Week 12 upsets create BCS chaos
The BCS standings are being treated for shock. And so is Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oklahoma and Clemson.
On a college football weekend that was supposed to be as predictable as those Urban Meyer-to-Ohio State reports, three of the top five and four of the top seven teams in the country were evicted from their BCS championship hotel suites.
No. 2 Oklahoma State? Just leave your room key at the front desk. No need for you to stick around after a double-overtime road loss to 27-point underdog Iowa State on Friday night. You're done.
No. 4 Oregon? Now you know how Stanford felt when you derailed its national title hopes a week ago. USC came into Autzen and eliminated the Ducks once and for all from the championship discussion with a 38-35 victory.
No. 5 Oklahoma? You got RGIII'd at Baylor, the first time in 21 tries that Baylor had ever beaten the Sooners. OU couldn't have stopped quarterback Robert Griffin III if the Selmon brothers and Boz himself had played in the 45-38 loss in Waco on Saturday evening.
Anyway, one-loss Oklahoma is now two-loss Oklahoma.
No. 7 Clemson? The less said about your 37-13 defeat at unranked North Carolina State, the better. The Tigers were 8-0 on Oct. 28. They're 9-2 today.
And just to be polite, why not include No. 25 Florida State into Meltdown Saturday? The Seminoles were never players in the BCS equation, but you liked their chances to win at home against Virginia. Instead, they'll be getting a divorce from the Top 25.
History repeated itself this weekend. Ten years ago, three of the top BCS five were on the wrong end of the scoreboard lights. But nobody saw this coming.
Thanks to the carnage, controversy is the BCS's new best friend. And all because undefeated Oklahoma State isn't undefeated anymore. And because Oregon quacked up at the absolute worst time. And because Oklahoma's defense was exposed by a quarterback who had better be invited to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
If the BCS projections are correct, it will be an all-SEC top three: LSU (11-0) at No. 1., Alabama (10-1) at No. 2 and Arkansas (10-1) at No. 3. Oklahoma State (10-1) is expected to be No. 4 -- not that it matters right now.
What matters is that Arkansas travels to LSU this Friday. And Alabama travels to Auburn for Saturday's Iron Bowl, college football's version of a despise/despise relationship.
Not much is at stake -- only LSU's grip on a BCS championship berth. Beat a lethal Razorbacks team and then win the SEC championship (is that all?) and the Mad Hatter will be in New Orleans for the Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game.
For Alabama, a win would all but ensure the Crimson Tide a place in the national championship. Better yet for Bama, it could mean a rematch against the Tigers, who seemingly crushed the Tide's BCS chances with a Nov. 5 victory in Tuscaloosa.
But that was then and this is now. College football did a 180 on Friday and Saturday nights.
Think about it:
• Oklahoma State committed five turnovers and missed what could have been a game-winning 37-yard field goal with 1:17 left in regulation against Iowa State. The Cyclones won in double-OT.
• Oregon committed three turnovers and missed a -- wait for it -- 37-yard game-tying field goal as time expired.
• Oklahoma committed three turnovers and called a timeout with 46 seconds remaining when it appeared Baylor was content to let the clock run out and head to overtime. Instead, Griffin scrambled for 22 yards and a first down on the next play. Three plays after that, he threw the game-winning touchdown pass.
• Clemson committed four turnovers in its loss.
• Florida State missed what could have been a game-winning 43-yard field goal with 1:13 remaining.
It was supposed to be a mostly quiet, predictable weekend, a weekend to go with the chalk. Sure, USC, which is in the NCAA big house and ineligible for postseason play, was going to treat the trip to Oregon like a bowl game. But conventional wisdom still had the Ducks winning at home.
Instead, conventional wisdom has an ice pack on its head and is asking, "What just happened?"
The BCS is concussed. Even Alabama added to the craziness by giving up 21 points in its win against FCS member Georgia Southern.
This season has officially lost its mind, which isn't such a bad thing. We thought we had clear-cut national title matchup (unbeaten LSU against unbeaten Oklahoma State). Now we have LSU and BCS bedlam.
There are the once-beatens -- Bama, Arkansas, Oklahoma State and, sure, why not, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Boise State. And by the way, Houston is 11-0.
So here's what we know going into the final two weeks of the regular season: We don't know anything.
Friday and Saturday taught us that much.
Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hear Gene's podcasts and ESPN Radio appearances by clicking here. And don't forget to follow him on Twitter @GenoEspn.
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