It’s Been A Crazy Season

What is wrapping up this week is one of the strangest college football seasons of all time.

Who would have thought the SEC would be looking for four head coaches before Dec. 1? Who would have thought there would be two unbeaten teams at the end of it, only to have one not even allowed to go to a bowl? And who thought this would be the year Notre Dame got back to the top?

Looking back at the preseason poll – why do they bother, these things are ridiculous – Notre Dame wasn’t even ranked by the AP writers. It was 24th in the coaches poll.

Meanwhile, that USC team that was manhandled by the Irish on Saturday night, lost four of its last five, and finished at 7-5, was No. 1 in the AP and No. 3 in the coaches poll in August.

Arkansas, which finished 4-8, was 10th in both, and is in search of a new coach, along with Auburn, Kentucky, and Tennessee in the SEC.

Oklahoma was thought of as the Big 12’s best team, beginning at No. 4 in both. Kansas State, the leader of the league for much of the season, was 21st and 22nd.

West Virginia, which isn’t even receiving votes in either poll these days, began 11th in both.

It’s always been an inexact science. And the preseason polls serve their purpose – to give people something to talk about.

But college football these days is so unpredictable, it might be time to stop trying.

Last week’s games

West Virginia unhitched itself from a five-game losing streak by beating Iowa State, 30-24. The Mountaineers have changed things up to take advantage of Tavon Austin’s abilities, and he has delivered. But before you ask why they didn’t do it earlier, remember. It was never about moving the ball. It was about stopping it.

Oklahoma put itself in position, at the least, to obtain a BCS bid after beating Oklahoma State, 51-48, in overtime as Landry Jones threw for better than 500 yards.

Baylor beat Texas Tech 52-45 in another overtime game as the Bears became bowl eligible, and TCU enjoyed Thanksgiving Day by beating Texas, 20-13.

Latest BCS rankings

Kansas State is the highest-ranked Big 12 team, coming in at No. 6 and with a victory against Texas this week will wrap up a spot in the Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma comes in at No. 11, followed by Texas (18) and Oklahoma State (23).

This Week’s Games

Oklahoma State at Baylor

Oklahoma at TCU

Kansas at West Virginia

Texas at Kansas State

Jim Elliott can be reached via e-mail at: