By Chris Dufresne Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Take a hard look at this week’s Bowl Championship Series standings, because this is probably as good as it’s ever going to get.
Could these be our golden years?
It’s Oregon, followed by Auburn, followed by three more ducks: Huey (Texas Christian), Dewey (Boise State) and Louie (Utah).
That represents two schools from privileged conferences and three reformed schools.
We appear to have achieved, at last, inequality and injustice for all!
That won’t satisfy those who want the BCS brought before The Hague, and that’s fine, but the BCS has reached an important turning point.
For the first time in the BCS’ 13-year history, the “have-not” schools have earned the right to spar for the silly, season-ending booby prize passed off in most years (except 2003) as a real national title.
This is a huge upgrade from the BCS being a cabal guilty of antitrust crimes.
That doesn’t mean undefeated Boise State is going to walk away happy. Shoot, undefeated Auburn won the Southeastern Conference championship in 2004 and walked away the opposite of happy.
It just means Boise State, Texas Christian and Utah might end up like Auburn in 2004. And that should make anyone proud — getting snubbed the way an SEC champion did.
There appears (for now) to be no coordinated “fix” against three schools trying to bust in from outside — it’s just BCS zaniness at its finest.
Based on the latest standings, and key losses by Michigan State and Missouri over the weekend, every school that deserves a shot at the BCS title is at least in the mix.
The surprise was Boise State getting knocked to No. 3 after a 29-point win, but crazy things happen when you play on Tuesday and leave matters to minds and machinery.
There are two undefeated schools left from the major conferences but, unfortunately for the Cinderfellas, they are leading the two best conferences.
If Oregon and Auburn win the rest of their games, the game is over. What are you going to do?
You might cry foul if one-loss Alabama was to defeat Auburn, win the SEC championship game and then jump TCU, Boise State or Utah into the title game. But Alabama is the defending national champion from a conference that has won the last four BCS titles.
Last season, Boise State and TCU both earned BCS at-large berths and played each other in the Fiesta Bowl. Ten years ago, that possibility was considered impossible by those fixated on the BCS being fixed.
The joke at last season’s Fiesta Bowl was that Boise and TCU might meet in a rematch this season, in the same stadium, for the BCS title.
And here we sit Nov. 1 with a chance that could happen. Quoting Jim Carrey from the movie “Dumb and Dumber,” after the girl he’s courting tells him there’s a snowball’s chance in hell she’ll go out with him:
“So you’re telling me there’s a chance!”
Plenty would need to happen. TCU and Boise State would have to win out and Oregon would have to lose once. Louisiana State probably needs to defeat Alabama this weekend in Baton Rouge (not impossible), and Alabama needs to turn around and beat Auburn on Nov. 26 (not impossible). And LSU, too, probably needs one more gaffe.
Would the nation be ready for Boise State-TCU or Utah?
This is also the first season the Rose Bowl must take the highest-rated non-automatic-qualifying team if it loses an anchor to the BCS title game. The Rose would lose Oregon if the Ducks win out.
That means there’s a decent chance TCU, Utah or Boise State will play in Pasadena.
If Oregon loses a game, then one of the title spots is up for grabs, with the TCU-Utah winner then seemingly having the inside track on Boise State.
Of course, none of this is better than a playoff, but here’s the news flash: There isn’t going to be a playoff, at least not for three years, so the least the BCS can be is a system that can hose Boise State/TCU/Utah six years after it “hosed” Auburn.
Welcome, kids, to the BCS fun house.