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Posted October 12, 2010 | comments Leave a comment

Keeler: Forecast for title cloudy at best

By Tommy Keeler - tkeeler@nvdaily.com
For the first time all season, I had a chance to sit down on Saturday and watch college football all day.

The 3:30 p.m. slate of games left viewers with many different choices. There was the Virginia-Georgia Tech game, the Michigan-Michigan State game and the Clemson-North Carolina game. Then on CBS was the Alabama-South Carolina game. I didn't think that I would be watching much of that game; after all, there was no way the Crimson Tide would lose to the Gamecocks.

Boy, was I wrong.

I was shocked as I watched the old ball coach Steve Spurrier guide his team to the big upset over the defending national champs. I'm sure most of the top college teams were surprised and ecstatic to see the Tide fall.

Alabama seemed like it was on a mission to repeat as champions. The Crimson Tide's offense was running like a well-oiled machine. It just shows that in one game everything can change.

Suddenly, this year's championship is very much up for grabs. I think the next couple months are going to be crazy, with the championship picture changing practically every week.

There are still 13 undefeated teams, and many of them have a legitimate chance to play for the national championship. Everyone knows 13 is not considered a lucky number, and I have strong feeling many of the 13 teams will soon be dealt their first loss.

As an Ohio State fan, I guess I should be happy that they have moved to the No. 1 spot in both the AP and USA Today polls. But, it's tough to be at the top with everyone gunning for you. The Buckeyes still have a tough schedule ahead of them, including a road game against Wisconsin this week.

Many so-called experts have been going crazy about Oregon, but I'm still not sold on them, either. They had trouble beating a bad Washington State team this week. They close their season against Arizona and Oregon State, and I think one of those teams will knock them off.

Nebraska and Oklahoma are also undefeated. They are two of four Big 12 teams that are still undefeated, Oklahoma State and Missouri being the other two. I think the four teams will knock each other out of contention, once again eliminating the Big 12 from a championship.

Then there are Utah, Michigan State and Nevada. All three teams are undefeated, but right now they are ranked so low that I'm not sure they have a legitimate shot at playing in the national championship game.

Auburn and LSU are the only undefeated teams left in the SEC. They play each other in two weeks and they both still have Alabama left on their schedules.

That leaves only two other undefeated squads -- No. 3 Boise State and No. 4 TCU. The only real test Boise State has left is Nevada. TCU still has No. 23 Air Force and No. 11 Utah left on its schedule.

The Bowl Championship Series releases its standings for the first time next week, which will give everyone a better idea where things stand. The BCS (although I like to drop the C from the name when talking about it) has been lucky most of time in getting the right teams in the championship game, but maybe this year that will change.

It's very possible that there will be three or four undefeated teams at the end of the regular season, which would leave one or two teams looking in from the outside. The same thing happened last year with Boise State and TCU.

It's also possible that everybody could lose at least once and there could be a bunch of teams with one loss, all with a valid reason why they should be in the championship game. That's something that I've been waiting to see happen ever since the BCS mess began. Maybe that would finally push the powers that be to go to a playoff format. That's the only real way to determine a champion.

Another possibility would be Boise State and TCU playing for the title. You have to wonder how upset the NCAA would be if two non-BCS schools played for the championship.

Before this weekend, it seemed like Alabama winning the title was a foregone conclusion. Now, the only thing we know is we don't really know anything. Trying to figure out who is going to win the title is like trying to figure out how Cincinnati Bengals Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco (or T.Ocho as they're calling themselves) got their own talk show.

The one thing I do know for sure is with Alabama's loss, watching college football on Saturdays just got a lot more interesting.


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