Tide Roll back into championship picture
By Chris Low | ESPN.com
There's just something about these last few weeks of the college football season.
Maybe it's the pressure of being in one of those top two spots in the BCS standings. Maybe it's the reality that there are no sure things in college football, and maybe there's a little voodoo at work in some of the other locales around the country.
Whatever the case, we've come to expect the unexpected when we get to this time of year.
But utter chaos?
That's what we got Saturday night in college football, and they couldn't be more ecstatic about it in South Bend, Ind., and a couple of different spots in SEC country.
In about 30 fascinating minutes, No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon both went down. Unranked Baylor shredded Kansas State 52-24, and No. 13 Stanford stunned Oregon 17-14 in overtime.
So scratch out (in pencil, anyway) that Kansas State-Oregon matchup in the Discover BCS National Championship Game and replace it with Notre Dame against the SEC championship game winner.
Again, with the way this season has gone, make sure you have an eraser handy.
But Notre Dame will be the new No. 1 when the BCS standings are unveiled Sunday night, and Alabama likely will be No. 2.
That's right, all those last rites everybody was reading for the SEC last week after Alabama's loss to Texas A&M were premature.
The door is still wide open for the SEC to extend its national championship streak to seven in a row. Alabama has to beat Auburn on Saturday to secure a spot in the SEC championship game, but the Tigers are suffering through their worst season in 60 years and are winless in the league.
Georgia, which is expected to be No. 3 in the newest BCS standings, already has locked up its berth in the Dec. 1 SEC championship game.
Think tickets to that contest just got a lot pricier?
Assuming Alabama doesn't stumble against Auburn and Georgia handles its business against Georgia Tech, the SEC championship game becomes a play-in game for a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.
And for all those people still fuming about the all-SEC pairing in last season's BCS National Championship Game, brace yourselves. It could happen again if Notre Dame falters this weekend at USC.
Florida likely will be No. 4 in the newest BCS standings. The Gators haven't played well the past few weeks, particularly on offense. But if they can win at Florida State this weekend, that would give them four wins over top-10 opponents, which could very easily push them into one of those top two spots in the final BCS standings should Notre Dame lose at USC.
It will be interesting to see how far Oregon and Kansas State fall.
At this point, Oregon needs help to even make the Pac-12 championship game. The Ducks will be pulling for UCLA to beat Stanford this weekend.
There's also a decent chance that five of the top seven teams in the newest BCS standings will hail from the SEC.
The league that everybody (outside the South) loves to hate is poised to occupy center stage again come January.
So hold on with both hands, because something says we've not seen the last of the chaos.