Toughest path to BCS title runs through stacked SEC
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org
Manti Te'o, Stephon Tuitt, Bennett Jackson
Life is not fair.
Life in the SEC is completely unfair. Arguably at least five teams that can beat anyone else in the country crammed into one conference, then being penalized for a slip-up, is a big reason why SEC fans feel as if a team from their conference should be in the title game every season, unbeaten or with one loss.
It’s hard to dispute that this season.
Throw Oregon, Ohio State, Kansas State and Notre Dame into Alabama’s schedule, and the Buckeyes and Wildcats would be three-loss teams, while the Irish and Ducks likely would have two losses when the smoke cleared.
Of the four unbeaten teams that are still eligible for the BCS title game — sorry, Buckeyes — Alabama definitely has the toughest road, going to LSU this weekend, hosting Texas A&M, then playing Florida or Georgia in the SEC championship game.
Among the other three, Notre Dame has the easiest:
Notre Dame — Pitt, BC, Wake Forest and then at USC.
Kansas State — Oklahoma State, at TCU, at Baylor, Texas and no conference-title game.
Oregon — at USC, at Cal, Stanford, at Oregon State and Pac-12 title game.
Alabama — See above and be in awe.
† If Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is being touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate, what does that make a more talented linebacker like Jarvis Jones?
† On the scale of grotesque injuries, Marcus Lattimore’s knee falls somewhere between the Joe Theismann, meet Lawrence Taylor and the Willis Mc-
Gahee, meet the Buckeyes.
† With Lattimore’s draft status for next season all but tabled, Clemson’s Andre
Ellington is the highest-rated running back on most draft boards.
† The latest Obnoxious College Fans Poll has just come out. Congrats, Ohio State fans!
† Matt Barkley is going to look right at home in Kansas City Chiefs red next season.
Players of the week
WR Marqise Lee, USC: Down goes the Pac-12 receiving record, as Lee had 345 yards on 16 catches, scored two touchdowns and returned a punt for a touchdown. The Trojans still lost.
OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia: The best defensive player in the country had three sacks, two fumble recoveries and 12 tackles and ended a key Florida drive by stripping the ball from tailback Jordan Reed.
0-5 The SEC record for Tennessee for the third consecutive season, as the temperature on the chair Vols coach Derek Dooley is sitting on continues to rise.
Key games Saturday
Oregon at USC, 6 p.m., Fox-32: Throwing up just more than 53 points per game doesn’t look to be getting old for the Ducks, but USC might be their stiffest test so far.
Alabama at LSU, 7 p.m., Ch. 2: After dismantling previously unbeaten Mississippi State, the top-ranked Tide has a date in Baton Rouge to face the Tigers. Hide the wife and kids.
Nebraska at Michigan State, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 7: Unfortunately, someone has to win the Big Ten. It’s a rule. Why not the Cornhuskers?