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Joe Nelson - Blogs

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BETWEEN THE LINES - NOV. 8

By Joe Nelson
Posted 11/08/2010 at 10:47 PM

It has certainly been an underdog dominated NFL season but the dogs also had a huge week in college football last week, going 36-19. Home favorites went just 9-21 last week to buck the season trends to date.

 

            Next year there will be a Big Ten championship game but the conference could use one this season. Iowa and Ohio State playing each other will eliminate one of the four teams with just one loss but it appears that a 3-way tie will be the most likely scenario. The tiebreaker rules changed before last season and the BCS rankings will determine the Rose Bowl qualifier if more than two teams are tied. Wisconsin currently has a slight edge on Ohio State and Michigan State but the gap should tighten in the coming weeks. It will be messy as Wisconsin beat Ohio State and Michigan State beat Wisconsin. The Buckeyes and Spartans won’t play. If Ohio State wins out impressively here is guessing that that they end up ahead in the BCS rankings by a slim margin, infuriating people in Madison and East Lansing. Ironically under the old tiebreaker rules a one loss Ohio State team would have trumped Michigan State and Wisconsin as well as the Buckeyes did not play a FCS team and the Badgers and Spartans did.

 

            LSU is currently the top ranked team with a loss in the BCS standings and if they win out they should remain there. The Tigers have a very slim chance to make it to the SEC championship game however which could make for a very interesting case if Auburn and/or Oregon lose at some point. TCU and Boise State made emphatic statements last week and the other one-loss teams in play may not have enough opportunities to make a pass in the standings.

 

            Alabama was the team pointed at as the one-loss contender that would certainly pass the undefeated teams with wins over Auburn and the SEC title game but few others will get games with enough heft to make that type of move. Alabama’s loss last week eliminates those scenarios and may open the door for others. LSU can gain some ground by beating Arkansas but that likely won’t be enough. Stanford won’t get another crack at Oregon and the Big Ten teams appear stuck as well. The Big XII has been down this year but a potential winner between one-loss Oklahoma State and one-loss Nebraska might be the only worthy case.  Both teams have considerable work to do before that game would be a reality but it is the caliber of game that could push the champion over the top, but even that team would likely need some doubt to be raised with TCU or Boise State in a close call against a weak team. Here is hoping that Auburn and Oregon win out to avoid the messy scenarios and the potential showdown between Boise State and TCU with the computers if there is only one spot to give. Auburn and Oregon would be the entertaining offensive match-up that could bring viewers and excitement to the dragged out championship bowl week.

 

            On the other end of the spectrum New Mexico got a win last week to avoid a winless season. Akron had its chances as well in an OT loss but the Zips should have a shot in the final two. Best of Luck, and on to this week’s slate…

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