So: Who would YOU pick as No. 2?
UGA is next in line, based on last week's rankings, but I can't see taking UGA over LSU, either through the BCS' human or computer polls: LSU has the same number of losses, one more win total, better wins overall (tougher schedule) and a conference championship from the SEC.
I think it will be LSU. It's hard to bash them for losing to Arkansas at home last week when they just won the SEC title this week. (If the early comments are any indication, LSU has the inside edge. The ubiquitous BCS "analyst" Jerry Palm has LSU in the title game.)
Oklahoma just beat the No. 1 team in the country, but I can't get over those two decisive losses against unranked opponents. (LSU at least went to multiple OTs against both.)
Don't even say USC: You can't lose at home to a 41-point underdog and deserve to play for the national title, all other factors relatively equal.
Virginia Tech can't get past the clubbing they took from LSU earlier in the season.
Kansas couldn't beat the team Oklahoma beat twice. Hawaii? The perfect season is BCS-bowl-worthy, but hardly national-title-game worthy.
(UPDATE in the A.M.: It's interesting to see what seemed like an insanely confusing situation late last night coalesce this morning around the seeming inevitability of LSU's worthiness and selection ahead of others, like Oklahoma or Virginia Tech or USC, let alone Georgia or Kansas. That's fine for picking two teams to play for the title, but won't stop the "split title" scenario... keep reading below for more on that.)
A note about Ohio State: Congrats, Buckeyes fans. In a season where teams are losing their title shots on the field, it's refreshing to see a team win their title shot off the field, by backing into it like no team in college football history. (Even Oklahoma from a few years ago.)
If it makes OSU-haters feel any better, OSU fans can't possibly feel good about playing another SEC champ in the NCG. Of course, Buckeye fans were awfully confident heading into LAST year's NCG, too. (Presumably, they will display more humility this year.)
It would be entirely appropriate in a season as unprecedentedly insane as this one for OSU to lose in the national title game, likely creating a split national title (see below). No, that's not a prediction... yet.
(Wrapping in the other big story from yesterday, wouldn't it be interesting if the guy who turned down Michigan to stay at LSU showed Michigan what they missed out on by beating Ohio State when it mattered most, with his LSU team? You just KNOW Les Miles hates Ohio State as much as any Michigan man would/should.)
Bottom line: This season won't (and can't) end well. How glorious.
By the way: I think we will have a split champ, unless Ohio State beats whoever they play in the national title game (and I'm through making predictions... at least for now!). Wouldn't it be ironic for LSU to make/win the NCG only to be involved in yet another "split" title?
So if you're the Rose Bowl, do you use your Ohio State "replacement" pick (No. 1 overall) to create a traditional Pac-10/Big Ten matchup (Illinois?) or do you try to generate momentum to position your bowl as a de facto alternative (AP) title game by yoinking, say, Georgia?
(The Rose can't pick Oklahoma, because the Big 12 champ is obligated to go to the Fiesta Bowl if they aren't in the NCG. My understanding is that because Georgia didn't win the SEC, the Sugar isn't guaranteed to have them. I could be wrong. I was so very wrong about West Virginia, wasn't I?)
(PS: Speaking of "backing into it," I think Tim Tebow clinched the Heisman, with the losses of Chase Daniel and Pat White's teams. McFadden has a shot, too. We go from "You've got to invite 4 to NYC!" to "Do we have to have more than 2?")