Believe me, I wish it was Alabama. But it’s not.
Instead, I’m looking at #11 Clemson. Not a single win over a ranked team.
And #10 Florida State. Ditto, except that they beat Clemson.
Then there’s the combo of Florida-South Carolina-Georgia. Georgia has an impressive win over Florida. Florida has an impressive win over South Carolina. South Carolina has an impressive win over Georgia. The only team with other impressive wins out of these 3 is Florida–they beat LSU and Tennessee. South Carolina will claim it deserves its ranking if it beats Clemson tonight, but as we see, that isn’t clear given that Clemson hasn’t beaten anyone of consequence.
When the dust clears, though, assuming Alabama blows out Georgia and if (big if) Notre Dame beats USC, it will be a worthy BCS title game with no legitimate challengers. Notre Dame will be deserving enough if it is undefeated after playing USC. Beating the Trojans, Stanford, Michigan, Nebraska, Michigan State is worthy enough coupled with an undefeated season, even if everyone is suspicious of them and they were helped by a bad call against Stanford. Alabama beat more good teams impressively than the three remaining claims–Florida (assuming they beat FSU), Oregon (assuming they finish off Oregon State, and even if they get a chance to play and beat UCLA in the PAC 12 finals), and Kansas State. For once, I’d be satisfied with that as a legitimate finals.
If Notre Dame loses tonight, I’d probably go with Florida then Kansas State then Oregon given their schedule and results, but not with any clear rhyme or reason. Florida beat LSU, who narrowly lost to Alabama and pounded a better than realized Washington (who then showed it by beating Stanford and Oregon State before collapsing against WSU). But Oregon beat USC when USC still thought it was USC. And if USC beats Notre Dame…hmm. Ok, maybe I put Oregon as the best of the 3, but I’m also willing to punish them for starting the season against Arkansas State, Fresno State, and Tennessee Tech. But then Florida has wins over Bowling Green, LA Lafayette, and Jacksonville State, and K-State played Missouri State and North Texas. And don’t even go to Florida State given their schedule, even if they beat Florida. Hmm…I’m back with Oregon at #3.
I know you were wondering, so that’s that. If you knew how much I hate Alabama and Notre Dame football, you’ll appreciate my conclusions all the more. Given such a game, I figure Alabama is favored by +21, but I think about how Penn State beat Miami in a similar type of game–good no nonsense defense from the midwest slowing down a seeming goliath from the south. Sadly, I don’t see Oregon or K-State giving Alabama much trouble.
Even more sadly, I’ve concluded that Alabama is the national champion (because I think Notre Dame will lose to SC tonight). My hatred of all things SEC is going to have to be quiet for 2012. I think I’m ready to start talking NBA. And I’m thinking I’ll be starting with Jeff Green.