Bob Lutz

Wanted: A BCS disaster

Nothing gives me more satisfaction than grousing about the Bowl Championship Series.

The BCS is No. 1 on my personal most wanted list. I want it caught, prosecuted and put behind bars, never to be heard from again.

But then what would I have to grouse about? Listen, grousing is important to me. Left without the inability to grouse, I might actually become friendly. Who would want that?

For now, all is good. The BCS is almost sure to give us another huge controversy this season and I can't wait.

It's still early, but already I can see the stars aligning. Oh, yes, we could be in for a mess.

As we welcome the first day of October, I count 13 teams with at least a somewhat legitimate shot at playing in the BCS championship game in January.

Here they are, with their current record and ranking:

1. Florida (4-0)

2. Texas (4-0)

3. Alabama (4-0)

4. LSU (4-0)

5. Boise State (4-0)

6. Virginia Tech (3-1)

7. USC (3-1)

8. Oklahoma (3-1)

9. Ohio State (3-1)

10. Cincinnati (4-0)

11. TCU (3-0)

12. Houston (3-0)

13. Iowa (4-0)

This is, of course, subject to change. And you can question whether 13 teams really have a chance. I am being generous.

Let's examine further.

Florida, Texas, Alabama and LSU are the real heavy hitters in this group.

Virginia Tech has a loss to Alabama. USC has a bad loss to Washington and is vastly overrated. Oklahoma has a tough loss to BYU. And Ohio State has a loss to USC. But of the one-loss teams, they're still most viable.

Florida, Alabama and LSU will not get through the SEC unscathed. One might.

By SEC standards, the Gators have an easy schedule after their Oct. 10 showdown with LSU in Baton Rouge. Neither Alabama nor Mississippi are on Florida's schedule, though the Tide could meet one of them in the conference championship game.

Alabama plays at Mississippi LSU has road games at Auburn, Georgia, Alabama and Ole Miss, and a home game against Florida.

Good-bye, LSU.

It's possible, I suppose, that Florida and Alabama could be unbeaten and play in the SEC championship game. If that's the case, perhaps the loser could still stake a claim to play for the national championship.

For grousing purposes, let's say just one SEC team is a legitimate title threat at the end of the regular season. And let's say none of the current one-loss teams does enough the rest of the way to get back into the discussion.

Hello, Boise State.

The Broncos, No. 14 in the Associated Press preseason poll, have climbed all the way to No. 5 after wins over Oregon, Miami (Ohio), Fresno State and Bowling Green.

That's a lot of mileage gained mostly from an opening-week win over Oregon, but it has Boise State in position to ruffle BCS feathers.

To be kind, let's just say the Western Athletic Conference, of which Boise State belongs, isn't the SEC. Or SEC Lite, even.

In fact, Boise already has one of its toughest WAC foes, Fresno State, out of the way. The Broncos beat the Bulldogs 51-34 two weeks ago.

If you know anything about the BCS or college football as a whole, you know never to take anything for granted. But isn't Boise State capable — likely, even — of running the table against UC Davis, Tulsa, Hawaii, San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, Idaho, Utah State, Nevada and New Mexico State?

My BCS train wreck isn't a wreck at all, really. It has Boise State arriving safe and sound, whistle blaring, at the Rose Bowl for the Jan. 7 national championship game.

Of course, the Broncos are unlikely to gain a lot of BCS ground the rest of the way, because of their comparatively weak schedule.

Still, unbeaten is unbeaten and given what happened to Utah last season, the BCS doesn't want to have to deal with another unbeaten team from a non-BCS conference.

So, my fellow BCS grousers, pull for Boise State to win and for everybody else to lose and watch the BCS honks try to wiggle their way out of an uncomfortable situation.

Don't you just love it?