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BCS as a Playoff: Do Oklahoma State and Stanford prevent an all-SEC rematch in 2011?

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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Welcome to Dr. Saturday's BCS as the College Football Playoff feature. This week we'll go through each of the 16 years of the BCS and hypothesize if the national championship would have changed hands under the new College Football Playoff.

Since we don't have the benefit of a selection committee, we're taking the top four teams from the BCS standings entering bowl season. Can the all-SEC BCS Championship Game be stopped?

No. 1 LSU (13-1)

Coach: Les Miles

Notable players: QB Jarrett Lee, QB Jordan Jefferson, RB Spencer Ware, RB Michael Ford, WR Reuben Randle, DL Sam Montgomery, LB Barkevious Mingo, DB Morris Claiborne, DB Tyrann Mathieu

LSU's season: The game against Alabama may get all of the attention, but it's important to remember that LSU opened the season against a top-five Oregon team in Dallas and won 40-27. Plus the Tigers also traveled to West Virginia on Sept. 24 and won 47-21. Add in the 9-6 win over the Crimson Tide, a win over Arkansas and a blowout over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, there was little dispute that LSU was the No. 1 team in the country entering the BCS Championship Game, despite a QB timeshare. Lee was benched during a poor performance against Alabama and Jefferson took over.

No. 2 Alabama (12-1)

Coach: Nick Saban

Notable players: QB AJ McCarron, RB Trent Richardson, WR Marquis Maze, DL Jesse Williams, DB Vinnie Sunseri, DB Dre Kirkpatrick, DB Dee Milliner

Alabama's season: After losing to LSU, Alabama's hopes at a national title were frayed. But when Oklahoma State lost, it put the Tide back into the No. 2 spot and setting up a rematch in the BCS Championship Game. Every Alabama win in 2011 was by double digits; there wasn't a close call to note. Except, of course, the loss. But that was rendered moot in New Orleans. Richardson ran for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns. In his first season as a starter, McCarron had 2,634 yards passing and 16 touchdowns.

No. 3 Oklahoma State (12-1)

Coach: Mike Gundy

Notable players: QB Brandon Weeden, RB Joseph Randle, WR Josh Cooper, WR Justin Blackmon, DB Brodrick Brown, DB Markelle Martin

Oklahoma State's season: Oh how the loss at Iowa State hurt. After a missed field goal -- that wasn't missed by much -- the Cowboys lost in Ames, Iowa on a Thursday night 37-31 in double overtime. That relegated Oklahoma State to the Fiesta Bowl after the Cowboys couldn't jump Alabama despite a 44-10 win over Oklahoma. Blackmon had 1,522 yards receiving while Weeden threw for 4,727 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

No. 4 Stanford (11-2)

Coach: David Shaw

Notable players: QB Andrew Luck, RB Stepfan Taylor, WR Griff Whalen, TE Coby Fleener, DL Chase Thomas, DL Trent Murphy, DB Michael Thomas

Stanford's season: The Cardinal's undefeated season disappeared at the hands of Oregon. The Ducks demolished Stanford 53-30 at Stanford Stadium. Two games before that, the Cardinal had a tough time with USC, beating the Trojans 56-48 in three overtimes. After beating Cal and Notre Dame to end the season, Stanford lost to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl in overtime. Luck threw 3,517 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while Taylor ran for 1,330 yards and 10 scores.

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The 2012 BCS Championship Game: This was total Alabama domination. And not one of the most entertaining BCS Championship Games of the era. LSU had 92 yards of total offense and Alabama kicked five field goals for a 21-0 victory. The only touchdown of the game was scored by Richardson with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter. It's also the only time that a team has been shut out in the BCS Championship Game.

The Playoff matchups: No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Stanford, No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Oklahoma State

Just missing out: No. 5 Oregon, No. 6 Arkansas

The semifinals: Anyone else think Stanford could have beaten LSU? The matchup at quarterback would be strongly in the Cardinal's favor, but we still have to side with the LSU defense. Let's say it finishes 20-17. In the other semifinal, it's the chance that Oklahoma State fans wanted. However, it doesn't go well. Alabama's defense puts the clamps on Weeden and Oklahoma State's passing offense and wins by two touchdowns. We have a rematch, but is it any better than the actual game was?

The final: We'll take Alabama again, with the caveat Miles puts in Lee if Jefferson starts to struggle. In the BCS Championship Game, Jefferson finished 11-17 passing for 53 yards and an interception. If that happens again, Jefferson doesn't stay in for the entire game.

Lee's substitution makes enough of a difference that LSU keeps it competitive, but McCarron still wins his first national title.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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