BCS Big One: Louisville's Still In It
After Louisville struggled to defeat Rutgers, 24-14, on Thursday, many college football fans thought that would bump them from any chance of getting to this season's BCS championship game at the Rose Bowl.
This was one of the two challenging games on the Cardinals' schedule, and if Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova had played a better game, the Scarlet Knights may have pulled off the road upset. It may be that Louisville's toughest remaining game is actually their next one on Friday night when they host 4-1 Central Florida, who own a road win over Penn State and a loss to South Carolina in a competitive 28-25 game. Other than the Knights, Louisville plays South Florida, Connecticut, Houston, Memphis, and Cincinnati, none of whom will get them a look from the voters, even though Houston is undefeated.
After a wild day on Saturday, however, the Cardinals may be breathing a little easier.
First Oklahoma lost the Red River Rivalry game to Texas and suffered its first defeat of the year. Later on, Penn State played a gritty game in front of 105,000 fans and upset Michigan in four overtimes to give the Wolverines Loss No 1 on the season. Minutes later, Utah, who almost upset UCLA last week, pulled a stunner by knocking off No 5 Stanford at home to shuffle the Pac-12 and BCS standings. And one BCS underdog won in pyrrhic fashion, as Missouri laid a second loss on Georgia but likely lost QB James Franklin for the bulk of the remaining season with a separated shoulder.
Alabama and Oregon are on a collision course to meet for the championship but, as we're seeing again, so much can happen before then.
The Tide still has to play LSU and possibly the SEC title game. Oregon still has to play UCLA, Stanford, and suddenly stubborn Utah, so the Ducks have a way to go before booking reservations to California in January. Clemson and Florida State meet next weekend, and even after that, the Tigers still have Maryland and South Carolina on the schedule, while the Seminoles must face Miami and Florida as they try to win the de facto state title and the ACC title. Another team with a shot at the national championsip is Ohio State; the rest of their schedule is weak, outside of a home game against Penn State and a trip to Michigan.
So maybe, just maybe, Louisville can sneak in and get a shot at the national title. Teams get upset every week, and if an undefeated record weighs as heavily with voters as it always has, the Cardinals are looking good.
Louisville shouldn't get severely tested for the rest of the season and should finish undefeated, so the question remains:
Will their virtual FCS schedule keep them out of the BCS championship game?