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All Eyes On Me

USC v Notre Dame

SOUTH BEND, IN – OCTOBER 22: Members of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense line up against the offense of the University of Southern California Trojans at Notre Dame Stadium on October 22, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. USC defeated Notre Dame 31-17.

Three long months ago, it would have came as no surprise to any college football fan that the USC Notre Dame match-up had national championship implications on the line. The Trojans were just that talented, they had the returning Matt Barkley who was presumably a lock for the Heisman trophy, and Lane Kiffin was going to finally earn the respect he is given. In the words of Lee Corso, “not so fast my friend.”

What nobody saw coming was the Notre Dame Fighting Irish being ranked number one in the BCS and AP polls going into the final week of the season. The Irish are one win away from playing in the National Championship game, and two wins away from claiming their first national championship since 1988. However, all regions of the United States will not be glued to their TV’s come Saturday because of the feel good story that could come out of South Bend at the end of the season, that’s what ‘Rudy’ was for.

Teams whose championship hopes were all but dead last week suddenly have a pulse again if USC manages to beat the Irish this Saturday. Alabama and Georgia know that winning the SEC championship game gets them an automatic bid to the BCS National Championship game in January. Florida could now be the second team in two years to benefit by not playing in the SEC championship. If the Gators can win on the road against rival Florida State this Saturday, they are only one USC win away from playing for a National Championship.

Likewise, the Seminoles still have BCS championship aspirations. While it may seem like a long shot, with a win over the 4th ranked Gators this weekend, the Noles would undoubtedly find themselves ranked in the BCS top five. A win in the ACC championship game would have them in a group with Oregon and Kansas State for that final spot in the National Championship game.

Last but certainly not least; Urban Meyer may very well do what only Urban Meyer can do. If USC wins on Saturday, THE Ohio State could take home a national championship despite being BCS ineligible. The Buckeyes are currently ranked 4th in the AP poll and a Notre Dame loss would move them up to 2nd after the SEC championship game (Bama or UGA must lose). In a perfect world for Ohio State, USC and FSU both win this upcoming Saturday.  The winner of the SEC championship game would then play either Florida State, Oregon, or Kansas State in the BCS National Championship game. If one of these three teams pull off an upset against the SEC, Ohio State will be crowned AP National Champions.

What this all means? In the last year before the college football play-off system comes into effect, the BCS could go out in the most BCS way possible. An ineligible team (Ohio State) could very well share a National Championship with a team who lost at home last week despite being favoured by three touchdowns (Oregon).  Possibly more comical than the current BCS debacle is the fact that this is all in the hands of the least dependable person in America. And with that, Welcome to the Lane Kiffin show.

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