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Kicking Off Week 14 With Alabama Facing Texas and the Bowl Eligibility Puzzle


On a scale of 1 to 100

I think we can retire this particular feature for a while.

A look at who's going which way in college football 

Takeup_medium ALABAMA
Doesn't just win the SEC Championship Game, it does so resoundingly. Just hope that the tears of Tim Tebow are nontransferrable.

Takeup_medium SEC CG OFFICIALS
It wasn't perfect, but at least there no last-minute, game-deciding penalties in the Georgia Dome.

Takedown_medium CHARLIE WEIS
There are several gracious ways to exit the stage. Accusing your rival's head coach of a live-in extramarital affair with a grad student is not one of those ways.

Takedown_medium BCS
TCU can't make the championship game because it wasn't ranked high enough to begin with. But a note to playoff supporters and the like: You can't say it's not a "real" championship just because you don't like the way it's determined.

Takedown_medium BIG XII OFFICIALS
That choppy sound you hear are the black helicopters circling. Rogers Redding welcomes you to his world.

A few things to think about this week

Texas vs. Alabama
I'm still fairly confident that the Tide will defeat Texas when all is said and done; we'll have plenty in the next few weeks about the latest SEC team to aim for the crystal football. But that confidence isn't based on past history.

Alabama has gone 0-7-1 against the Longhorns over the years, including the 14-12 loss in 1981. Texas has outscored the Tide 131-62. It is also one of only two teams to have played Alabama more than once and have an undefeated record against the Elephants; Rice (0-3) is the other. Then again, the Owls last played the Tide in 1956.

Teams who have won their only game against Alabama: Camp Gordon (1917), Carlisle (1914), UCF (2000), Cumberland (1903), Georgia Pre-Flight (1942), Minnesota (2004), New Orleans Athletic Club (1899), Northern Illinois (2003), Oklahoma State (2006), Villanova (1951) and Wisconsin (1928).

What? You're saying I forgot one of those teams?

Oh, right. That'd be Utah.

Bowl Subdivision -- emphasis on bowl
If you're looking for another reason why the NCAA isn't going to change the rule allowing FBS teams to count at least once FCS team toward bowl eligibility, just look at the number of teams that needed that extra win to get into the postseason. South Florida is 7-5 after winning two such games, though just one can count toward the Bulls' bowl chances. Also needing an FCS win to get to eligibility: Florida State, Iowa State, Marshall, Michigan State, Minnesota, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.

The two schools from the Pelican State aren't going in any case, but if you count out the teams with one FCS win and Notre Dame -- whose players voted not to go to the postseason -- then you get to 62 teams for a 34-game bowl system. So without the 12th game and an easy win to put there, the whole bowl system could come crashing down. Sure, some of those teams might have scheduled and won a game against another FBS opponent. But best not to take any chances.

This isn't necessarily a reason to do away with the bowls. But it is a reason to do away with some of them.