You want upsets?
That's the only way this season makes any (non)sense going into the final weekend. A hurricane, some Cyclones and a blizzard of criticism have conspired to make this happen.
|California quarterback Aaron Rodgers won't be this happy if the Golden Bears are left out of a BCS bowl. (Getty Images)|
Biggest upset: Few have thought of this one yet, but what if all three top teams lose?
There's a chance that California could finish No. 1 in both polls and not only get left out of the championship game but get left out of a BCS bowl altogether.
Congratulations on being No. 1, Bears. See you in the Holiday Bowl.
It goes like this: Auburn, Oklahoma and Southern California lose. Not likely, but it's important to account for these types of things. We didn't last year, and No. 1 USC didn't get to go to the Sugar Bowl.
In that scenario, Oklahoma and Texas probably rise to 1-2 (in some order) in the BCS because of computer strength. It's possible, then, that Cal takes over No. 1 in both polls but doesn't profit as much from the computers.
|Why I'm at this game|
Auburn vs. Tennessee
SEC championship game
|Ever see grown Tigers cry? It's going to happen all over the Georgia Dome if Auburn runs the table and isn't able to get in the Orange Bowl. Tommy T's only BCS hope is to run it up on Tennessee (unlikely) and hope Oklahoma struggles with Colorado (also unlikely). Kleenex?|
But the rules governing 1-2 in the BCS overrule everything. Cal, as the No. 1 team in the polls, can't go as a conference champion (USC would get the BCS berth) or an at-large team. The Sooners and 'Horns would have accounted for those two at-large berths.
Say it with me: There would be no place for Cal in the BCS. Yikes.
If Auburn plays either Oklahoma or Texas in the national championship game, both teams are considered at-large, meaning both available slots are taken up. Goodbye Cal and Utah. Hello Tennessee and Colorado with automatic berths as conference champions.
If Oklahoma and Texas play, Colorado (as a conference champion, remember?) would be out of the BCS. A conference can have only two teams in the BCS. Utah would be in.
If USC is on one side of the Orange Bowl in this scenario, its opponent (Auburn, Texas or Oklahoma) would then be considered an at-large team. Utah would be the other at-large team. Two of three among the Tigers, Longhorns and Sooners would get left out.
Most likely upset: Tennessee has everything to play for. Auburn has everything to lose.
OK, so the Tigers have a few things at stake too. They are a prohibitive favorite, but Tennessee has revenge and Rick Clausen on its side.
Don't snicker. Clausen played fairly well against Kentucky and has the what-the-heck factor in his favor. If we lose, what the heck?
You can't spell upset without UT, so here goes: Tennessee 28, Auburn 26. That leaves us a nice, tidy Oklahoma-USC Orange Bowl.
On the beach-by-halftime upset: UCLA just isn't close yet. It will be in a couple of years, when who knows where Pete Carroll will be?
The Trojans beat Notre Dame and the Bruins three consecutive years for the first time ever.
Most needed upset: Cal 70, Southern Miss 0. That's the Bears' only hope, it seems, in overtaking Texas in the BCS.
Watch for the Eagles to take a knee on the second possession hoping to keep the score down.
Most upset: Iowa State kicker Bret Culbertson. Still. His missed 24-yard field goal with 65 seconds left against Missouri on Saturday affected a few bottom lines.
- Attendance at Arrowhead Stadium (which most likely would have been sold out if Iowa State won the Big 12 North had Culbertson made the kick).
- Economic impact. Bar owners are lamenting the absence of Cyclones fans in the Westport district.
- Competitive impact. Oklahoma figures to have a much tougher time with the Buffs than with the Cyclones.
- BCS impact. Auburn would like to know, too. TBD.
Most interesting upset: Whoever wins the Heisman because there isn't a frontrunner. Five of the top candidates -- Aaron Rodgers, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson and Jason White -- play on Saturday.
Most unlikely upset, but given the Big East, who knows? South Florida 65, Pittsburgh 0. The BCS standings reveal that Syracuse (6-5) has jumped the No. 68 Panthers into 67th to get the BCS berth.
The Fiesta Bowl is so thrilled it swaps labels on its two bowl properties. Notre Dame-UCLA (Insight Bowl) now becomes the Tostitos Siesta Bowl.
Most energetic upset: Utah's Urban Meyer actually tries to coach both Phoenix bowls: Dec. 28 for the Irish in the Insight and Jan. 1 in the Fiesta.
If Notre Dame doesn't have Meyer wrapped up by the end of the weekend, something is wrong. Plus, the Mountain Shadows still has that two-for-one special, doesn't it?
Richest upset: Bob Stoops could be a few more million richer by the end of the month. Because of Florida's interest, Oklahoma could be ready to pony up a $3.5 million a year contract extension. And you thought those stories about Florida and Stoops were silly? They were. Stoops issued a statement Thursday denying interest in the Gators -- for the third time.
What's silly is $3.5 million per year.
Most patriotic upset: Navy's Paul Johnson is a coach of the year candidate, but Army needs some love. Black Knights 29, Navy 25.
Most unbelievable upset: That the bowls are able to fill all 56 spots. We won't know until Hawaii and Michigan State kick off at 11 p.m. ET. The Warriors need to win to stay home and play in the Hawaii Bowl.