Three & Out: Week 12 College Football Reflections

By Zach Pugh
John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE

First Down: Nothing but a hater

The season is winding down, but some teams are still fighting the same battle against a flawed system that somehow manged to confuse itself last season. We all, or at least I do, remember the 2012 BCS Championship as the rematch that kick started the new playoff system that will begin in 2015. Never before had the BCS looked like such a mockery until the Oklahoma State Cowboys had been passed up by the Alabama Crimson Tide for a spot in the national title. There is, of course, many arguments to make the case for the Cowboys, but two stand out. Alabama didn’t even win their division and Oklahoma State had thee more wins over top 25 teams.

So what? The new playoff will be here soon enough and this won’t matter anymore, right? The exact same flaws are being made clear once again this season and it’s still equally frustrating to watch unfold. Yes, the Southeastern Conference has had the best team in the land the last six years, but its funny that somehow the conference is looked at as so dominant from top to bottom when there’s currently six teams under .500 in the conference. Sure, there are mediocre/bad teams in every conference, but that’s exactly the point, every conference has their elites and bottom feeders. As Bart Doan from College Football News points out, none of the SEC teams in the top 10 have a single road or neutral site win over a top 15 out of conference team.

I get it, you can look at the Oregon Ducks, Kansas State Wildcats and Florida State Seminoles and make the same case about out of conference games, but why is it the SEC is held to a higher standard and gets a pass for what other teams are criticized for? The headline for the new rankings read “SEC has six teams in the new BCS ranking,” but let’s also not forget so does the Pac-12. And while there are five SEC teams in the top 10 of the BCS rankings, Oregon can still finish the season with four victories over teams that are currently ranked in the BCS standings. Kansas State can finish with three and Bama can finish with three as well. Are the Tide really more deserving than the Ducks? But if you point out anything considered anti-SEC, you’re nothing but a hater.

Second Down: The Ducks aren’t done just yet

As I pointed out in first down, Oregon can still finish the season with four victories over teams that are currently ranked in the BCS standings. Why does that matter? Let’s assume the Tide roll over the Auburn Tigers this Saturday, that would mean either the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs or No. 2 Tide will lose because they will face off in the SEC Championship. That would leave room for the Ducks to move up, but they also need help from Florida State, who would need to beat the Florida Gators on Saturday. They would also need to beat the Oregon State Beavers plus hope for the Stanford Cardinal to lose so they can find themselves back in the Pac-12 Championship. Oh yea, they also need the USC Trojans to beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Its simple right?

Third Down: Battle Los Angeles

The UCLA Bruins shifted the tide in Los Angeles even if it’s for just one season. Matt Barkley didn’t look comfortable all game and Brett Hundley outplayed the preseason Heisman Trophy favorite. UCLA was able to snap five years of frustration and now they’re in control of their Rose Bowl destiny. The Bruins are even in position to host the Pac-12 Championship if they beat Stanford and Oregon losses to Oregon State. This scenario would set up a rematch between the Cardinal and Bruins. Jim Mora has taken the first step to bring the Bruins back to the best years Terry Donahue had as the head man.


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