Since then, the Buckeyes have proven to be an outstanding, deserving Big Ten champion, and if it all sorts out for them, they would handle themselves quite well if they get to New Orleans. But my sentiments remain:
A couple months ago, I wrote a column suggesting that we all ought to root for then-top-ranked Ohio State to get beat so we could have a more exciting BCS national championship game this season.
It would be a lot more fun to watch Missouri play West Virginia on Jan. 7.
For this wild matchup to occur a rare one that we'd watch with real anticipation and freshness in the air we need to see Missouri knock off Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game this week, and have West Virginia take care of business against Pittsburgh.
This is nothing against the Buckeyes, Jim Tressel, et al. It's all about seeing something special and unusual in the final game of what has been a special and unusual season of upsets. Neither West Virginia nor Missouri has won a national championship in football, but now it's pretty well up to them to win one more game to gain the right to face one another for the BCS title.
West Virginia and quarterback
Chase Daniel played Saturday in a 66-21 rout of 20th-ranked Connecticut suggests that the Mountaineers aren't going to let anything (particularly a loss in the Backyard Brawl) stop them from finishing the regular-season right. Unless, of course, they end up in the No. 2 spot this week, which has been bad news for teams lately. Second-ranked teams have lost three of their past four games, and are an unbelievable 2-6 in the past two months.
The hard part is going to be Missouri bumping off Oklahoma, but don't tell
Chase Daniel and Co. that it won't happen. The 11-1 Tigers seem to be a more mature, more confident team than they were when they self-destructed in the fourth quarter in Norman, Okla., back on Oct. 13 a 41-31 loss to OU.
Still, Oklahoma has terrific passer Sam Bradford back from the concussion that knocked him out of last week's loss to Texas Tech (which cost OU a shot at the national title), and there's every reason to think he'll be at his sharpest in San Antonio against the Tigers.
An added bonus of a Missouri-West Virginia BCS championship matchup would be that Ohio State would be left facing (probably) USC in what would be a terrific Rose Bowl.
If Missouri and West Virginia both lose on Saturday, then what?
Ohio State would be one BCS championship game participant, but who would be the other? BCS haters would certainly relish this, once again pointing to the need for a playoff, since nothing would be clear cut and more than one team and its fans would have real reason to be hopping mad.
We'd see a scrum among voters who would have any number of teams to choose from. It would be like a political convention in which all of the delegates were set loose to make a brand new choice: Oklahoma, USC, Virginia Tech and LSU each could make a case.
A few things we can say about the BCS bowls with as close as what passes for certainty in this uncertain college football season: The winner of Virginia Tech-Boston College will play in the
Orange Bowl. Georgia will probably play in the
Orange Bowl, too. The winner of LSU-Tennessee will play in the
Sugar Bowl. USC will get to the Rose Bowl if it beats UCLA. If UCLA wins, Arizona State is next in line (but must beat Arizona). ASU, by the way, can jump into the Fiesta simply by beating Arizona). Also, even UCLA has a scenario that could land the Bruins in Pasadena for another home game (beat USC, then hope that Arizona State loses to Arizona). Hawaii can probably ensure a Sugar Bowl bid by beating Washington. The unbeaten Warriors certainly would deserve it, and now enough things are taking place in the polls (see BCS standings) following their impressive win over 10-1 Boise State that a win over the Huskies would get them to their required ranking in the top 12. It's so crazy that 9-3 Illinois could still wind up in the
Rose Bowl. Attrition could move the Illini up to the top 14 on their own. Another possibility is that if two or three very plausible results occur Saturday such as Oklahoma winning, Hawaii losing to Washington, and USC or Arizona State losing their rivalry games the BCS could wind up in the strange position of not having 10 eligible teams among the top 14 ranked teams in the country (since only two teams from any conference can be invited). That would move the cutoff to the top 18 for BCS-bowl eligibility, and the joined-at-the-hips Pasadena triumvirate of the
Rose Bowl/Pac-10/Big Ten could lead the Rose to select Illinois to replace Ohio State, should the Buckeyes end up in the title game instead.
So many variables remain, though, that almost every game being played on the last Saturday of the season will have a bearing on who will play in the BCS championship game and/or the four BCS bowl games. And the number of dominoes falling into the other bowls will set off a chain reaction that might take days to settle out.