BCS title game looms as LSU, ’Bama rematch

Published 12:41 am Monday, November 28, 2011

The Associated Press


Only a major upset or a dramatic shift by voters can prevent a rematch between LSU and Alabama in the BCS national championship game.

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The Tigers and Crimson Tide hold down the top two spots for the second straight week, and by a wide margin over third-place Oklahoma State. Stanford is fourth and Virginia Tech fifth.

LSU (1.000 BCS average) is a unanimous No. 1 in both the coaches’ poll and the Harris poll, and is top-ranked in the computer ratings. Alabama (.9551) is an overwhelming No. 2 in the polls and second in the computers.

Oklahoma State (.8712), with one game left against Oklahoma on Saturday, is third in the computer ratings and fifth in the polls.

LSU (12-0) plays Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game on Saturday. Win that, and the Tigers earn a spot in the BCS title game Jan. 9 in New Orleans. If the Tigers lose to the Bulldogs, they still have a chance to remain in the BCS top two and play for the national title.

Alabama is done with its season.

Oklahoma State plays Oklahoma on Saturday, with the chance for another statement victory against a good team. But with the Cowboys fifth in both polls it would take an enormous swing by voters to push them past either SEC team.

While there might not be any games with national championship implications and championship weekend, plenty of BCS bids will be determined.

Michigan State and Wisconsin play in the Big Ten championship game with the winner going to the Rose Bowl.

Oregon and UCLA meet in the Pac-12 title game Friday night with a Rose Bowl berth on the line. The Bruins (6-6) would not even qualify for a bowl if they lose to in Eugene.

Oklahoma State might be shut out of the national title game, but the Bedlam rivalry game will still determine the Big 12 champion and — at worst — a spot in the Fiesta Bowl.

The Atlantic Coast Conference championship game between Clemson and Virginia Tech will determine which teams plays in the Orange Bowl.

Houston can clinch its spot as this year’s BCS buster by beating Southern Mississippi at home in the Conference USA championship game. The undefeated Cougars are sixth in the latest standings.

The Big East has three teams still alive for its conference title and BCS berth: Cincinnati, Louisville and West Virginia, though none of the contenders controls the race.