Even a Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day
When we threw out, "Anyone up for a West Virginia vs Missouri national championship game?" a few weeks ago, little did we know that we were actually predicting the current national championship matchup. Now, the real question is whether these teams will make it through the weekend. If they do, expect an entertaining national championship game with a lot of scoring. If they both lose, Ohio State and a two-loss Georgia team (that didn't win their division of their conference) will compete for the title. With one or two upsets, it may be interesting to see what kind of jockeying the coaches do this season in the final coaches poll.
Roses and Champaign
If Missouri or West Virginia lose this weekend, Ohio State will take their spot in the national championship game. If either Tennessee or Hawaii lose as well, Illinois is likely to sneak into the #14 spot of the BCS standings and qualify for an at-large bid. If this happens, expect the Rose Bowl to select Illinois to maintain their traditional Big Ten v PAC-10 rivalry. Remember that Ohio State and Illinois were 5th and 17th when they finished playing, so they'll be gaining this ground while eating cheesburgers.
By the way, if Oklahoma knocks off Missouri but the rest of the games go to form, Illinois will be the only at-large team selected. Georgia and Kansas/Missouri will be auto-qualifiers at the #3 and #4 spots, and Hawaii will qualify with a top-12 finish. That leaves only one spot left for an at-large pick and the Rose Bowl will have first dibs. This will also drive an interesting choice for the Fiesta Bowl, as they will be forced to match up Oklahoma against Kansas/Missouri (whoever finishes #4 in the BCS standings) or Hawaii. OU didn't play Kansas this year, but Missouri would be a rematch of the Big XII championship game going on this weekend. The other choice, Hawaii, is a risky proposition for the Sooners, as last season's non-BCS-conference team, Boise State, knocked them off in a thrilling game. Hawaii has the weapons to do the same.
A little on the Irish
I'm really stretching to find a silver lining for ND this year. But, the last time an Irish team finished their season with two straight wins was 15 years ago ('92). And we all know what happened the following season...
As much as I dislike PAC-10 replay officials, this weekend reminds me of something I really like about the PAC-10. When the NCAA allowed teams to permanently schedule twelve regular season games, the PAC-10 went from eight to nine conference games, and thus moved to a true round robin. While many other teams were scheduling patsies to soften their schedule, the PAC-10 actually took a step to improve the integrity of it's conference season.
BCS Prediction. Not that I've been even remotely accurate, but here it goes again...
National Championship: West Virginia vs Ohio StateI'm assuming that Oklahoma, LSU, and BC win their conference championships, and Hawaii beats Washington.
Rose Bowl: Southern Cal vs Illinois
Orange Bowl: Boston College vs Georgia
Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs Kansas
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs Hawaii