College football continued its shakeout this weekend. The list of unbeatens dropped by two, as Michigan State and Missouri fell. That ought to shut up some of the fans of the pretender teams. Unfortunately, the other pretenders won.
The media is making a big deal out of Oregon's win over a 5-2 (now 5-3) Southern Cal team. Of course, the media made a big deal out of Barack Obama, so that shows the media don't know jack.
Boise State completed another task in its cupcake schedule, beating La Tech (which is French for The Tech).
Texas Christian beat 1-6 (now 1-7) UNLV while Utah edged 5-2 (now 5-3) Air Force. Those two play on Saturday (November 6), so that'll take care of one of those.
That means that, beside eventual SEC champ Auburn (pending their thrashing of Georgia and a tight game with Alabama, plus a SEC title game win over USC), there will be three other teams that could be unbeaten at the end of the season. And only one of those gets to be the victim in the BCS title game. The other two can play each other in the Carquest Bowl or something, and lay claim to its own Fantasyland title.
Things went as expected in the SEC East this week. Assuming wins this weekend, South Carolina and Florida's upcoming game (November 13) should decide the division. USC has Arkansas this week, while Florida plays at Vanderbilt. The only way the USC-FL game on the 13th doesn't decide the title would be for USC to beat Arkansas while Florida loses to Vanderbilt. If that happens, USC wins the East no matter what.
South Carolina is in the position of "win and we're in" the SEC title game. And so is Florida.
All the other teams have been eliminated. Yes, there are a lots of "if this team beats that team" kind of scenarios, but the fact is, the worst USC can go in the conference is 4-4. The only teams that can match that (other than Florida) are Vanderbilt and Georgia.
Any scenario with UGA leaves them out of it, since the SEC tiebreaker in a 3 or 4 team scenario eliminates them on head-to-head: 0-2 (3 team tie) or 1-2 (4 team tie).
Vanderbilt is also out. In a 4-way scenario, the head-to-head (1-2) gets them. In a 3-way, they lose on the second tie-breaker, division wins (3-2, if they win out, to Florida's 4-1).
So, it's USC vs Florida for the East. See how simple things can be?
The West is not as simple.
If Alabama (LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn) wins out, they win the West.
If Auburn (Georgia, Alabama) wins out, they win the West.
Everybody else needs help.
If Auburn beats Georgia on November 13, then the only other team that could win the West would be Alabama, and they'd have to win out to do that.
LSU: Can win out, but can only win outright. If they are forced to a tie-breaker scenario, they lose out to Auburn. So, LSU needs to win and and have Auburn to lose to Georgia and Alabama, due to tiebreakers.
Mississippi State: Eliminated. Even if they win out, all the tie-breakers are against them. They lose a 2-way with Auburn (head-to-head). They lose 3-way with Alabama and Auburn (division record). They lose 3-way with Auburn and LSU (head-to-head). A 3-way with Auburn and Arkansas isn't possible. And the only 4-way that's possible (with Alabama, Auburn, and LSU) leaves them out because of head-to-head (1-2).
Arkansas: Eliminated. Even if they win out, all the tie-breakers are against them. In a 2-way, they lose a head-to-head with Auburn. In a 3-way, with Auburn and Alabama, Arkansas is eliminated by head-to-head (0-2). In a 3-way with Auburn and LSU, Arkansas is eliminated by head-to-head (1-1). And, a 4-way with Auburn, Alabama, and LSU also eliminates them on head-to-head (1-2).
So, the West is down to 3 teams, but the likely scenario is Alabama-Auburn on Friday, November 26 for the SEC West.
Really, who cares?
As we said above, it's likely that Oregon, Boise State, and the winner of TCU-Utah will go unbeaten.
Boise State's only games that, at a glance, might look tough, are division co-leader Hawaii, and 1-division-loss opponents Fresno State and Nevada. Cupcake conference.
TCU and Utah both have 1-division-loss San Diego State on the schedule. That's it. Their toughest opponent (besides each other) is a cupcake.
Oregon's only semi-tough games are against Arizona (November 26) and their state rival, Oregon State (December 4). But they're all Pac-10 schools, so it's not like they're playing a real football team. Might not be cupcakes, but no tougher than a cheese danish.
When it's all over, some pretender will get to face an SEC team (probably Auburn, but Alabama or LSU could jump back in if they take the West and the SEC title game).
You know that a playoff would make a lot more sense than all of this, right?