Florida State, Ohio State Set the BCS Stage

Florida State, Ohio State Set the BCS Stage

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Nick Saban decided to go with an improbable 57-yard field goal against Auburn on Sat., a decision that quickly came back to bite him. The Tide’s chances of defending its national championship may have gone up in smoke when kicker Cade Foster’s three-point attempt landed in the arms of cornerback Chris Davis, who ran it back the length of the football field to shock Alabama.

Following that classic ending, we have Florida State and Ohio State ranked 1-2, with both teams likely to play for the BCS championship in Jan., provided that they win their respective conference championships. Florida State should beat No. 20 Duke on Sat., but Ohio State must beat a Michigan State team that is 11-1 and ranked No. 10.

There is one more variable in the mix that might throw things off: No. 3 Auburn vs. No. 5 Missouri playing for the SEC championship. Although its seems unlikely that a one-loss team might move ahead of a 13-0 team from a power conference, that possibility remains. Moreover, if both Florida State and Ohio State lose, bet on the SEC winner and Alabama moving up. It is a scenario that cannot be ruled out and would set the stage once again for an all-SEC BCS title game. Shades of Alabama-LSU in Jan. 2012.

Oklahoma State, ranked No. 6, will need a lot of help to qualify for the BCS title game, but it seems unlikely that there is a scenario that would favor the Cowboys. This Sat. OSU meets No. 17 Oklahoma, with the Sooners hoping to deny the Cowboys a piece of the Big 12 championship. The strongest case working against OSU is its loss to 4-8 West Virginia. It is doubtful that any voters would overlook that loss.

With the regular season coming to an end and championship games in the offing, the following are my predictions:

Oklahoma State 41, Oklahoma 27 — Expect a tight contest for about three quarters before the Cowboys wear down the Sooners. OSU has the home crowd on its side, an advantage that U of O will not be able to overcome.

Missouri 31, Auburn 24 — I will go out on a limb and take the Tigers with this one. Auburn won two consecutive games with its back against the wall, but this time “third” won’t be a charm.

Arizona State 38, Stanford 27 — No. 7 Stanford beat No. 11 Arizona State the first time that these two met. Since, then Stanford has seen its national title aspirations dissolve. ASU’s beat down of Arizona last Sat. has shown us that the Sun Devils’ Taylor Kelly may not be a Heisman hopeful but he carries his own when it counts.

Florida State 49, Duke 17 — Duke at 10-2 has won more games than it ever has. Still, they’ll be facing a Seminole team that is as good as we have ever seen. Look for FSU to make a solid case for its BCS bid, punching its ticket early and often.

Ohio State 23, Michigan State 20 — The Buckeyes have received much criticism for their supposedly “light” schedule, yet they keep on winning. I think they’ll pull out the win and face the Seminoles for the BCS championship.

Navy 31, Army 13 — The traditional Army-Navy game is not played until Dec. 14, but it warrants a mention here. Last year, Navy beat Army 17 to 13, extending its series winning streak to 11 games. Army hasn’t won since 2001 and it doesn’t look as if 2014 will be the year that the embarrassment ends. Bowl-bound Navy won’t let up and they’ll secure the win by the fourth quarter.

See AlsoIconic Rivalry: Army Versus Navy

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Categories: NCAA Football