If Only For a Fleeting Moment: What College Football Dreams, (or Nightmares), Are Made Of– Update: BCS Rankings Released
posted at 5:10 pm on November 20, 2011 by Rovin
If only for a fleeting moment………you just have to wonder how many coaches, players, alumni, and the fans of their respective teams, had that “fleeting moment” dancing in their heads yesterday—that shot at a National Championship.
It’s been quite a few years that College Football had such a weekend of upsets, games going down to the last play, or dreams crushed in the jaws of victory. Dare I say, it was a “play-off atmosphere”?
It all started on Friday night when Iowa State defeated #2 Oklahoma State in double overtime 37-31. With the Cowboys coming into this game as 27 point favorites, and QB Brandon Weeden owning the air, 42/58 476 yards, the table was supposed to be set for a final game against their rival Sooners, and on to a National Championship game against the now only undefeated contender* (LSU Tigers). With a commanding 24-7 lead three minutes into the third quarter, many thought this game would be the typical Cowboy’s second half run-away, as so many other games unfolded this season. But the Iowa State Cyclones, (who had never beaten a top five team), would have none of that storyline. With an OS missed 37 yard field goal try, (over the top of the left upright), with 1:17 left in regulation, the Cowboy’s “fleeting moment” was gone, as the Cyclones pulled out the victory in double-overtime, opening up the floodgates of one-loss teams in search of a shot at the big game.
And boy, did the floodgates open. With Oklahoma State’s loss, nine top ten teams, (ten if you count still undefeated Houston), became a consideration for that illusive #2 spot in the BCS National Championship as Saturday began.
Super Saturday or Meltdown Saturday
With #1 (11-0) LSU, taking care of business dismantling Ole Miss 52-3, it was just a matter of which team would rise to the occasion. No one had a clue that so many teams on one Saturday would fail at achieving that goal. And then, all hell broke loose. I’ll use some of Gene Wojciechowski’s descriptions of what can happen on one given Saturday:
Think about it:
• Oklahoma State committed five turnovers and missed what could have been a game-winning 37-yard field goal with 1:17 left in regulation against Iowa State. The Cyclones won in double-OT.
• Oregon committed three turnovers and missed a — wait for it — 37-yard game-tying field goal as time expired.
• Oklahoma committed three turnovers and called a timeout with 46 seconds remaining when it appeared Baylor was content to let the clock run out and head to overtime.
Instead, Griffin scrambled for 22 yards and a first down on the next play. Three plays after that, he threw the game-winning touchdown pass.
• Clemson committed four turnovers in its loss.
This season has officially lost its mind, which isn’t such a bad thing. We thought we had clear-cut national title matchup (unbeaten LSU against unbeaten Oklahoma State). Now we have LSU and BCS bedlam.
Welcome to the SEC West Invitational.
That’s what the top three will be when the new standings are released Sunday night: Divisional foes LSU (11-0), Alabama (10-1) and Arkansas (10-1), in that order. The Tigers beat the Tide. The Tide clobbered the Razorbacks. The Razorbacks visit the Tigers on Friday…….
Not since the end of the 1971 season, when the Big 8’s Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado finished 1-2-3, has one conference occupied the top three spots like the SEC likely will come Sunday night. One division of one conference? Unprecedented.
Right now it’s hard to see past those three in calculating BCS scenarios. If LSU beats both Arkansas and Georgia in the SEC title game, it will almost certainly rematch Alabama come January (assuming the Tide defeat rival Auburn on Saturday). However, if the Razorbacks beat the Tigers, the SEC’s three-way tiebreaker will likely send Alabama (which beat Arkansas 38-14 on Sept. 24) to Atlanta. If the Tide beat Georgia, they will presumably head to New Orleans, and there will be much sentiment to keep the thus-far dominant Tigers in the top two.
Note that Alabama doesn’t have a particularly overwhelming resume. As of today they’ve defeated just three teams — 9-2 Penn State, 10-1 Arkansas and 6-5 Florida — with winning records. LSU, by comparison, has six such victories. But the Tide are sitting pretty because they started No. 2 in the polls, they took the top-ranked Tigers to overtime in the Game of the Century … and because there aren’t a lot of other options.
Confused yet? In the words one of our favorite conservative ladies, “You betcha”!
One thing’s for certain, the next two weeks of College Football will be fill with “what ifs”, “how comes”, and “what nows”. And if yesterday didn’t hook you into this world of College Football Madness, it’s a lost cause. So many dreams were shattered as one team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat—others were re-ignited by the slaying of titans who might have claimed their right to a Championship. The clamor of play-offs will begin anew as the fallen will think of how close victory was in their grasp…….if Only For a Fleeting Moment.
(*only undefeated contender: For the record, the Houston Cougars are still the only other undefeated team in the BCS rankings.)
Update: BCS Rankings Released: As predicted, LSU, BAMA, ARKANSAS 1,2,3………….ALL SEC TOP THREE. OKLAHOMA ST., VIRGINIA TECH, STANFORD FOLLOW…….