November 3, 2011 by David Gillaspie
originally posted on oregonsportsnews.com
In science and sports, the higher up the evolution ladder you climb, the better the view.
If you don’t believe in sports, think science.
Take a snake and a monkey for example. No one sees a snake in the grass and dreams of living their life on their belly, but watching Cheetah swing through the trees makes you feel like you’re swinging with him.
On another level, picture a hang glider and a space shuttle.
They both fly, they both have pilots, but only one pilot can fly both crafts. Even if a hang glider is harder to fly than a space shuttle, you don’t want Wind Rider anywhere near the controls at lift-off if you want to see earth from space.
Scientific samples of the animal world and human endeavor help explain the evolution of college football conferences. In a world of equality, some are more equal than others.
Which conference is at the top of that ladder? Since the SEC ran the table for the last five championships, it is the answer.
How’s the view from LSU?
With Alabama rolling up from below, and other undefeated teams pushing hard, it is a shaky ladder at the top. Rickety or not, sports fans still climb on with their teams and shake even harder.
This weekend could see the season’s biggest swings of the year, but the teams at the top aren’t the twitchers. The battle of the undefeateds will sort themselves out with their usual crushing results.
It’s one loss squads like Oregon with a case of the nerves.
Arkansas and Oklahoma ranked above 7-1 Oregon is the problem.
You don’t want a rattle trap Sooner Schooner or an ill tempered hog running around your stadium any more than they want Ducks in theirs. Since Oklahoma fell off the wagon to Texas Tech, not the juggernaut LSU Tigers, they ought to fear the Ducks even if the BCS computers don’t.
The Razorbacks had the decency of losing to Alabama, but they see Duck in their rear-view mirror.
These are all great teams with longer traditions of excellence than you’ll find this side of USC before they started giving championship trophies and Heismans back, before vacating their wins. But add all four teams together, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Alabama, and you don’t get LSU.
That’s the sort of college all-star team Oregon played in their first game.
That’s who you schedule on the way up the ladder. Or, Boise State.
Judging by last week’s homecoming win over Washington State, the ladder might start swaying more in Eugene; the rungs to the BCS Championship may start cracking with controversy. Two quarterbacks playing in the same game? Has Chip Kelly stripped a gear, or is he taking a page from the Les Miles coaching book?
If it works for Number One, it works.
What else works for Oregon?
Taking down one loss Washington for starters. USC North is ready for the pound, and a pounding. One win after another against the best teams in the Pac12 paves the way. Throw undefeated Stanford into aPalo Alto pond to cool off their hot season. You can always find an irrigation pond on ‘The Farm,’ then move on.
Before the first game, Darron Thomas said the season hinged on beating LSU. He could say the same thing this week, or you can say it for him. The season depends on finishing clean, of winning out. After that, book a ticket for the championship game against…LSU?
Here’s how it works: LSU beats Alabama, then loses in the SEC championship game. Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma on a controversial on-side kick bringing the sort death threats and accusations reserved for Sooner visits to Autzen. Boise State spins out of control with the excitement of joining the Big East, realizing just how far away the Big East is.
Once all the undefeated teams join Oregon with their single loss, one more thing needs to happen.
An independent electrical engineering committee needs to plug the BCS computers into an impartial outlet. It can’t run on SEC power, or Idaho electricity. Find an unbiased power source by running an extension cord from Canada. Since they have no gain in skewing the numbers, Oregon might get a fair evaluation of their season.
Until then, all the teams continue pushing up the BCS ladder to reach for the big prize. It seems so close.
To ease the crowding, why not put them on a two-sided ladder? Make it a real face to face race. As it is, you have teams reaching the top of the ladder they’re climbing only to learn it’s an extension ladder that unfolds another twenty feet.
Make the top the top, the finish line, and may the best Duck, er, team, win.