Playoffs? You want to talk playoffs? You kidding me?

Joe Harrington

This college football season has been about as normal as George W. Bush sitting in the front row of a Kanye West concert.

Kentucky beat LSU, the team that many experts refer to as the most-sexiest, powerful, god-like team ever to beaten by Kentucky.

Ron Zook finally won an important game in orange and blue … Illinois orange and blue. To top it off, Northwestern is bowl eligible, despite losing to Duke.

But like Mark McGwire, I’m not here to talk about the past. I’m here to predict the future, the Bowl Championship Series future.

If the season ended today, it would the Oregon Ducks against the LSU Tigers. In Darwin’s world, Matt Flynn and the Bayou Bengals would win that fight. In the Lee Corso world, Dennis Dixon, the world’s most unknown Heisman winner, exposes the tough LSU defense.

I predict the Ducks won’t be in the championship game. They’ll lose tomorrow, at 9 p.m. on ESPN after SportCenter (shameless brand plug). See the Ducks play Arizona tomorrow – and they are coached by Mike Stoops, brother of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Remember last season when the Sooners lost to the Ducks on a bad call?

Then of course there’s LSU. They’ll be there, because they only have to play Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference championship game. And remember Vols fans: Peyton Manning ain’t walking through those doors, as Rick Pitino would say. The Tigers win big, and Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer is working at Taco Bell the next day.

Then of course there’s the Big 12.

Has there ever been a more underrated, but overrated conference in one season? Oklahoma is ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press. Kansas is No. 4 and Missouri is right behind them at No. 5. Then again, Oklahoma blew a big lead against the Colorado Buffaloes. Kansas is undefeated after playing the Iowa Y.M.C.A. two-hand touch football team and Missouri isn’t even the best top-five team nicknamed Tigers.

I predict the Sooners will win the rest of their games. The only team they could lose too in the regular season is rival Oklahoma State. Although we know their coach Mike Gundy is a man, and he’s 40, unless he has a DeLorean with a flux compacitor to bring back Cowboy great Barry Sanders, they’re going to lose.

But the game that the college football season’s hopes and dreams rest on is the border war that is Kansas Jayhawks versus Mizzou. Remember, the Jayhawks are undefeated. I’ll say that again, the Jayhawks are 10-0. They’ll beat Mizzou, but by the time the Big 12 championship game rolls around the basketball season will be in full swing. Expect the Sooners to end the football madness in the heart of college basketball.

Because Ohio state law says I have to predict the future of the Ohio State Buckeyes, I’ll say this: The Buckeyes beat Wishigan and go to the Rose Bowl where they will play Oregon. No matter who wins that game, the Bucks will enter the 2008 season with high hopes of beating Illinois next year.

Without further ado, here are the BCS predictions:

The championship game will be Oklahoma and LSU. Have we seen this one? The winner will be Oklahoma, because this is the year Bob Stoops takes revenge, hence the above prediction of Arizona winning tomorrow. The Rose Bowl will be Bucks versus Ducks. Winner, coach Gordon Bombay. The Tostito Fiesta Bowl will feature the chumps – oh sorry – champs of the Atlantic Coast Conference against the West Virginia Pat Whites, winner Steve Slaton (If that didn’t make any sense, ask the BCS gods why the ACC is still a BCS conference). The Sugar Bowl will be the Jayhawks against the Georgia Bulldogs. The only thing funny about that matchup is Kansas’ bowl record.

My final point is this: If there were a playoff, the regular season wouldn’t be as fun. If there were a playoff, Appalachian State’s win over Michigan wouldn’t have been as great. A playoff would have made USC the underdog team to make the “dance.” There is a playoff, it just started in September and will end in January.

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Joe Harrington at [email protected]