News, thoughts and more from the world of college sports across the nation and Long Island.
Campus winners and losers
Stony Brook: Once again Stony Brook is the biggest winner. The Seawolves (9-3) won their ninth straight game, beating SUNY football rival Albany in dramatic fashion, 31-28, in front of a raucous LaValle Stadium crowd of 8,286. For anyone not paying attention, Stony Brook overcame a 28-10 deficit in the third quarter and needed an interception off a tipped pass by Dominick Reyes with 47 seconds left to get the victory. What does win mean for the Seawolves? Aside from getting a date in Texas with top-seeded Sam Houston State in a FCS second-round game on Saturday at 3 p.m., it puts Chuck Priore’s crew on the map as a desired destination, particularly for many of the New York Metro Area’s top second-tier recruits. It validates the cost of building LaValle Stadium, it validates the school’s decision to upgrade the program to a full-scholarship operation and it most of all says a lot about Long Island football. The star of Saturday’s crazy win was Floyd graduate Brock Jackolski, who had 103 yards on the ground and three total touchdowns. We also can’t forget about Riverhead’s finest Miguel Maysonet, who had a big time season sharing carries with Jackolski. Last but not least, will this bring Stony Brook another step closer to FBS football? It may be a bit premature to start talking about that, but the recent rash of schools jumping conferences has forced all schools to reevaluate things.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1) are all but assured of a spot in the national title game. The only way they don’t get in –and even this scenario may not work– is if LSU gets beat up by Georgia and Oklahoma State destroys Oklahoma. There is a chance, albeit a slight one, that LSU could only move down one place and the Cowboys jump to No.1. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, that scenario is unlikely to happen. Oklahoma killed any chance of that being realistic after its second loss.
Boise State: The Broncos are still in the BCS mix despite a disappointing loss to TCU. But you better believe they will be rooting for Oklahoma State on Saturday. If the Cowboys beat Oklahoma, the Sooners will be out of the BCS conversation. But if No.10 Oklahoma wins, it could conceivable jump Boise State, who sits at No.7.
Houston: As the only other undefeated team in the country, you’d think the Cougars (12-0, 8-0) would be sitting on the cusp of the national championship. But Houston has just one “legitimate” win this season and that was over a shaky UCLA team. The Bruins will be in the PAC-12 championship game, but that’s only because USC is banned from the conference title game. If UCLA wins the PAC-12 championship and Houston wins the C-USA title, the No.6 Cougars might move up in the final BCS standings.
LSU: The Tigers (12-0, 8-0) can do now wrong. Even if they lose a close game to the Bulldogs, chances are they will move no further than No.2 and could conceivably stay in the top spot. If Georgia wins by three touchdowns, that could be a different story.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies (11-1, 7-1) put the kibosh on Virginia’s hopes for a berth in the ACC championship game. The No.5 Hokies, which will face Clemson in the ACC title game on Saturday, still has a very slim outside shot at the national title game. But it’s slim, because the only way they can get in is if Oklahoma State and LSU both get crushed in a big way on Saturday. We don’t see that happening.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks (10-2, 6-2) had a great season but is out of the BCS conversation. Due to the two-team BCS Bowl limit for each conference, Arkansas will be on the outside looking in. Even if LSU loses to Georgia, the Tigers will still get an at-large selection.
Oklahoma State: You'd think Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) would be happy sitting at No.3 in the BCS standings. Unfortunately, even if the Cowboys win, they're not likely to get a shot at the national championship game. Alabama is just too far ahead in the standings to get jumped at this point. Can you say playoff?
Rutgers: Once again we have all been fooled by the Scarlet Knights (8-4, 4-3). Every time you think Rutgers have gotten over that hump, they slapped back into reality. A win against Connecticut yesterday would’ve given the Scarlet Knights a share of the Big East championship. Instead, they committed six turnovers and came up woefully short in a terrible 40-22 loss at UConn. Rutgers has lost the benefit of the doubt now. Sure, they’ll get to some minor bowl game, but will anyone outside of Northern and Central New Jersey care?