Chris Dufresne: College football's crystal ball is a little cloudy at the moment

Blame it on the sinister Bowl Championship Series master plot to faucet-drip the suspense until the last Harris pollster is tracked down at a bar singing his college fight song on a tabletop.
Dec 5, 2013

 

 

This just in: The man who gets paid to know is suddenly a know-nothing.
Blame it on the sinister Bowl Championship Series master plot to faucet-drip the suspense until the last Harris pollster is tracked down at a bar singing his college fight song on a tabletop.
The final BCS season, true to its murky form, has turned all of us second-guessers into guessers.
"No matter where you live, you just have to watch it all," Bill Hancock, executive director of the BCS, said this week.
People keep asking me questions and getting the same answer: "Don't know."
For example:
Who was that coaching Alabama against Auburn last week?
Don't know.
It appeared someone kidnapped the real Nick Saban while an impostor misled the Crimson Tide to the most discombobulated performance of the Saban era.
The real Saban doesn't go for it on fourth and two when a chip-shot field goal gives his team a 10-point fourth-quarter lead. He doesn't attempt a 57-yard field goal with one second left in a tie game knowing his kick protection unit is slower than the Clydesdales.
That final horrible decision allowed Auburn's Chris Davis to return the missed kick 109 yards for the winning touchdown.
Never in a million years does the real Nick Saban let that happen.
Which teams are going to play in the BCS title game?
Don't know.
The odds favor Florida State and Ohio State, but it could be Florida State-Auburn, Florida State-Missouri, Florida State-Alabama, Ohio State-Auburn, Ohio State-Missouri or Ohio State-Alabama.
What about the rest of the BCS bowl lineup?
Don't know.
Not one of the five BCS bowl games is officially set.
The Rose Bowl is either going to be Arizona State or Stanford versus Ohio State or Michigan State.
Michigan State, win or lose Saturday against Ohio State, will probably represent the Big Ten. Or it could be Ohio State if the Buckeyes finish undefeated but somehow don't make the BCS title game.
The best news: Wisconsin has been eliminated from a fourth-straight Rose Bowl appearance.
Why is Louisville still ranked ahead of Central Florida in both BCS polls?
Don't know.
Central Florida won the head-to-head at Louisville, and the Knights' only blemish is a three-point loss to South Carolina. Central Florida can wrap up the American Athletic Conference title with a win at Southern Methodist. That win will clinch a likely spot in the Sugar Bowl.
Yet, Louisville is still one spot ahead of UCF in the two polls used by the BCS: Harris and USA Today.
That is important because if Ohio State loses on Saturday and Missouri wins the Southeastern Conference, those same voters will decide whether to send Missouri or non-champion Alabama to the BCS title game.
Based on their Louisville-UCF pattern, they just might vote in the non-champion.
If the Pac-12 is the second-best conference, why is it probably not going to get a second team in a BCS bowl?
Don't know.
Oregon is 10-2 but the Ducks' hope probably hinges on Northern Illinois losing the Mid-American Conference title game to Bowling Green.
It could mark the first time Oregon's fate has been put in the hands of a MAC result.
Oregon deserves the nod over Clemson, which plays in the worst division among the top five leagues. Clemson is 53 points from being undefeated this year but is apparently a BCS cinch.
The Orange Bowl wants Clemson even though two years ago Clemson embarrassed the bowl in a 70-33 loss to West Virginia.
Why did Ed Orgeron quit on the USC players he said he loved so dearly?
Don't know.
This, to me, is a real mystery. My guess is he started out wanting the USC job and ended up demanding it. He didn't get it, so he quit. Sounds like Orgeron let emotions get in the way of coaching, to the bowl-game end, the Trojans he so valiantly led.
USC Athletic Director Pat Haden said he begged Orgeron to stay as the top and highly paid assistant. Orgeron has every right to want to move on and become a head coach, but what about his responsibility to players putting on a USC uniform for the last time?
Who is going to win the Heisman Trophy?
Don't know.
This is one of the craziest races ever. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston would be a lock if not for a sexual assault allegation.
The decision on whether to prosecute was not expected until after Heisman ballots were due on Dec. 9, but the Florida state attorney said Wednesday the decision would come Thursday.
Will charges be filed?
Don't know.
If he is charged with a felony, Winston would immediately be ineligible under Florida State rules.
Even if Winston is cleared, will there be enough doubt to impact Heisman voters?
Don't know.
Three candidates who could have taken advantage of this uncertainty did not produce last weekend, allowing long shot Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch to jump all the way to No. 2 in some projections.
Heisman voters are torn. A voting colleague of mine said the Heisman Trust should put a qualifier on this year's award, stating a Winston win would be nullified it he ends up being convicted of a crime. The colleague said the trophy should then be awarded to the No. 2 finisher.
What a mess.
Why is Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater no longer a serious candidate?
Don't know.
He is having a fabulous year on a team that is 10-1. He ranks third nationally in NCAA passing efficiency and has thrown for 3,268 yards with 25 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
Yet, Bridgewater received one point in one recent straw-poll of Heisman voters. That put him in a three-way tie for seventh.
Did Bridgewater play poorly in Louisville's Oct. 18 loss to Central Florida? No, he actually completed 29 of 38 passes for 341 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Does Duke stand a chance of defeating No. 1 Florida State in Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference title game?
No.
That's the one thing I do know.

 

 

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