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When Lane Kiffin got the job at USC I, like many of you, wondered what in the world he’d done to deserve one of the ten most coveted head coaching jobs in college football (granted, it was on discount at the time because of their probation issues). He’d just gone 7 and 6 with Tennessee and before that driven the Raiders into the ground to the tune of 5 and 15.

Well Lane, I’m sorry, and you’ve completely redeemed yourself.

I was in Los Angeles for most of this last week. We went out to an improv show on Friday night after the Iowa State game and I was pretty bummed out. My wife, of all people, told me, “hey, there’s plenty of football left to be played, they have to pick somebody from the one-loss teams, right? Why not us?” I laughed her off at the time and probably told her I’d give her a hypothetical amount of money (that I could actually not afford to give her) to spend at Anthropologie if OSU made the national title game. That’s how sure I was of it.

Then Clemson got stroked, OU fell in Waco, and SC hung on in Eugene.

And all of a sudden we have a race for #2 on our hands. The back door is wide open (LSU has the front on lockdown) and OSU is just waiting for Gene Chizik to invite them in to the title game party.

Let’s take a look at the eight ways the following SEC games (LSU vs. Arkansas, Auburn vs. Alabama, and Georgia vs. [SEC West team] in the SEC title game) could play out, with a few assumptions first:

  • OSU beats OU – Obviously all of this is null and void if this doesn’t happen.
  • OSU doesn’t ge’t jumped by Stanford (who plays Notre Dame) or Virginia Tech (who plays Virginia and Clemson) – They shouldn’t, especially after beating OU.
  • If LSU beats Arkansas, they play in the SEC title game. If Arkansas beats LSU, Alabama plays in the SEC title game (or so says Brad Edwards).

The scenarios (winners in bold)

Bama beats Auburn | LSU beats Ark. | LSU beats UGA: Bama is in, LSU is in, game of the century of the year part II.

Bama beats Auburn | LSU beats Ark. | UGA beats LSU: Bama’s in, and LSU is still probably in. I don’t think there’s any way they drop below #3 after the season they’ve had, even with a loss to Georgia.

Bama beats Auburn | Ark. beats LSU | Bama beats UGA: Bama’s in, Arkansas is in, somehow LSU gets left out. OSU is way out, probably still #4.

Bama beats Auburn | Ark. beats LSU | UGA beats Bama: Arkansas would have one loss, Bama would be out with two losses, and LSU would stay in. LSU Arkansas rematch. No joy in Stillville.

Auburn beats Bama | LSU beats Ark. | LSU beats UGA: Arkansas and Bama would both have two losses, OSU and LSU would play for the title.

Auburn beats Bama | LSU beats Ark. | UGA beats LSU: Bama’s out, Arkansas is out, and OSU could be #1 playing #2 LSU for the title.

Auburn beats Bama | Ark. beats LSU | UGA beats Ark.: Bama’s out (two losses), Arkansas is out (two losses), and LSU and OSU would play for the title.

Auburn beats Bama | Ark. beats LSU | Ark. beats UGA: This is not good for the Cowboys. Bama would be out, Arkansas would definitely be in the title game and I think LSU would stay above OSU because losing to Arkansas at home > losing to Iowa State anywhere.

So of the eight scenarios, OSU plays for the title in three of them, I think.

The most likely scenario would be a Bama win, and two LSU wins which would mean OSU would finish the year #3, but as we all saw last weekend (well, just watch this)

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