About 10 days ago, in my “Ken – remember this?” post, I said:
Just like this year, PSU was hot in the middle of the football national championship picture
Gary came back with:
BTW, Is PSU really “hot in the middle of the football national championship picture “?
And I responded:
Most definitely we are. We are fifth in the BCS. That means we need three teams in front of us to lose to get into the BCS championship game.The four teams ahead of us and their remaining games are:
Miami: @Wake Forest (4-6), Geo Tech (6-2), Virginia (5-3), then Fla State (7-2) in the conference championship game – none of those games are easy and it will be tough for them to win all four games (Fla St has already beaten them once).
Alabama: LSU (7-1), @Auburn (7-2), and a conference championship game against either Georgia (7-1) or Florida (7-2). Alabama’s offense is atrocious – they haven’t scored a TD in 13 quarters and it would be a big surprise for them to record three wins against the teams they have yet to play.
Texas: Kansas (5-4), @Tex A&M (5-4), and a conference championship game against Colorado (7-2). Anytime you have to defeat three teams with winning records there is a decent chance you could lose. The favorite has a history of losing the conference championship in the B12 so it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see the Longhorns go down.
USC: @California (6-3), Fresno State (7-1), and UCLA (8-1). While Southern Cal looks to be the strongest contender for the national championship they do have challenges ahead of them. None of those teams are pushovers and UCLA would just love to knock their cross town rivals out of the BCS picture.
Penn State on the other hand has two weeks to get ready for their sole remaining game with Michigan State (5-4). MSU is in their usual late season collapse having lost 4 of their last 5 games. We should be able to handle them easily and just sit back and watch the others fall by the wayside.
The good news is that only three of the four teams in front of us need to lose. There is a very good chance that could happen.
Here’s an update of what has happened since:
Just as I suggested, we were able to beat Michigan State and capture the B10 title and secure a berth in a BCS Bowl. Which bowl is still up in the air.
Last week, Alabama lost to LSU in overtime and dropped out of the national championship picture.
Yesterday, Miami lost to Georgia Tech and their national championship hopes have been dashed.
So two of the three things that needed to happen have. We just need one more and we almost got that late last night (people were glued to TV’s in the bars here in State College last night as the USC/Fresno State game didn’t end until 2:15AM).
Southern Cal staged a furious comeback and managed to overcome Fresno State 50-42 in a game that saw them trailing 42-41 in the fourth quarter (Fresno State had also led at halftime 21-13). USC looks beatable and they have crosstown rivals UCLA in two weeks.
Texas was off this week but they have always dangerous Texas A&M and their famed 12th man next week, then a conference championship matchup with Colorado in two weeks.
That means there are three chances for an upset to happen – I’d say odds are about 50-50 that one of the upsets will occur – and Penn State can claim a spot in the national championship game in the Rose Bowl (there is also an outside chance that LSU could sneak by us with a win in their conference championship game).
Realistically, there are now only five schools with a shot at the title. USC and Texas still have their destiny in their own hands. Win out and they are in. Penn State’s season is over and we sit just on the outside waiting for one of the two to fail. LSU not only needs one of the top two to falter but they also need to win out and start getting some love from the BCS computers. Virginia Tech remains a very big long shot to somehow sneak into the game – they probably need both teams on the top to lose and have LSU also lose while they win out and meet Penn State for the title.
So that’s a long winded way of saying “Yes, Gary we very much are in the middle of the national championship picture.