1. Texas beats Kansas State:
First, their most hated rival of all, the 18th-ranked Texas Longhorns, could 100 percent assure the Sooners the automatic bid as Big 12 Conference Champions should they storm into Manhattan and return a set of past favors with an upset of No. 6 Kansas State. Though OU lost to Kansas State earlier in the season, the Wildcats would finish with a pair of Big 12 losses at 7-2, while the Sooners’ lone loss that came to Kansas State leaves them as the outright champions with their 8-1 record. No ifs, ands or buts: the Sooners would be headed to the Fiesta Bowl unless desert officials struck a deal with another BCS bowl. Either way, OU is guaranteed into one under this scenario.
2. UCLA defeats Stanford and wins the Pac 12 Title:
The 16th-ranked (and that’s a very important number) Bruins, who lost to the No. 8 Cardinal last week at home, could win the Pac 12 Championship and provide a sort of lock hold on the one team that could steal OU’s at-large BCS spot away. Because they’re currently No. 16--that’s where a non-automatic-qualifying conference champion must be ahead of a BCS automatic qualifier league champion in order to automatically snag a BCS berth--a win would keep any of those non-automatic vying teams and the only real threat, No. 17 Kent State, below that spot. It’s almost certain Stanford would be able to sustain a loss to the Bruins and remain inside the Top 16, ensuring that the Golden Flashes would remain below them.
3. Northern Illinois knocks off Kent State in the MAC Championship:
At No. 21, the Huskies are one of the mathematical threats to the Sooners, but they’re not a realistic threat. The computers don’t like them nearly enough, and it’s virtually impossible that they’ll climb five spots, even with a victory over the Golden Flashes when the two meet Friday in Detroit for their conference title game. They’ll at most be able to rise a couple spots in the human polls, so in this sense they’re clearly an ally to the Sooners. A NIU victory over Kent State would effectively eliminate both of these teams and leave Boise State as the only one with a chance. The computers absolutely hate Boise State’s resume, and it’s extremely unlikely they’d be able to rise all four spots in the final BCS Standings. Bottom line: NIU knocks off Kent State and it’s three teams chasing a No. 16 spot they can’t get to.
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