BCS Dominoes Ready to Fall in Rivalry Week 13
These are all rivalry games that rile up emotions regardless of record, implication, ranking or even sport. It just so happens, however, that during this extended Thanksgiving-weekend slate of college football games, all four have massive BCS implications. And they aren’t the only matchups this weekend that could send shock waves through the BCS and college football landscape.
Yes, just a week removed from all three top-three BCS teams taking the weekend off, we’ve come to a defining moment in the 2010 college football season, a Rivalry Week 13 that could start the domino effect that defines the BCS national title race and the BCS race as a whole.
Of course, we have to start in Tuscaloosa, where Auburn and Alabama will be playing a Friday afternoon showdown with huge BCS implications. An Auburn win would be great, and would likely help make Auburn the No. 1 team in the next set of BCS rankings. However, the chaos scenario that everyone’s been projecting since the BCS standings came out — a Crimson Tide victory — could start some BCS chaos that would be almost unmatched in the BCS era.
Oregon and Auburn have ridden the BCS wave at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively for a couple of weeks now, and they’ve yet to show signs of slowing down, however this Friday matchup could be the end of four weeks of relative BCS calm after we got off to such a raucous start with No. 1′s Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma falling on consecutive weekends.
The question has loomed for a while now — who would replace Auburn in the BCS national title picture if they were to fall to Alabama? Could it be Boise State, who will be tested sorely against Nevada late Friday? Or would it be TCU, who will have a rather pedestrian New Mexico team to deal with on Saturday?
These questions are ones that have been projected on for a while now, but the Tigers could render them all moot with a victory on Friday, and would likely be heavy favorites to make it all the way to the BCS National Championship Game with a win.
It may not have the title game implications of the Iron Bowl, but Bedlam in Stillwater on Saturday will play a deciding factor in at least one BCS bowl bid come bowl selection Sunday, as Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will likely be playing for a Big 12 South title and the accompanying Big 12 Championship Game bid.
Equally important to the BCS bowl picture, and possibly a deciding factor in who the Big 12 champion ends up playing in the Fiesta Bowl might be played out Friday afternoon in the Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Both have spent the season as prime contenders in the muddled Big East title race, with Pittsburgh faring better thus far with just one conference loss to their name.
A loss by West Virginia here would almost certainly give the Panthers the inside track to the Big East crown, but a Mountaineer win would open up the conference race to four teams — the Mountaineers, Panthers, Connecticut and Syracuse — which would have to wait until the final week to be decided.
Finally, “The Game’ between Ohio State and Michigan is among three monumentally important Big Ten games occurring Saturday afternoon in which the Buckeyes will be playing for the possibility of a Big Ten title, along with Wisconsin and Michigan State. If all three win or all three lose, the race will have to be decided by the BCS standings (the Big Ten’s tiebreaker rule for three teams). However, a variety of other circumstances could occur, with the possibility remaining of all three claiming the title.
Other games from around the country, including Arkansas-LSU, Oregon State-Stanford and Maryland-NC State will all have seriously important implications on the final two BCS standings that will decide a number of variables in the college football season.
The question is now, how will it all turn out and will the BCS dominoes begin to settle into place, or fall all around the country?
We’ll find out over the course of three action-packed days.
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