Still the best of the mess

Rock-solid SEC shows its strength in numbers: 1, 2, 3

November 21, 2011

Another week, another mess in the BCS. With four of the top 10 teams losing this weekend, the BCS standings look like a makeover gone bad with LSU and Alabama on a collision course to meet again, this time in the national championship game.

SEC reigns supreme. Those who doubt the strength of the Southeastern Conference only have to look atop this week's standings with LSU, Alabama and Arkansas all in position to play for the BCS national championship.

Fiesta could be where it's at. With a possible rematch of LSU and Alabama in the title game, the Fiesta Bowl could have the most attractive matchup of the BCS bowls with Oklahoma State and Stanford possibly meeting in Glendale, Ariz. A showdown with Brandon Weeden and Andrew Luck is too hard to pass up.

It's anyone's guess in the Big East. Cincinnati was the early leader in the clubhouse but has stumbled recently, opening the door for Louisville and Rutgers. West Virginia also is in the mix, which means the league championship could come down to the last week.

Clemson has bad timing. The Tigers already had wrapped up the division crown and a spot in the ACC title game. But they played flat against N.C. State, and that cost them a chance to make some noise in the national championship discussion.

Mike London deserves coach of the year consideration. In only his second season at the helm of the Virginia football program, London has the Cavaliers on the brink of a division title and a shot at winning their first conference championship in 16 years.

Let's not forget Brady Hoke in coach of the year discussion. Hoke has revitalized a program that hasn't had a whole lot to cheer about recently. Relying on a stout defense — 14th in the nation in total defense — and an explosive offense, Michigan is on track for a possible at-large BCS bid.

Montee Ball is the best back no one is talking about. Unless you live in the Midwest, Ball isn't a household name. The junior running back has rushed for 1,466 total yards — third in the nation — with 25 rushing touchdowns.

The coaches hot seat just got a little more crowded. With late-season collapses by Illinois, Arizona State, Washington State and disappointing seasons at places like Kansas and UAB, this could be another busy offseason with several major programs looking for new leadership.

It's a two-man race for the Heisman Trophy. Stanford's Luck has spent most of the season as the favorite with Alabama's Trent Richardson making a push toward the end of the season. Both have interesting finales with Luck facing Notre Dame and Richardson facing Auburn.

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