As the 2011 college football season winds to a close, teams are jockeying for position to wind up in the top two in the BCS. Emphasis on the B and the S.
Until the powers that be admit that a playoff system is the way to go, college football fans are stuck with the current nonsense.
Supporters of the BCS maintain that the best two teams always end up playing anyway, but that's not true. Fully half of the teams that have played in the big game since the 1998 season would have been mighty lucky to have survived a playoff bracket, and part of being a champion is stepping up when it counts.
Twelve weeks into the season, it's time for us to step up and let you know who's gonna lose this week. No "gimme" games this week. Okay, maybe a couple. But we are altering the format slightly. Still picking games from my state (Georgia), Harvey's state (Wisconsin), and Frank's state (Iowa, Idaho, one of them states out there). Still picking matchups between Top 25 teams. And, instead of only-game-on matchups, we'll look at the teams in the BCS hunt.
If you don't care for college football, you got an alternative: the new Twilight movie is out and you and the rest of the girls and Nancy Boys can go watch it. The men and the really cool chicks will be watching college football.
Let's dive in, covering the Saturday games that we felt like talking about.
LSU (1) vs Ole Miss
Les Miles proves that it's not just red-headed women that are crazy. Red-headed men do some crazy stuff, too. And, like red-headed women, that red-headed coach from LSU gets away with most of it.
Part of it is luck. Part of it is being good enough to overcome the crazy decisions. Whatever the reason is, LSU finds a way to win.
The African-American Bears (thanks, Paul) from Oxford are on track to go 0-for-SEC in Houston Nutt's final year. The former Boise State coach is in his 4rd and last year as the Rebels' coach, and his 14th and final year in the SEC. Wherever he winds up, he won't have to worry about his teams getting pounded by the powerhouses from the powerhouse conference.
Who's gonna lose? Ole Miss.
Southern California vs Oregon (4)
The Prophylactics from the City of Angels travel north to try to make Duck Soup out of Chip Kelly's Waterfowl. Oregon's team may walk like a duck, quack like a duck, and look like a duck, but it plays football like a monster. And that will become evident on Saturday.
There's no post-season in store for O. J. Simpon's alma mater, so every game is a bowl game for the Trojans. That makes them dangerous. And everybody knows a damaged Trojan can be a scary thing. But the Ducks have an incentive, too. They're trying to prove that their 2-touchdown loss is more deserving of a rematch with LSU than Alabama's overtime loss.
Good luck with that.
Who's gonna lose? Southern California.
Oklahoma (5) vs Baylor (22)
Now that their cross-state rivals have fallen from the ranks of the unbeatens, Oklahoma wants to get back into the title picture. However, their joy over their rivals' Friday night loss should be tempered by the fact that, if they beat Oklahoma State in December, it won't be against the Number 2 team, but a team further down the rankings. And that won't help the strength-of-schedule factor.
Before they go looking ahead to Bedlam, they need to get past a pack of Bears from the Lone Star State.
Baylor has managed to ride the ESPN Promotional Machine the whole season. While they do have some talent on the team, and they play in the same conference as Oklahoma, the Sooners will show that the Bears aren't in their league.
Who's gonnal lose? Baylor.
Kansas State (13) vs Texas (23)
Another matchup between two over-rated teams from a math-impared conference. Kansas State is on the down-turn, losing 2 out of 3, with that lone win being a 4-overtime affair. They're still ranked because they were ranked too high all season long, and have benefited from a favorable schedule.
Fortunately for the Mildcats, their opponent this week is another over-rated team in Texas.
Mack Brown's Herd has risen in the ranking because of victories over powerhouses Rice and Kansas. But Kansas State should bring a little bit of reality to the Longhorn Network's Main Attraction.
A win by Texas and they could wind up in the Cotton Bowl if they finish the season with wins. A loss, and Kansas State looks to be in line to pick Cotton on New Years' Day.
Who's gonna lose? Texas.
Nebraska (16) vs Michigan (18)
The Big Red Thrashing Machine takes a detour through Ann Arbor, and will run across a pack of nasty Wolverines before they get settled.
