BCS Championships We'd Like To See
TCU DE Stansly Maponga
TCU DE Stansly Maponga
Posted Aug 25, 2012

What could be the most interesting national title matchups?

Preview 2012

Fun Possible Title Matchups

By Pete Fiutak
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- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 2
- 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 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

Boise State vs. TCU

This might be the sweetest of all BCS championship match-ups for those who hate the system and despise how college football has determined a national championship since 1998. Unlike previous big match-ups in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl and 2008 Poinsettia Bowl, this time around TCU wouldn't have any question marks after moving to the Big 12. However, Boise State would still be a hard sell from the Mountain West.

There are few interesting games in the middle of the season, but if Boise State beats Michigan State to kick off the year, it's going to be 11-0 before closing out at Nevada. Does a 12-0 Bronco team get shut out of the BCS championship discussion like it was in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009? Probably, but before going off to the Big East next year, moving out of the non-BCS conference world with a trip to the BCS championship would be extra sweet.

TCU ruined Boise State's dream season with one of the best games of 2011, a 36-35 thriller. Now, as part of the Big 12, the chances will be there to show that the program can hang with anyone with all the big showdowns against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and the rest of the league. The offense should be able to play with anyone, and the defense should be fine, but it would still take a minor miracle to equal the success of the last few years in the tougher conference.

Wisconsin vs. Georgia

A case could be made that these are the two best programs over the last decade to not play in the national championship. Both have been achingly close over the last several seasons, and at some point they're each going to have everything breaking the right way to finally get a chance to hold up the crystal trophy. Each has that break this year with their respective schedules.

Montee Ball's Badgers have always been oh-so-close to title-game contention.

It's never going to be easy to get through the SEC, and the East is far better this season, but Georgia should be the class of the division and doesn't have to face Alabama, LSU or Arkansas from the West. Going to Missouri and South Carolina will be tough, and being away from home for four games in five during the midseason will be challenging, but the defense should be every bit as strong as any in the SEC and Aaron Murray could be the league's best quarterback. Mark Richt has put together the team and the talent to finally take the next step forward.

Wisconsin also has the ability and potential to do even more after going to the last two Rose Bowls. The offensive line will once again be the Wisconsin offensive line, paving the way for Montee Ball and a bevy of talented backs. Danny O'Brien should be a nice fill-in for Russell Wilson at quarterback, and the defense will be the best since Bret Bielema took over. And, like Georgia, the schedule is a huge help with the two toughest games -- Michigan State and Ohio State -- in Camp Randall. The toughest road game is a manageable one at Nebraska, and while Purdue is dangerous, there won't be too much to worry about if the Badgers play up to their capabilities.

Virginia Tech vs. Michigan

It wasn't exactly a scintillating Sugar Bowl, with mediocre offensive play shut down by solid defenses, but it was one of the most talked about postseason games of the 2011 season after a controversial replay nullified a catch that might have given the Hokies the win. A rematch with the national championship on the line would certainly settle the issue. Virginia Tech shut down Denard Robinson once, and it would be fun to see if the D could do it again.

The Hokies have been knocking on the door ever since joining the ACC, and they played Florida State for the 1999 national championship, but they haven't been in the hunt for the BCS championship on a regular basis, always losing the one big game they need to have at the wrong time. This year's team might not be the best in the Frank Beamer era, but it has one of the nation's best quarterbacks in Logan Thomas and a nasty defense, as always. Outside of a home game against Florida State and a road trip to Clemson there aren't any games that should be a problem. Win those two, get to the ACC championship, get to Miami for the BCS championship instead of the Orange Bowl. The Hokies are due.

If Michigan can beat Alabama in the season opener then it'll be front-and-center for the BCS championship, even with road games at Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State and a home game against Michigan State. If the Wolverines are good enough to beat Alabama, they'll be good enough to beat everyone else on the slate.

Florida State vs. Notre Dame

How about a Florida State-Notre Dame showdown for old time's sake?

The luster is gone from the days of the 1993 classic when the two played one of the most important and exciting games in college football history -- a 31-24 Irish victory. In case you forgot, and chances are you blocked the dud from your mind, the Noles beat Notre Dame in last year's Champs Sports Bowl and the world isn't exactly clamoring for a rematch. But both teams are better going into this year and if they're good enough to be in the BCS championship chase, then the showdown would be epic.

For Notre Dame to get to Miami it will have to survive a schedule that could, if Boston College and Wake Forest can get to six wins, be entirely against bowl-bound teams. If the Irish are good enough to go 11-1 with road trips to Michigan State, Oklahoma and USC to deal with, and home games against Michigan, Stanford and BYU, then they'll deserve to be playing for the whole ball of wax.

Year after year Florida State is supposed to be back to its old form, and while it will never get back to the days when a top four finish was merely a formality, this really and truly should be the year when it gets back over the hump and is the star of the ACC. With one of the nation's best defenses and a talented offense that should be more balanced and more efficient, the Noles might not be the underdog all season long, even with a road game at Virginia Tech and a season-ender against Florida. Playing five road games in seven dates will be nasty, but this team is good enough to handle it, get to the ACC title game, and be in the discussion for the whole ball of wax.
- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 2
- 2012 BCS Championship Matchups We'd Like To See, Part 3