Last night, the Washington Huskies knocked off unbeaten, #8 Stanford 17-13 in Seattle. That’s good for the SEC for two reasons. (And we’ll keep this short and sweet.)
First, the Big Ten is already out of the BCS Championship picture and the Pac-12 is closely following in Jim Delany’s league’s footsteps. Stanford upset everyone’s preseason favorite Southern Cal two weeks ago. Now the Cardinal have fallen, too. Could a one-loss Pac-12 team reach the BCS title game? Possibly, but it’s unlikely. Which means the league’s main hope of reaching rarefied air is Oregon. If the Ducks quack their way through the season unbeaten, they’ll likely face — barring several unexpected collapses — the champion of the SEC in Miami for the crown. But if Oregon loses, it could be curtains for two of the nation’s remaining “big five” conferences.
Second, LSU’s strength of schedule just got a boost in the computer rankings and in voters’ minds. Back on September 8th, the same team that toppled Stanford last night ventured in Tiger Stadium and found out why they call it Death Valley. Final Score: LSU 41, Washington 3. There are currently four SEC teams (Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina) ranked among the nation’s top six teams and Florida’s rising fast as well. That means there’s still a chance — a better chance with the woes of the Big Ten and Pac-12 — for another SEC versus SEC national title tilt. LSU took a bit of a hit in the public eye after last week’s two-point win over what looks to be an average at best Auburn squad. Now the Tigers’ win over Washington should help to make up for that.
Bottom line: The more teams in other conferences upset one another, the more likely another SEC versus SEC BCS Championship Game becomes. Whether people outside the South want one or not.