This Week's College Football Rankings: Proof That the BCS Is Broken

It's looking more and more likely that the two teams in the national championship game will be from the same conference


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One of my favorite book series of all time is The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (for those who love the fantasy genre it's a must-read). In one of the books, the head villain (cleverly named Shai-tan) tells one of his minions, "Let the lord of chaos rule."

After the insanity of college football this past weekend, it's clear he was talking about the BCS. When the dust settled late Saturday night, the No. 2, 4, 5, and 7 teams in the NCAA's Bowl Championship Series standings had all lost, setting the stage for a phenomenon not seen in 40 years.

The rapid-fire string of upsets over the weekend was mind-boggling. First, No. 2 Oklahoma State had its undefeated season dashed at the hands of lowly Iowa State, a 27.5-point underdog heading into the game. That moved one-loss teams Oregon and Oklahoma back into the thick of the national championship race, at least until they both lost in a span of 30 minutes Saturday night. Throw in No. 7 Clemson's 37-13 beatdown at the hands of unranked North Carolina State and that's four upsets in 24 hours by teams ranked No. 22 or lower.

The staggering slew of upsets set the stage for a single conference holding the top three spots in the rankings. Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, that conference is the SEC, specifically the SEC West, which this year seems like it could hold its own with pro football's woeful NFC West division.

Sitting atop the SEC West is the power troika of LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas. The three schools are a combined 31-2, and the two losses were to one another—'Bama pasted Arkansas back in September and fell to LSU in the "Game of the Century" on Nov. 5. Every expert and his mother now says that only a miracle would prevent two of these teams from playing each other in the BCS title game on Jan 9.

Between now and then, the three schools will engage in a two-week brouhaha that stretches the bounds of college football tiebreakers and BCS insanity. If Arkansas should somehow beat LSU on Friday and Alabama knocks off Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, all three teams will finish 11-1, 7-1 in the SEC, and 1-1 against the other two schools. In that case, the tiebreaker comes down to an arm-wrestling contest among the three coaches, with LSU's Les Miles a likely favorite because of his steady diet of stadium grass.

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Jake Simpson is a New York-based writer.

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