As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.
Somewhere, Mike Slive is dancing on a couch. Butt-nekkid.
Just one week ago, it appeared the SEC’s streak of six straight BcS championships was all but over. Alabama’s loss left the heavyweight conference with no undefeated teams and seemingly on the outside of the crystal window looking in at three eligible unbeatens remaining.
Seven days later? They’re right back in one of the two title-game driver’s seats.
No. 1 Oregon? Dropped 17-14 by Stanford in overtime, in Eugene no less.
No. 2 Kansas State? Humiliated 52-24 by a below-.500 Baylor squad.
Of course, the biggest winners of them all coming out of the stunning twin developments come from the SEC. Provided Alabama, No. 4 in the last set of BcS rankings, handles business against lowly Auburn and Georgia, BcS No. 5, takes care of Georgia Tech, the winner of the SEC championship game will — rightly, I might add, given the turn of events in Week 12 — fill one of the two spots in the BcS title game.
The other spot? On one level, it’s very simple. If Notre Dame, comfortable winners over Wake Forest Saturday, beats a reeling USC squad next weekend, it will be the Irish charged with the task of knocking the SEC off its crystal perch.
If the Trojans pull off an upset for the ages? It’s BcS chaos all over again. Such a development would bring several teams back into the mix, including the two losers from tonight as well as Florida State and Florida, which will play each other in the regular-season finale to add yet another layer to what’s fast devolving into unchartered waters.
Hell, Oregon could even pull off an Alabama circa 2011: not play in its conference championship game — Stanford will represent the Pac-12 North if it beats UCLA next week — and still backdoor its way into the BcS title game depending on how things play out in front of them.
Undeniably, though, there’s one huge loser in all of this glorious late-season chaos: the Ohio State Buckeyes. Along with Notre Dame, the Ohio State University is the last of the unbeatens and would be in position for its fourth title-game appearance in the BcS era were it not for NCAA sanctions that include a postseason ban for the 2012 season. Hopefully, that 2012 Gator Bowl berth was worth it to Gene Smith & Company.
A close second to tOSU? One line: North Carolina State 17, Florida State 16. Oh, ‘Noles…
DAY OF CLINCHINGS
On the lighter side of college football news, and entering Week 12 of the 2012 season, just one conference or division champion — Georgia, SEC East — had officially been determined. This weekend, a total of six division or conference champions were officially decided. Below is a snapshot look at the teams that will be adding some hardware to their respective trophy cases in the coming days: