With selection day a week from Sunday in the Bowl Championship Series race, it's time to play the What If game.
After Oklahoma State's shocking 49-17 victory over Baylor last Saturday, there are only three major college teams that remain undefeated -- Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State. (Northern Illinois and Fresno are also unbeaten but play in a non-qualifying BCS bowl conference.)
All three contenders for the championship game Jan. 6 in Pasadena have two games remaining before the big announcement Dec. 8.
BCS rating is one-third USA Sports Coaches Poll, one-third Harris Poll and one-third computer average of points. The latter is something that I am at a loss to explain, but it has a great deal to do with strength of schedule. Not a bad thing.
Next season all of this will be discarded. There will be a four-team playoff and a 13-person selection committee will make the pairings.
But that's next year. So let's talk about the here and now.
The latest BCS standings call for an Alabama-FSU matchup in January with Ohio State on the outside hoping that the Crimson Tide or Seminoles lose either this weekend or next.
Which brings us to the What If. This is where I get a bit diabolic.
What if Alabama loses to either Auburn (Saturday) or in the Southeastern Conference Championship game Dec. 7?
And what if Florida State loses to Florida (Saturday) or the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game the next week?
And finally, what if Ohio State loses at Michigan on Saturday or to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game Dec. 7?
If all those things come to pass, there would be no unbeaten contenders and about a half dozen teams with one loss on their record.
And you would have chaos.
Coaches in the BCS hunt would be burning up their cell phone lines in the early morning hours of Dec. 8 lobbying their friends who vote in the USA Today poll. The computers would be sputtering out new results.
When the dust settled and final standings were announced, there would be finger pointing and whining from coast to coast.
It would be noted that Alabama couldn't win their conference title; that FSU beat only one ranked team; that the best team on Ohio State's non-conference schedule was California, which had a 1-11 record; that Oklahoma State lost to West Virginia, which didn't even qualify for a bowl.
And I haven't even mentioned that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is currently the subject of a criminal investigation for an alleged sexual assault. If he is charged, the Seminoles would probably lose him for the postseason.
On and on it would go.
What a fitting way for the flawed BCS system to be rocketed into oblivion.