So thanks to the madness of this season, it’s entirely possible that we will end up with no teams from a major conference with fewer than two losses. In fact, the only things that need to happen to make that a reality are wins by LSU over Ohio State and Virginia Tech over Kansas. If that happens -- and not only is that scenario possible, but it’s probably what most people expect -- then forget the major conferences, there’ll be only one team in the nation with fewer than two losses: currently undefeated Hawaii. I think you can see where I’m going with this for the final regular-season edition of my College Football rankings.
1. Hawaii (12-0, BCS No. 10)
That’s right. They’re No. 1. Now, I know the complaint about the Warriors is that they haven’t played anyone. True. But they haven’t LOST to anyone either. Ya know who else in the country can say that? No one. Right now, Hawaii is like Russell Crowe in the first fight scene in “Gladiator” (one of my 10 favorite movies of all time). Hawaii is standing in the middle of the ring, having defeated all comers, yelling out “Are you not entertained?! Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here?!” They will have their vengeance, in this life or the next.
2. LSU (11-2, BCS No. 2)
The Les Miles comment that they’re undefeated “in regulation” is silly, but ya know what, it’s also true. I know they have two losses, but they were both close losses. Throughout the season, LSU looked like the best team in the country, and they never looked bad, even in losing two games.
3. Ohio State (11-1, BCS No. 3)
For all the people that complain about Hawaii’s schedule (and those people aren’t completely wrong), I don’t hear much yapping about Ohio State’s cakewalk of a non-conference schedule: Youngstown State, Akron, Washington and Kent State. That’s an FCS team, two of the worst teams from the MAC and the same Pac-10 team that Hawaii played. And I’d argue that the best in-conference team Hawaii played (Boise State) is better than the best in-conference team Ohio State played (Illinois). And Ohio State LOST that game. So there.
4. Oklahoma (11-2, BCS No. 4)
I know Bob Stoops kept pushing that whole “we just beat the No. 1 team on a neutral field” argument, which was true. However, Texas Tech could argue “we beat the team that just beat the No. 1 team on a neutral field”. Colorado could make that same argument. And yes, both of those games were close losses on the road, but they were still losses to pretty bad teams.
5. Virginia Tech (11-2, BCS No. 5)
At the end of the season, the Hokies were playing as well as any other team in the nation. It’s just hard to shake that image of them at the beginning of the season, getting absolutely pasted by LSU. This feels right for them.
6. USC (10-2, BCS No. 7)
Speaking of teams playing as well as anyone, here are the Trojans. You have to wonder if this season would have been completely different if they’d just pulled J.D. Booty from the Stanford game since he was hurt. They beat Arizona and Notre Dame handily without him, and lost to Oregon by just a touchdown. Without that one-point loss to the Cardinal, USC is probably in the BCS Title Game instead of LSU.
7. Georgia (10-2, BCS No. 5)
The Dawgs were actually lobbying for a spot in the title game, despite the fact they didn’t even win their DIVISION. That’s what college football has been reduced to. Not playing is better than losing (just ask Ohio State). The thing is, Georgia hasn’t actually lost since Oct. 6. This is why a playoff system would be helpful. A team like Georgia, that took awhile to find itself, wouldn’t be penalized so heavily for a 4-point loss on September 8th.
8. Missouri (11-2, BCS No. 6)
I don’t have much to add to the tomes that have been written on how the Tigers blew their chances Saturday. But I do blame them for the mess we’re stuck with now.
9. West Virginia (10-2, BCS No. 9)
See above. And fuck the refs that tried to hand the West Virginia-Pitt game to the Mountaineers on a silver platter. Holy crap. That was one of the most lopsided, one-sided officiated games I’ve ever seen.
10. Kansas (11-1, BCS No. 8)
The Jayhawks, like Ohio State, played only one really good opponent all season. And like Ohio State, they lost that game. However, Kansas languishes down here, because the front of their jerseys say “Kansas”. I know, I’m complaining about it, and I’m guilty of it too, since I’ve got them ranked LOWER than the BCS computers. But sometimes the front of those jerseys don’t lie. Kansas is as incomplete of an 11-1 team as you’ll find.