Archived Story

West teams have inside track in BCS

Published 6:51pm Thursday, October 31, 2013

If you are a fan of the SEC, this may be a foreign subject to you. But the late-night time slot on television continues to be the best that college football can offer – for the moment.
Question is, do these games mean anything?
Not only did the two heart-stoppers from this past weekend affect the BCS championship picture, they also had a direct impact on the Rose and Fiesta bowls.
In case you nodded off: Stanford – the highest-ranked one-loss team in the chase – survived a furious rally to hold off Oregon State, 20-12.
The game was deemed so over that the Beavers’ fans started exiting Reser Stadium in the fourth quarter. See? Alabama isn’t the only apathetic program to have the fans leave early.
No, like Tuscaloosa, there really isn’t a lot going on in Corvallis after 10 p.m. – I’d know because I have visited both places.
Stanford held a 20-9 lead and the ball with less than five minutes left to play. Stanford fumbles and Oregon State turns it into a field goal. The game ended on a fourth-down pass that was broken up in the end zone.
That salvaged victory moved Stanford into the No. 5 slot in the BCS poll. Stanford was good enough to beat Oregon State but not good enough to beat any of the teams ahead of them in the standings.
Stanford can now single-mindedly look forward to the Nov. 7 showdown with Oregon in Palo Alto. No. 3 Oregon had its hands full with the No. 12 UCLA Bruins in Eugene. The Ducks had a punt blocked, fumbled and played as sloppy as you can play in the first half.
The Bruins defense looked as good as any team in the country – for one half.
The game was tied 14-14, but there are two halves to a football game. Oregon cleaned up their earlier mistakes and dominated the second half, outscoring the Bruins 28-0.
With that victory over a very good Bruins team, the Ducks moved into the coveted No. 2 spot, jumping Florida State.
More on Oregon: The Ducks’ prolific offense is even more remarkable considering scatback De’Anthony Thomas has been a non factor the past five games since injuring his ankle against Cal Sept. 28.
Thomas played some in the first half against UCLA, but removed himself for the entire second half of the game.
It didn’t take long for the BCS standings to straighten out. As predicted, Oregon jumped Florida State. The difference was the Ducks moved up two spots to No. 2 in the BCS computer component. The computers and human polls are all in line now with Alabama, Oregon, FSU and Ohio State. Stanford is in the No. 5 spot as the best one-loss team. The next two weeks are going to have a huge impact on the BCS race, as six teams in the top 10 face each other in critical games.
No. 7 Miami (Fla.) plays No. 3 Florida State on Saturday. Nov. 7 is shaping up as the most exciting Thursday in the history of college football. No. 5 Stanford hosts No. 2 Oregon on the same night No. 10 Oklahoma plays at No. 6 Baylor.
Wacko in Waco: The No. 5 ranking in the Associated Press poll is the highest the Bears have been ranked since being No. 3 in 1953.
Playing it forward: Friday night on ESPN, a banged up USC Trojans team travels to Corvallis to play Oregon State. Trojan fans remember too well about the game up there in 2008. That loss cost the Trojans a shot at the national championship.
The Florida State – Miami game will be called the “Mauling of Miami” when this game is over. Both teams are 7-0, but that is the only thing they have in common.
This year’s “Cocktail Party” between Georgia and Florida played in Jacksonville, Fla. should be sponsored by Blue Cross.
What was supposed to be a showdown of national title contenders from the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern division, has become a game scheduled between two injury-riddled, three-loss teams trying to catch Missouri.
Until next time…
Meyers is a sports columnist for The Outlook. You can follow him on Twitter at @brucemeyers11.