Does USC's loss to Washington take them out of the national title chase?
If it were just about any other school, yes. While USC won't be in the discussion (for now)....once the ranks of the undefeated thins out to 2 or less (and assuming USC wins the rest of their games) we will be hearing about them again (rolls eyes).....they've become the New York Yankees of college football and since they get the benefit of a doubt that has evaded undefeated teams of the past such as Boise State/Hawaii/Utah, etc....we will be hearing about them more come November
I still hold firm on my statement that the Mountain West is a great football conference but they didn't help their case yesterday.
Between Utah losing on the road to an Oregon team that showed signs of fight during the game and NOT after the game and BYU getting upset and manhandled at home by Florida St., it looks like there is a void to fill in the BCS party-crasher/going undefeated and getting shut out of the title game slot filled by Utah last year.
Despite yesterday, BYU and Utah are still great teams that will at least be Top 25 but their status as non-BCS schools leaves them zero margin for error. It looks like TCU is the conference's last hope of being the Mountain West school to run the table, be deserving at a national title shot only to be snubbed in favor of a 1 (or 2 loss) team.
All sarcasm aside, yesterday should NOT be an excuse for the Mountain West to be written off. The two teams just didn't do enough to win on their games but they will be back with a vengeance for the rest of the season.
Who becomes the non-BCS darling now?
As I mentioned in the last paragraph, TCU is the last undefeated elite standing in the Mountain West. They were in the mix last year finished in the top-10 but were atrociously relegated to the Poinsettia Bowl against an equally deserving Boise State Team.
So that leaves us with three non-BCS options.. a) Boise State--the hook and ladder darlings of the 2006 season--the only team to play on blue turf that looks extra creepy on HD---and most importantly coached by UC Davis alum Chris Petersen---they look to have the best chance to run the table but the weakness of the WAC works against them
b)TCU--If they can run the gauntlet of their MWC schedule they're probably the best hope or
c)Houston--Can they overcome most people not knowing about them to crash the party. Unlike Boise State and TCU who have gotten themselves high profile wins and have national profiles higher than the conference they play in, Houston hasn't been prominent in the national scene since the early 1990s.
However, they do have an impressive high profile win (AT Oklahoma State) and an explosive offense that should run circles around their Conference USA Schedule. While Conference USA will hurt Houston in the strength of schedule, if they're able to run up the score enough they could raise their profile quickly within the next couple months.