Thanks, Cyclones

Following the Bama loss to LSU earlier this month, we needed the dominoes to fall just right in order to get back in the title chase.  A week ago, Oregon knocked off Stanford and last night the Iowa State Cyclones helped the cause with a thrilling 37-31 upset win over Oklahoma State in double overtime.  The Cyclones fought back from a 17 point deficit to shock the Pokes.

Those may be the only two dominoes we need to fall.  After this weekend, Bama will most likely be back at No. 2 in the BCS rankings.  A Southern Cal win over Oregon today wouldn’t hurt, though.

Pundits and fans act like these types of upsets can’t happen, but they do most every year.  To me, that also makes the win last week against Mississippi State even more impressive for the Tide.  The Tide was the double digit favorite, but coming off of an emotional overtime loss that, at the time, dashed their biggest goal of the season.  And playing the Bulldogs at home at night when you’re one of their biggest rivals is not easy.

So the prize is back in sight, though the road to it may be a little curvy.  Of course, Georgia Southern needs to be beaten, and it wouldn’t hurt to do it soundly.

Then there’s Auburn.  After what happened in Ames last night, it’s not a given that we pound Auburn into the sidewalk.  But we now have a little more motivation (as if last year wasn’t enough) to take care of business in a big way.  And Auburn has a little more motivation to spoil our special season.

I still think LSU will lose to Arkansas, but right now that’s probably not in our best interest.  The Tigers need to dispatch Ole Miss, Arkansas and then make it to Atlanta to play Georgia in the title game.  And it’s probably to our benefit if they beat the Bulldogs.  LSU going to Atlanta removes a major hurdle for us – i.e. having to beat a good Georgia team – but also makes us a bit more vulnerable in the BCS rankings.  If UGA beats LSU soundly, it would no doubt undermine our position, but we would still probably make the title game.

On the other hand, if LSU loses to the Hogs, we go to Atlanta and we control our own destiny.  If we beat the Bulldogs, we would be in the title game, but our opponent would come out of chaos.  The opponent would probably be Oregon, assuming they don’t lose again, but could also very well be LSU.  Arkansas, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State could also have a shot, depending on how strong they close out the season.

Anyway, the trip is back on track.  Let’s just worry about the next step and take care of the Eagles today.

Roll Tide!