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BCS Championships We'd Like To See, Part 2
Arkansas head coach John L. Smith
Arkansas head coach John L. Smith
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 24, 2012


Interesting possible national title matchups we'd love to see happen - Part 2

Preview 2012

Fun Possible Title Matchups, Part 2


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 3
 
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 matchups? 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.

2012 SEASON PREVIEW
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

Arkansas vs. Texas

There have been a few nostalgic non-conference games between the two over the last few decades, but there was a time before 1991 when Texas vs. Arkansas was one of the key match-ups of the Southwest Conference season. In 1969, these two played in one of the last pre-bowl title games, with Richard Nixon famously flying in on a helicopter and declaring Texas the national champion after a thrilling 15-14 win. This year, if everything breaks the right way for the Hogs in the nasty SEC West, and if Texas can get a little more production out of the quarterback, this might not be that far-fetched a showdown.

The Longhorn defense should be among the fastest and most athletic in college football with a track team in the secondary, a lightning-quick linebacking corps and an NFL defensive line. The offensive front should be the best in the Mack Brown era, the running backs are terrific and the receiving corps is experienced. Now the spotlight will be on David Ash to run the attack efficiently and effectively in key showdowns against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, but those three games come in the first half of the season. If the Longhorns can be 6-0, they’re going to be 12-0.

Arkansas won’t have any problems with its offense thanks to the return of quarterback Tyler Wilson and the comeback of running back Knile Davis from an ankle injury, but as always, there’s the rest of the SEC West to deal with and there’s a coaching issue after a huge change at the top, meaning the more interesting national title match-up for the Hogs could be ...

Michigan State vs. Arkansas

For two programs that get pushed out of the spotlight a bit in their respective conferences, a showdown for the national title would be the breakthrough both have been waiting for.

Michigan State is always seen as the second banana to Michigan -- even in the down times for the Maize and Blue -- but this should be the best Spartan team in the Mark Dantonio era with, potentially, the strongest defense in the Big Ten to go along with a nasty running game. While the realistic goal is the first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1988, with a high-profile game against Boise State to start the season and dates with Notre Dame and Ohio State to set the tone. Back-to-back-road trips to Michigan and Wisconsin will make or break the season, but the Spartans beat both of them in the regular season last year.

If it was a MSU-Arkansas BCS championship, the storyline would be about John L. Smith, the former Spartan head coach who took over the Arkansas program following the Bobby Petrino fiasco. He has a loaded Hog team that’s more than good enough to blow through most of the SEC slate, and with Alabama and LSU at home, this could be the year the program finally gets over the hump and becomes the star of the SEC.

Oklahoma State vs. LSU

Maybe we could finally see that Oklahoma State-LSU showdown that never was.

For those of you who wanted to see Oklahoma State get is shot last season against LSU for the national championship, this wouldn’t quite make up for it, but it would still make for an interesting storyline. Of course, it would hardly be the same with Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon off to the NFL, but the Cowboy offense is still going to be tremendous and the defense will still be among the best in the country at taking the ball away. This might not be the juggernaut of last year, but it will be a dangerous player in the Big 12 race. And then there’s the pity factor. After missing out, if all things are equal, would an 11-1 Cowboy team get the benefit of the doubt it didn’t receive last season? There are only two truly dangerous road games at Kansas State and Oklahoma, but most of the nasty games -– Texas, TCU and West Virginia –- are at home.

Could the LSU defense hold down the Oklahoma State offense? Could the Cowboy defensive front hold up against the power of the Tiger ground game? It would’ve been a fun game to see to the Cowboys close out 2011, and if OSU can rebuild in a hurry, it would just as interesting this time around.

- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 1 
- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 3