Michigan needs a win and lots of help to make it to the conference title game. A loss Saturday ends that dream.
Nebraska needs a win and a little help to represent the Legends division in the B-1-G title game.
The Cornhuskers should have to talent to handle the Wolverines. But something tells me that we could be in for a surprise.
Who's gonna lose? Nebraska.
Boise State (10) vs San Diego State
The Giant Smurfs stunk up the place last weekend, getting themselves knocked out of the BCS title game picture. They're bringing a crew in to get the stink out of the place this weekend, so they're hitting the road to San Diego to take in some of the weather from southern California.
When they get there, they'll find a welcoming party of Aztecs. And they won't be making it a friendly welcome.
The bad news for San Diego State is that the Broncos from the 57th State aren't in the mood to do anything but enjoy themselves. So, if a battle is to be had, Boise State will enjoy the results.
Who's gonna lose? San Diego State.
Wisconsin (17) vs Illinois
Despite a couple of mid-season, last-minute losses, Wisconsin is still in the hunt for the Leaders Division spot in the B-1-G title game. Despite those 2 losses and current 2nd-place spot, the formula is simple: win and you're in.
They've got to get past Illinois first. The Illini were on a roll, winning their first six games before that brick wall called reality interfered. They've now lost 4 in a row and need to stop the skid to get invited to a decent bowl game after the season. Unfortunately, those pesky Badgers won't be easy.
Ron Zook has gone from the love seat to the hot seat in a month, but he's been there before. Gainesville, Florida comes to mind. Zook may be looking for work at the end of the year no matter how this game turns out.
Wisconsin could easily be ranked Number 2 if not for those last-minute losses. They'll prove that this weekend.
Who's gonna lose? Illinois.
Georgia Tech vs Duke
The Bumbles have stumbled, losing 3 of 4 and being eliminated from the ACC championship game. They have a big game with cross-state rival Georgia coming up after Thanksgiving. This would be a great week for Duke to pull the upset.
If Paul Johnson's crew doesn't get their act together and step up, it just might happen.
The Engineers are a better team than the Blue Devils, and should run all over them. But Georgia Tech has a way to find a way to lose late in the season. And it's late in the season.
Duke, meanwhile, hasn't tasted victory since the first of October, and would like nothing better than to end the season pulling itself out of the cellar.
Unless the Yellow Jackets turn the ball over 8 times, it'll be next to impossible for Duke to pull the upset. Christmas is the time of miracles. It's not even Thanksgiving yet.
Who's gonna lose? Duke.
Kentucky vs Georgia (14)
After the first two games of the season, the Athens real estate market was scrambling to find a buyer for Mark Richt's house. A little prematurely, as it turns out.
Suddenly, the Red Clay Hounds are in a position to play for the SEC championship. All they have to do is beat Kentucky, and they get the honors to play LSU in December.
With the division all but wrapped up, and cross-state rival Georgia Tech coming up next week, this would be the perfect time for an upset.
If Georgia loses to Kentucky and Georgia Tech, the Athens realtors can start making phone calls again. But don't pick up those phones just yet.
Who's gonna lose? Kentucky.
Georgia Southern (3) vs Alabama (3)
The Number Three team in the nation could easily be the Number One team in the nation. A close loss in a game they should have won. Two turnovers helped seal that. They won in time of possession, but not on the scoreboard. But, they still have a chance to play for the national championship.
Of course, I'm talking about Georgia Southern, whose loss to Appalachian State on a blown call knocked the Eagles from the Number One position in 1-AA a few weeks back.
The Eagles are being paid $400,000 to travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide, who, by the way, are looking for a national championship berth, too. Unlike Georgia Southern, they don't have a playoff bracket they can use to earn their way in.
There's no downside for the School from Statesboro. They get paid big bucks and they get to be on TV. Heck, they might even get to stop in the Hank Williams Museum in Montgomery on the bus ride back to southeast Georgia. What's not to like?
Alabama? They get a tune-up game heading into next week's Iron Bowl with Auburn. If they look past Georgia Southern, the Eagles might just up and ... Ha! Had you going there for a second, didn't I?
Who's gonna lose? Georgia Southern.