Five-Step Drop: Every Year, At Least One Team Has BCS Complaints
1. The latest BCS rankings are out, and they contain few surprises. Everything is still on track for an Auburn-Oregon clash in the title game, assuming there are no surprises in the final weekend of the season. (We will now pause for your uproarious laughter at the thought of a surprise-free closing weekend).
Okay, now that that's over with, let's turn our thoughts to which team gets cheated by the BCS this year. Here's a clue: It starts with an M and rhymes with "Fichigan Fate." The Spartans, who are the only team to beat Wisconsin this season, will watch the Badgers fly off to Pasadena. This happens despite the teams finishing with identical 11-1 records. Can Sparty get an at-large bid? In theory, yes. In practice, it's not likely, because Ohio State also finished 11-1 and is two spots above Michigan State in the BCS rankings. That at-large bid doesn't have to go to the highest-rated team available. You and I know it's going to Ohio State. The Buckeyes' most impressive victory this year is over an Iowa squad that faded like a $9 pair of jeans down the stretch. The folks in Michigan are resigned to this fate, but that doesn't mean they're happy about it.
2. Speaking of sputtering, barely-controlled rage, maybe the thought of some of the potential BCS bowl matchups irritates you. A Wisconsin-Stanford Rose Bowl would be a beautiful thing indeed, but with Oregon likely headed to the title game, the Rose Bowl could be forced to take TCU, the top non-AQ team in the standings. That would also be a fantastic game, but it's just not the same as the Badgers versus the Cardinal. Don't you wish somebody could do something about that?
As Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News points out, the conference commissioners could do something about that by invoking a never-used "for the good of the game" veto over any BCS bowl matchup. Don't count on it happening, and please be advised there's no way to prevent a Big East team from going to a BCS game.
3. You might have missed it, but Louisiana-Lafayette dismissed head coach Rickey Bustle after nine seasons leading the Ragin' Cajuns. Bustle won his final game, 23-22 over Louisiana-Monroe, but his 41-65 overall record did him in.
4. The Denver Post's Woody Paige is a polarizing figure, but his look at the final game (for now) in the Colorado-Nebraska rivalry is well worth a read. You can tell he's going to miss the games, even if he's not fond of the Huskers. By the way, this won't happen, but a Nebraska-Colorado Rose Bowl becomes a possibility next season.
5. I missed this in Norman Chad's Couch Slouch column last week, but I can think of a quite a few people out there who would agree with Chad's description of USC coach Lane Kiffin: "Kiffin is basically Kato Kaelin with a headset; if his coaching father didn't gift him the keys to a football life, he'd be living in someone's guesthouse."