Monday Mourning for October 11, 2010

Ohio State has assumed the Number 1 position in the wake of Alabama’s loss to South Carolina.

Oh, what might have been.

If Illinois would have pulled the upset against Ohio State, then it would be Oregon and Boise State as the new 1-2 teams, with TCU knocking on the door at 3 or 4. But ESPN reports that Boise State is projected to be Number 1, as of today, if the BCS Standings were released.

So, if you’re a fan of a true national champion crowned with a playoff, isn’t this more exciting? Ohio State, Oregon, Boise State, Nebraska, TCU, Michigan State, Utah, and LSU/Auburn could all be undefeated when the season ends in early December. LSU and Auburn will play each other in two weeks, but every other undefeated team does not play each other. Ohio State and Michigan State do not play each other.

This happened last year. There were many undefeated teams at the halfway point, but something is different this year: Boise State. They are poised to not only move up if anyone stumbles, but they appear to have a good chance to be 1 or 2 in the BCS standings. It’s different from two BCS conference teams being 1-2 with Boise State and TCU on the outside. In that scenario, you just tell them to find a better conference. But imagine a BCS conference team being left out because of a non-BCS team.

I still believe Michigan State is overrated, even after the win at Michigan. I think they need to be on upset alert this week when Illinois comes to town, and I don’t just say that because the Illini are my rooting interest. The Spartans have been on an emotional roller coaster since the Week 3 OT thriller against Notre Dame. With Illinois sandwiched in between an emotional win at Michigan and road trips to Northwestern and Iowa, there will be a tendency to relax at home.

Illinois has a realistic chance at seven wins this year, even if they are not successful in East Lansing. In fact, after the Spartans, no future opponent is ranked. Road games with Michigan and Northwestern no longer seem imposing, since they are no longer undefeated. Fresno State is a bowl team, but only because they play in the WAC. The Illini could lose this weekend, then win out for a 9-3 record.

Like I said during my Live Blog last weekend, start planning for New Year’s in a very appealing location.

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