I posted back in early September that I thought that many teams would go undefeated this season (I'd been watching too much College Football Live on ESPN) and that the only way a one loss PSU would be able to be in the "national hunt" would be a playoff system (which is still what college football needs) -
So after chuckling a bit - I thought I'd check and see where PSU would likely be if they had "run the table" after that um loss.
With Elvis singing "If I can Dream" on the iTunes - I submit the following...
Using the AP poll as a reference, going into the game against um - PSU was ranked #10 - after the loss they plummeted to #21 (at the time, btw, Missouri was ranked #20)-
The next week (week 5) we were out (loss to ill) - but a lot of teams recorded their first loss of the year that week - most notably, Texas fell from #7 to #19 - so for argument's sake, let's say that PSU stays around #21 - #20.
Week 6 (iowa) - Texas and Florida lose again - Kentucky and Wisconsin lose - causing a major shuffle in the standings - Virginia Tech (5-1 at this point) is now #12 - so I'm going to catapult PSU up to #13 (which is where 2 loss florida was). The Lions had a good game against Iowa - and the voters think that PSU is back on track.
Week 7 - Penn State manhandles #19 Wisconsin at homecoming - LSU loses, Cal loses, and USC, despite a win, falls in the polls. This is the week that PSU leap frogs Va Tech (and others) and is ranked #9 - This is the first week of BCS rankings - I see PSU somewhere around #11.
On to Week 8 - PSU travels to Bloomington and wins a close(ish) game against the Hoosiers. South Florida (see ya!), South Carolina, and Kentucky lose - everyone moves up! - PSU is #6 in the AP and #8 in the BCS.
This is the big one - top ranked tosu travels to Happy Valley for the late night showdown. PSU's defense plays inspired football - corralling the buckeye running game and sacking Boeckman repeatedly - The Lion offense plays well and Morelli connects to Andrew Quarless for 3 touchdowns (LISTEN - this is the land of make believe and I can make things pan out any way I want them to!) PSU vaults to #2 in the AP and #3 on the BCS.
Time to concentrate - week 10 (purdue) - Boston College loses (of course, in my make believe world BC beats fsu) - Penn State is now #1 in the AP and #2 in the BCS.
Week 11 - Penn State travels down to Philadelphia and plays well enough to beat the Temple Owls - LSU wins - everything stays the same.
Week 12 (at msu) - PSU gets out to a 17 point lead and never looks back. LSU wins as well - no change.
Week 13 - PSU, sitting at home, content that they will be playing for the National Championship (albeit, against LSU) - sees Arkansas topple the Tigers - Penn State is now #1 in both the BSC and the AP polls. Amazing.
So, not only does PSU go to New Orleans - but Joe Paterno is now one win ahead of Bobby Bowden as winningest coach (as it is, Joe has cut the lead to 2).
of course this is all speculation and I didn't consult the BCS computer formulas/assessments - but I'd say that it's pretty close -
For me a more likely scenario would be our winning the games against um and ill and then losing to tosu - because that's the one game where PSU really got beat - but since it's pretend world (hatchy malatchy if you will) - and if I'm going to rewrite history, I may as well go whole hog.