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The real BCS controversy (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday December 7, 2005 11:34AM; Updated: Wednesday December 7, 2005 2:10PM
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If the BCS was operating with the five-bowl system it will have next year, what would the matchups be?
--Hank Eng, Davis, Calif.

That's a great question, but I'd expect nothing less from the athletic hotbed of Davis, Calif., where on Sunday, Division I basketball newcomer UC-Davis followed up its shocking football upset of Stanford earlier this year with a 64-58 win over ... Stanford!

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The BCS honchos have yet to lay out a selection process for the new system, though two things we do know are: 1) Notre Dame would get an automatic entry for finishing in the top eight (the Irish get less money, but their own entry clause next year) and 2) TCU would be in automatically because it had a higher ranking (14th) than the highest-rated BCS-conference champion, Florida State (22nd).

I assume bowls that lose "anchor" teams to the title game will still get top choice of replacements, which in this case would be the Rose (which would likely take Oregon) and Fiesta (which would still take Notre Dame). With that in mind ...

National-title game: USC vs. Texas
Rose: Penn State vs. Oregon
Fiesta: Notre Dame vs. West Virginia
Sugar: Georgia vs. TCU
Orange: Florida State vs. Ohio State

Getting excited yet?

Before opinions become clouded by some huge-but-misleading bowl win (i.e. Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl last year, or Clemson in the Peach Bowl two years ago), what team, if any, with six to eight wins do you foresee realistically taking the next step and winning 10-plus games next year?
--J. Scott, Houston

I like the way you think, sizing up the 2006 season now, before the bowl games -- most of which are no indication whatsoever of what's to come -- muddle up our lasting impression of this one. I haven't even begun to pore over depth charts, schedules, players who might leave for the NFL, etc., but right off the bat, one team you may want to keep an eye on going into next season (and I swear this is a coincidence) is Clemson. The Tigers were as competitive as anyone in the ACC the second half of the season, have a great, young running back in James Davis and will welcome back the bulk of a very good defense. They do lose Charlie Whitehurst, but with all due respect to Charlie, I think they'll survive.

I'm tired of the mostly East Coast journalists telling us that Penn State is college football's "story of the year." Did Penn State lose Nick Saban and Alley Broussard before the season began? Did Penn State survive two hurricanes and numerous displacements? Did Penn State have to rearrange its schedule? Did Penn State have to play a "home game" at Arizona State? Did Penn State play three overtime games this year? Did Penn State go on the road and beat a then-undefeated Alabama team in November?
--Jay, Houma, La.

Did LSU win its conference?

Will someone please explain to me why there isn't more (actually ANY) uproar about the ACC sending a four-loss team to the BCS?
--Alan Curran, Pittsburgh

I think it's because that four-loss team is Florida State, one of those programs that gets the benefit of the doubt, no matter its record. If the four-loss ACC champion was Maryland, every columnist in the country would be screaming bloody murder.

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