SI'S PLAN to solve the BCS mess envisions a miniplayoff that seeds
the top four teams in the final regular-season AP and coaches'
polls into two Jan. 1 BCS bowl games--No. 1 plays No. 4, No. 2
plays No. 3. The winners would advance to a championship game on
the second Sunday in January, hosted by another BCS bowl. Here's
how the season might have played out under such a system.
SEMIFINAL 1: ROSE BOWL
Thursday, Jan. 1, 5 p.m.
USC (1) VS. MICHIGAN (4)
The Trojans' Wild Bunch II front four shuts down Wolverines
tailback Chris Perry, and USC wideout Mike Williams catches two
touchdown passes in a 35-21 victory.
SEMIFINAL 2: ORANGE BOWL
Thursday, Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m.
LSU (2) VS. OKLAHOMA (3)
Nick Saban's Tigers follow the Kansas State game plan, pressuring
Jason White and forcing the Sooners to run the ball. The Tigers
produce just enough offense to squeeze out a 20-14 win.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Sugar Bowl, Sunday, Jan. 11, 8 p.m.
LSU VS. USC
After a ritual pregame smashing of a computer at midfield, the
national-title game goes down to the wire. With less than a
minute left, Trojans freshman Reggie Bush breaks off a
spectacular 53-yard TD run to give USC a 31-24 victory and its
first consensus national title in three decades.
COLOR PHOTO: BRAD MANGIN WHAT IF...? USC's Bush might have shone in the Sugar.