Thanks to another shake-up Saturday, the first time the BCS Nos. 1 and 2 lost on the same day since 2007, we don't have to wait until January 2015 to experience a college football playoff.
Some facsimile of it is here. Now.
Semifinal 2: The winner of the Dec. 1 SEC championship game in Atlanta will occupy the second spot. That's easy, too.
Granted, USC doesn't have a place in this semifinal round -- although it was expected to, originally -- but you can see why it would be considered some version of a playoff for three of the four teams. If that terminology bugs you, there are direct play-in implications for the season's final couple of weeks.
I knew the shake-up was coming. I threw it out on TV during the week that it would be Nov. 24, with Oregon State and USC creating the chaos, but it turned out to be sooner.
Still, another quake could be on the way.
Where the whole picture goes to static -- where everything then escapes the pseudo four-team playoff -- is if USC does upset Notre Dame. Our BCS wizard Brad Edwards might currently be locked in a closet somewhere in Bristol, trying to figure out who would go to Miami in that event.
The amazing thing is that, a week after being counted out by the general public (I even had to talk a Bama gal into believing her team wasn't toast), another all-SEC final went from far-flung to somewhat possible.
It would be a distinct possibility if not for USC quarterback Matt Barkley's injured shoulder casting doubt as to whether he'll play against the Irish. Without Barkley, that chore for USC seems a lot more taxing.
Let's just say, though, that Lane Kiffin rallies his team for a victory. After Tino Sunseri kept Pitt in the game against the Irish, perhaps the torch will be passed this week from Barkley to Max Wittek.
Let's begin the Takeaways there...
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