If you're sick and tired of Ohio State, just can't stand the thought of all things Scarlet and Gray and the Hairless Nut ... look away. (That's pretty much all of you SEC fans, no?) You're not going to like what you're about to read.
Ohio State's quest for a third straight BCS title game appearance isn't dead.
In fact, with a victory over No. 3 Penn State on Saturday in Columbus, it would be alive and well. By the end of the night, the Buckeyes may just creep back into the top 5 in the BCS standings - back in line for another trip to the BCS championship game.
Ohio State, currently No. 9 in the standings, seems to have rediscovered its mojo after being manhandled by USC on Sept. 13. The Buckeyes have turned the reins over to precocious freshman QB Terrelle Pryor and the appetizing Big Ten slate is making them hungry for more. After last week's annihilation of always-fraudulent Michigan State, Ohio State is now playing Penn State for the Big Ten championship, a spot in the Rose Bowl - at least - and perhaps an open path to Miami for the BCS title.
Of course, a victory by the Nittany Lions puts them just three cupcakes away from their first shot at the national title since 1994, when they finished second in the polls despite going undefeated. This time, they may get to settle it on the field as long as either Texas or Alabama drops another game the rest of the season.
Those of you who don't believe that the Big Ten should have a place in the BCS title game, you'd better pick your poison. And as distasteful as it may sound at the moment, you're better off rooting for the Buckeyes and hope for the best. Otherwise, you can pretty much pencil in Penn State and 81-year-old Joe Paterno for a place in Dolphin Stadium on Jan. 8.
The Ohio State-Penn State, 8 p.m. ET showdown headlines this week's BCS Biggies ... and here are the others:
No. 6 Oklahoma State at No. 1 Texas, 3:30 p.m. ET - This is Part III of the four-game gauntlet Texas is trying to clear in a four-week span. The Longhorns do have the benefit of playing at home again - as they were last week against Missouri - and offensively, they're pretty unstoppable. A loss wouldn't necessarily be catastrophic for Texas, but it could potentially put its quest for the Big 12 South title in doubt. For Oklahoma State, this is the biggest game in school history ('Nuff said!).
No. 7 Georgia at No. 13 LSU, 3:30 p.m. ET - This is where the Bulldogs - the preseason No. 1 team - may be eliminated from BCS title contention. But if you're a Florida fan, you really actually should be cheering for Georgia. The Gators already beat LSU soundly, and they will get to play the Bulldogs next week in Jacksonville. Florida would want Georgia to be ranked as high as possible before it's knocked off. Hard to believe? Well, the BCS makes strange bedfellows.
No. 8 Texas Tech at No. 23 Kansas, noon ET - A classic trap game if there's ever one. Next week, Tech will host Texas in what could be the biggest game in school history (I'm just gonna call it BGISH from now, has a nice ring to it). The Red Raiders may well be thinking ahead to the Longhorns while getting pasted in Lawrence. Mike Leach had better not count on winning this game on a field goal.
No. 2 Alabama at Tennessee, 7:45 p.m. ET - Alabama could lose this game. Seriously. Not likely. But it could happen.
No. 5 USC at Arizona, 10:15 p.m. ET - Ditto for the always nap-prone Trojans.