Think back, for a moment, to 2002, when the Bowl Championship Series brought true bliss. Miami finished the regular season unbeaten. Ohio State finished the regular season unbeaten. Everyone else had at least one loss. So the Hurricanes and Buckeyes played a memorable national championship game, and the college football world rejoiced.
File that away, though, because it is the only time in recent memory that the college football season has ended absolutely free of controversy. Think the BCS is half-baked? Remember 1993, when something called the "Bowl Alliance" tried to determine a national champion -- as long as it didn't involve teams from the Big Ten or Pacific-10. That year, one-loss Florida State played unbeaten Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl, while unbeaten West Virginia was left out. Controversy. Go back further. In 1985, five teams received at least one vote in the final regular season Associated Press poll, which then, as now, determined half of the national championship. More controversy.
It is with that backdrop -- along with the knowledge that the first BCS poll of this season was released earlier this week -- that we bring you the following forecasts, far-fetched and otherwise, which seem to point to another December of Discontent.
-- Barry Svrluga