The BCS title game hunt appears to be down to three as both West Virginia and Missouri controls its own destiny in an unlikely and unexpected match-up as recent powers USC, LSU, Oklahoma and Ohio State won’t move up unless the Mountaineers or Tigers lose. Ohio State would likely be next in line with only one loss. We warned last week that LSU was not the infallible sure-thing that many expected when they took over the #1 spot and Arkansas spoiled the Tigers season in LSU’s second triple-OT loss of the season. A LSU loss this week would send the Tigers out of the BCS completely as Tennessee would earn the automatic bid and Georgia would be a higher ranked at-large team. The potential match-up of Missouri and West Virginia is sure to draw critics and there is no question that those teams would likely be underdogs against several of the two-loss contenders (as Missouri is this week) but if they win this week they both are deserving to play for the national championship, even if they are arguably not the best teams. Every team had its chance to go undefeated and only one team so far has done that.
Hawaii cracked the top 12 in the standings this week and a win over Washington this week would give the WAC a second BCS team in two years as the system appears to be working to help out the smaller conferences as well. Several games this week still have a lot of meaning this week. A number of teams could still win the Pac-10 and the automatic BCS bid as tiebreaker scenarios could come into play should USC lose to UCLA for the second straight year. Several teams in the less prominent games are fighting for bowl bids still, including a few programs that have endured extensive bowl droughts. This week’s Thursday college game was one of the biggest regular season games of the 2006 season but is an afterthought this season as Rutgers and Louisville were not factors in the Big East.
The NFL will take center-stage this Thursday although many people will be scrambling to find a place to watch the game as the NFL Network dispute continues with many major cable providers. Just as many started to speculate about 30-point spreads for New England games the Patriots had a major scare Sunday night with the Eagles delivering an impressive showing for the NFC despite eventually losing. Although the AFC is considered vastly superior still, the NFC is winning the against the spread battle this season, picking up two more wins last week. The Patriots may still be 30-point favorites in a few weeks with the Jets and the Dolphins in a few weeks. A 14-0 vs. 0-14 match-up would certainly provide some intrigue and both teams appear capable of making it happen. Every minute counts in the NFL as three games last week had spread winner changing scores in the last six minutes of the game. Three other games had a team in red zone threatening for a spread winner changing score in the last six minutes and fail to deliver. There were also nine non-offensive touchdowns scored last week in the 15 games prior to Monday night. Good Luck.