BATESVILLE — Take one giant step forward Florida State, move over to the sidelines Oregon. That’s how things stand following Thursday night’s shocking shakeup in the race for an invitation to the BCS National Championship game on Jan. 6.
Oregon stumbled once again in a big Pacific 12 game, leaving Stanford with a humbling 26-20 loss that has done near-fatal damage to its championship dreams.
Florida State, which was at home resting in anticipation of Saturday’s game against a mediocre Wake Forest team, unexpectedly moved into a strong position to play for it all in Pasadena. After Saturday’s game against the Demon Deacons, Florida State has scrimmages with Syracuse and Idaho before closing the regular season against Florida. The ACC championship game could produce a rematch with Miami.
There’s plenty of football yet to be played this season, during which things have had a way of going wrong for the front-runners. Nevertheless, more than one good team is going to be left home to soothe its hurt feelings and be relegated to a lesser bowl, where fun and good times will be served up but not an opportunity for a national championship.
This year marks the end of the BCS. No more of these silly somebody-gets-ripped-off predicaments. Thank goodness.
The notion of picking only two teams to play for a championship and declaring the winner the best in the land is absurd. It’s fraudulent at best, criminal at worst. Honestly, selecting four isn't much better.
About four weeks remain in the regular season. If it wins its remaining games – and there’s no guarantee that will happen, Alabama gets the first invitation. The top-ranked Crimson Tide is the defending national champion and until someone beats Alabama it stays atop the hill.
That could be easier said than done. Louisiana State travels to Tuscaloosa this weekend, and Coach Les Miles’ team has little to lose. A wounded Tiger is a dangerous beast. Trips to Mississippi State and revenge-seeking Auburn await Nick Saban and Co. Pass those tests and Alabama gets a trip to the SEC championship, which could be another risky assignment.