Who will play in the BCS championship game?
Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel
The Southeastern Conference has had a representative in the BCS championship game the last five seasons, and there isn't anything that makes me believe that it won’t happen again.
Although LSU appears to be the favorite coming out of the SEC, my feeling is that Alabama will be playing in New Orleans on Jan. 9. The Crimson Tide have the best defense in the country and one of the best running backs in Trent Richardson. Alabama's opponent isn't as cut and dried, but I think it will be Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys have shown they deserve to be the No. 3 team in the BCS standings behind LSU and Alabama. With the third-ranked offense in the country, Oklahoma State has powered its way past opponents this season, and with a remaining schedule that includes Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma, if the Cowboys can survive, they deserve to play Alabama in the BCS national championship game.
This pick will make my Southern readers very happy. I'm predicting a tight Alabama victory over LSU next week in the Game of the Millennium. So tight that the voters (and computers) will keep LSU near the top in the BCS standings.
Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Stanford and Clemson all will lose at least one game. Boise State will finish 12-0 but not get enough credit for that season-opening thumping of Georgia. LSU will win out, and its 11-1 record will be good enough to earn a trip to New Orleans.
Les Miles will draw up a play called "MacGyver" involving rope, a wire hanger and gumbo. Even though it propels the Tigers to a national championship, Lloyd Carr is still relieved Michigan didn’t hire Miles to be his successor.
Photo: Alabama's Kenny Bell celebrates his touchdown against Tennessee with teammate Marquis Maze. Credit: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images