Every Saturday counts. You’ve heard the phrase, but I don’t know if there has been a day that has demonstrated it as much as last Saturday.
Last Saturday, Oklahoma lost at home for the first time in 40 games. Along with that went the Sooners number one ranking, and a clear shot to play for the BCS National Championship. The Sooners weren’t the only team that left dreams of a national championship on the field. In East Lansing, the Michigan State Spartans used a last second Hail Mary to defeat the Wisconsin Badgers, putting an end to their BCS hopes. Both teams could still re-enter the BCS conversation, but neither can do it without someone else losing.
This weekend there are several games that may have an impact on the BCS National Championship, or the bowl picture.
The top two ranked teams are both idle this weekend, and play each other next week. Each of the next three highest rated teams that play are all face tough conference opponents, and I am sure that at least one will lose. Oklahoma State (3) hosts Baylor and the dynamic Robert Griffin III, Clemson (5) travels to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech and the triple-option, and Stanford (6) heads to Los Angeles to face the 6-1 USC Trojans. None of these games will be easy, and after Saturday, you may see some more big changes in the rankings.
There are several teams lined up to take advantage of any loss by a BCS leader. Oregon (7) still has a game coming up against Stanford, and has a great chance to move up. Another huge game is Oklahoma (9) at Kansas State (8). The Sooners travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Wildcats, a team that few picked to be sitting at 7-0. The Sooners need to win to resurrect their BCS dreams, Kansas State wants to keep the Cinderella story going. This one is all Oklahoma on paper, but it is in the Little Apple, KSU Coach Snyder is a winner, and the Wildcats have kept finding ways to win. The winner will climb. After that is Arkansas at (10) with games still to come against top-rated LSU and next weekend, South Carolina (13). In the Big Ten, Michigan State (11) travels to Lincoln to face Nebraska (14), a game in which the loser will likely fall out of contention for a BCS bowl game. The last few teams on the radar are Virginia Tech (12) and Wisconsin (15) which need to keep winning and see how things shake out.
It will be a huge Saturday to stay home and watch some football. My viewing schedule is this:
Early I’ll be watching Michigan State at Nebraska. My prediction is that the winner will be the Legends Division Champ, and have an opportunity to play for the Big Ten title.
The late afternoon has several great games, and I’ll be giving the remote a workout. I’ll be switching between Baylor vs. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma vs. Kansas, Florida vs. Georgia, and Illinois vs. Penn State.
Saturday night, I’ll be watching Wisconsin at Ohio State, Stanford at USC and Clemson at Georgia Tech. After that, I’ll be looking over the BCS ratings and thinking about when the updated polls are revealed Sunday night.
Have a great weekend! Dave