After 3 months of utter insanity, and tons of good, clean fun, this is what your college football season has whittled down to.
Missouri (11-1), which just beat previously unbeaten Kansas, sits atop the next-to-last Bowl Championship Series standings. The Tigers now get another shot at Oklahoma (10-2), which beat them at home on Oct. 13, in Saturday's Big 12 title game in San Antonio.
If the Tigers win, they'll be in the national title game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.
West Virginia (10-1), which is No. 2 despite being No. 1 in the USA Today (coaches) poll, closes at home against Pitt (4-7). If the Panthers somehow manufacture the upset, the powers that be should probably just stop the ride and declare Hawaii (11-0) the champion by default. It would make almost as much sense as about anything else that has happened going all the way back to Appalachian State winning at Michigan. But should the Mountaineers find a way to survive, they also would get to enjoy everything that Bourbon Street has to offer.
Missouri and West Virginia are the only two teams that can determine their own fate in this mass of confusion.
Ohio State (11-1), at No. 3, can only wait and hope that one of them doesn't make it to the Superdome. For whatever reasons, the Buckeyes are third in the polls and computer average. They lost at home 2 weeks ago to three-loss Illinois (which lost by six to Missouri in St. Louis in the opener). West Virginia lost at three-loss South Florida in late September. Neither OSU nor WVU did anything out of the conference. So winning the Big East must carry more clout than winning the Big Ten. Imagine that.
Remember, though, the best thing you can be anymore is idle.
If both Missouri and WVU do lose on Saturday, it means a two-loss team could play for the title, which has never happened. Right now that would appear to be No. 4 Georgia, which isn't even in the SEC final. Kansas is No. 5, and it's hard to see voters moving them past Georgia upon further review. Or even No. 6 Virginia Tech, which gets another shot at Boston College in the ACC final. The Hokies lost to BC at home in October.
How about this? What if No. 7 LSU, which has lost twice in triple overtime, pounds Tennessee in the SEC final? Just a thought.
The good news for Hawaii is, it went from 15th to 12th by beating Boise State on Friday. That means if the Warriors get past Washington at home, they'll at least get in a BCS bowl. Which, for them, is almost the same as making it to the ultimate game.
Logic would suggest only two possible scenarios remain: Missouri-West Virginia or West Virginia-Ohio State. But what's logic had to do with any of this? *