florida just lost three SEC games in a row, and could still win the East. Because if they win out, they'd beat both USC and Vandy, and win by way of tie-breaker. And, yes, Vanderbilt -- beaten 43-0 by Georgia on Saturday, 2-4 on the season -- could win the East if they win out, by virtue of tie-breaker.
Football is a mess right now. And nothing indicates it'll get any better.