Oct 16, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; New chairman of the playoff committee Jeff Long speaks to the media at the College Football Playoff Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

BCS Standings Far From Settled

The initial BCS Standings have arrived and, with it, the obligatory panic about the doomsday scenario for which college football has never been equipped.

Could you imagine if Baylor AND Ohio State AND Florida State AND Oregon AND Alabama all finish undefeated? What would happen!?

Pump the brakes.

It isn’t going to happen. Not that it’s impossible. Just that it’s highly unlikely.

The odds of more than two teams running the regular season are better – and that scenario would provide enough of a disaster. But spare the five-undefeated-teams-from-five-real-conferences talk.

Opponents of the BCS would probably love to see a power program along the lines of an Alabama, Ohio State or Florida State get shut out of the national championship game. It could very well happen.

Then again, last year after Alabama won at LSU, the Tide was supposed to be one of four teams – Notre Dame, Oregon and Kansas State being the others – to finish undefeated. Instead, Alabama, Oregon and Kansas State all lost.

So Oregon fans, rest easy about your team being ranked (EDITED) third in the first BCS Standings. Florida State fans, don’t panic about the impending doom that Oregon’s coming games could represent.

For all the BCS griping, there has only been one Auburn – an undefeated team from a power conference that got shut out of the BCS National Championship Game.

Yes, Ohio State and Florida State will be heavy favorites the rest of the way. Oregon and Alabama still face big challenges, though.

So here’s the deal: The 2013 BCS race could end ugly. Just about the entire nation could be up in arms when the BCS Championship Game pairing gets announced. It could also be an easy decision.

For now, take a deep breath and enjoy the final acts of a football season that got turned on its head Saturday.

A bigger shame lies ahead than what might or might not unfold in the BCS race: The fully formed College Football Playoff committee will watch this season unfold and not release which teams would have made up the four-team field.

Why? Great question.

The newly formed committee has a golden, no-risk opportunity to set the tone for athletic directors, coaches and fans everywhere this year by simply announcing the field for a hypothetical playoff.

It would answer outstanding, relevant questions that seem destined to go unanswered until next year.

Would an undefeated Ohio State team that beat up on patsies in the non-conference schedule before sweeping the underwhelming Big Ten be ranked ahead of a one-loss Oregon team from a far tougher Pac-12?

Would an undefeated Northern Illinois or Fresno State get a whiff of the CFP if they run the table and the so-called big boys all lose?

What if there’s a scenario like in 2006 – LSU’s first national title under Les Miles – when a two-loss team made it into the BCS National Championship Game? Would an undefeated mid-major program crack the lineup then?

The committee would be wise to release its own top 25 CFP candidates at season’s end with justifications for the entire 1-25 list. Give administrators and coaches the opportunity to scramble and fix what needs to be fixed before the College Football Playoff goes live in 2014.

Arkansas AD Jeff Long, who will serve as the CFP committee chairman, said this weekend that the committee doesn’t want to serve as a distraction to the BCS standings. While the thoughts are noble, they don’t help usher college football into a highly anticipated era – an era currently shrouded in uncertainty.

If Ohio State needs to play up in the non-conference schedule because the Big Ten doesn’t garner enough respect, this would be a great time to figure it out. If the Buckeyes would make the Playoff by virtue of having “Big Ten” on their jerseys despite the conference being a shell of its former self, then that’s good to know as well.

Either way, this is a no-stakes time for the CFP committee to lay down its rankings on a selection process USA Today described as “flexible” and “complex.”

Those words indicate chaos – an inevitable term when attempting to pare down 120-plus teams to four after just 12-13 games. Unveiling rankings used to formulate next year’s playoff teams could simplify and enlighten programs needing to make key decisions for 2014.

The College Football Playoff committee could control the chaos to a degree by giving its moot opinion on the 2013 season.

Instead, everything will be left open to speculation entering next season.

Tags: ACC Alabama Crimson Tide Baylor Bears Big 12 Big Ten Florida State Seminoles Fresno State Bulldogs Miami Hurricanes Missouri Tigers Northern Illinois Huskies Ohio State Buckeyes Oregon Ducks PAC-12 SEC Texas Tech Red Raiders

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