Iowa State started the string of upsets on Friday night beating Oklahoma State in what was an unusual game. I watched a lot of that contest and it looked like Oklahoma State never realized they were in a heck of a battle. I didn't see any emotion on the field or the sideline from that team.
I don't know if the tragedy of the plane crash involving the Oklahoma State basketball coaches earlier in the week had an effect on them or what it was, but they never got into the game. Combine that with Oklahoma losing for the first time ever to Baylor the following night and it was a rough weekend for the teams in that state.
Oklahoma State was in the driver's seat to play for the national championship. Now, with one loss, it is going to be tough for the Cowboys to recapture that position even if they put a whipping on Oklahoma. After losing in Ames that probably won't be enough, especially after Baylor ran up and down the field on Oklahoma knocking the Sooners out of the title chase, making a victory over that team less impressive to the pollsters and the computers.
USC played very well in upsetting Oregon and that didn't look like a fluke to me with the type of quarterback play the Trojans are getting from Matt Barkley. Southern Cal also has two young receivers who are out of this world and caused major problems for Oregon's defense.
All of those games enabled the Southeastern Conference to come out of the weekend smelling like a rose with the LSU, Alabama and Arkansas rated one-two-three in the BCS poll, and maybe that is the way it should be. I haven't seen anybody out there who is playing better than LSU.
I don't see too many teams out there who could beat LSU with the exceptions of Alabama and Arkansas. On Friday the Arkansas at LSU game could be a really close one because I think Arkansas is at least two touchdowns better now than it was when it lost early in the season at Alabama.
There are still a lot of "what ifs" with the three SEC teams in the mix hoping to follow Auburn as the national champion, including the possibility of a national champ from the SEC not even qualifying to play in the SEC Championship Game. Here is how that could happen.
If Arkansas beats LSU on Friday the Razorbacks could move to No. 1 in the BCS rankings with Alabama and LSU either 2/3 or 3/2. In that scenario the three-team tiebreaker to determine the SEC West team that will play Georgia for the league title would be to eliminate the team with the lowest BCS ranking and then pick the head to head winner of the two remaining teams to go to Atlanta to represent the division.
Things could get really interesting if that happens and Georgia defeats the SEC West winner. That could set up a BCS Championship Game in New Orleans with a rematch of two SEC West teams that didn't even qualify for their own conference championship game, much less win it.
While the current system is better than the old one of choosing a champion by polls, I do think there is a better method to determine who is No. 1 by playing all of the bowl games and then having a plus one championship game matching the teams rated one-two in the BCS ratings after the bowls. I think that would iron out most of the issues about which teams deserve to be in the championships game and would work better than the system we are currently using to determine college football's champion.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor's Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat's Picks.