BCS Championships We'd Like To See, Part 3

Posted Aug 25, 2012

Interesting possible national title matchups we'd love to see happen - Part 3

Preview 2012

Fun Possible Title Matchups, Part 3

By Pete Fiutak
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- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 1 
- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 2
Enjoy the BCS championship debate now, because in two years you won’t have the bizarre and unnecessary system to kick around anymore. Until the playoff system is implemented at the end of the of the 2014 season -- technically being played in 2015 -- college football’s national title will still be decided by the Coaches’ and Harris polls and six computer formulas. With no four-team playoff to start talking about, it’s all about the BCS formula.

What would be the most interesting possible BCS championship match-ups? Of course, USC vs. the LSU/Alabama winner would be a dream battle, but that would make for a boring season -- if they go unbeaten, the Trojans and Tiger/Tide victor will play for it all no matter what anyone else does. Assuming the year doesn’t go to form and there are a few key upsets to throw a curveball into the title chase, here are some of the most interesting championship possibilities. Some of the showdowns have no prayer of happening, but they would be fun.

All August long, CFN and Scout.com will get you ready for the season with these great features. But that's not all. Check CFN's 2012 preview page for even more coverage.
Aug. 1: Top coaches on the hot seat
Aug. 3: Meet the new coaches
Aug. 6: Teams that might surprise us
Aug. 8: Teams that might disappoint us
Aug. 10: Teams that could ruin your season
Aug. 13: Biggest unanswered questions
Aug. 15: Great programs heading nowhere
Aug. 17: Unknown programs on the rise
Aug. 20: Top Heisman Trophy candidates
Aug. 22: Best games of the regular season
Aug. 24: Toughest stadiums to play in
Aug. 27: Teams most likely to play in BCS
Aug. 29: Title game match-ups we'd love

Nebraska vs. Oklahoma

Anyone under the age of 40 probably doesn’t understand or care about just how big the Nebraska-Oklahoma rivalry used to be back in the days of the Big 8. The Big 12 and the splitting of the two powerhouses into the two divisions killed the buzz and killed the meaning of the match-up, even with a few meetings in the Big 12 championship, including a 23-20 Sooner win in 2010. The luster might be gone, but it would still be an interesting dive into nostalgia if the two could meet up in Miami -- the longtime destination for the Big 8 champion.

Nebraska hasn’t been able to get its national title-caliber form back since getting blown up by Miami in the 2002 Rose Bowl for the national championship. Bo Pelini might have the program turned around after a few down years, but it’s going to take a few key road wins against Ohio State and Michigan State, along with holding serve at home against Wisconsin and Michigan, to be in the title chase.

Oklahoma is one of the favorites for the Big 12 title, and its road schedule isn’t bad going to West Virginia and TCU, but it needs the offensive line to stay in one piece and Landry Jones has to turn things back around after a rough second half of last season.

Oregon vs. USC

No one outside SEC country really liked the Alabama vs. LSU rematch for the national championship last season, but what if there was a Round 3? LSU won at Alabama, Alabama won in the BCS championship, and while the second game obviously mattered more, Tiger fans can still say that the issue will never be settled since the series will always be tied 1-1. If everything breaks the right way, Oregon and USC might get that chance.

Oregon doesn’t have any national non-conference games of note like it had to open up last season against LSU, but it has to make the trip to L.A. to face USC on Nov. 3. The Ducks won’t be the underdog in any other game on the schedule. Meanwhile, USC has to play Syracuse in New Jersey and finishes up the regular season against Notre Dame. The road game at Utah is dangerous and going to Washington will be interesting, but it will take a major upset to lose to anyone other than Oregon.

If USC loses to Oregon at home in a close battle, but finishes the regular season 11-1, it will still be in the mix for the BCS championship and will be off to play for the Pac-12 title. If the Ducks go 12-0 highlighted by the win over the Trojans, they’ll be no worse than No. 2 in the BCS and could be in the top spot if there isn’t an unbeaten SEC team. Then, let’s say USC beats the Oregon in Eugene in a classic dogfight meaning each team will have won in the others’ house.

No, no one outside of the greater Tuscaloosa metropolitan area wanted the rematch for a national championship last year. Oregon vs. USC III would be different. At the very least, there would be points.

But if there’s going to be a rematch, why not ...

Alabama vs. LSU

The rematch in the 2012 BCS championship was met with a collective national yawn and ended up kick-starting the playoff debate that eventually led to a huge change in the system. However, if there was a repeat of the 2011 season with Alabama and LSU looking like the far-and-away, clear-cut top two teams in the country, then a second straight BCS championship rematch would be something truly special. Instead of being seen as yet another game between two teams from the same division, it would be seen as a clash of two heavyweights with the intensity and hype ramped up to 11.

'Bama-LSU again? Hey, why not?

For this to happen, there can’t be an unbeaten team from another BCS conference. A 12-0 Oklahoma or a 13-0 Pac-12 champion would get the nod without question over the SEC West runner-up, however, if everything else is equal and it’s a battle between one-loss teams for the right to go to Miami, and if the Alabama/LSU loser’s only defeat came to the No. 1 team in the nation, then it will be hard to argue that anything but a rematch will put the top two teams in the national title game.

LSU doesn’t play the killer non-conference schedule it had last year, but the SEC is far better with the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri and with Florida, Auburn and Mississippi State -- all on the Tiger schedule -- likely to be far, far better. If the Tigers go 13-0 with an SEC title for a second straight season, not only will it be the unquestioned No. 1 team, but it will give Alabama some juice if it loses in a tight dogfight.

Last season it was hard to justify putting Alabama in the BCS championship after losing to LSU at home. This year, if the Tide loses on the road it will get more of a break as long as it’s a could-go-either-way type of loss. With Michigan to start out the season and with road trips to Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and LSU, a one-loss 'Bama really might be deserving of playing for it all for the second year in a row despite failing to win its own division.

So you hate the idea of Alabama-LSU, The Sequel? Be patient. Your playoff is on the way soon.

- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 1 
- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 2