Chant of the week: We're No. 2! We're No. 2!

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:24 AM ET

Death, taxes ... and Bowl Championship Series controversies.

Make it three sure things in life now.

A terrible trio we just can't seem to avoid.

In all seriousness, though, while the third surely pales in comparison to the first two, the level of screaming about the BCS just might be the loudest of them all about right now.

A do-over in the desert or someone new? That's the crux of the debate about who should play Ohio State for the national championship on Jan. 8.

The Buckeyes eliminated half the confusion last Saturday with an impressive performance against arch-rival Michigan in a thriller that lived up to its hype. Even the computers are on board with Jim Tressel's gang now (they'd been third before Saturday, behind Michigan and Rutgers).

So Ohio State, the wire-to-wire leader in the human polls, will play for its second national crown in five years in Glendale, Ariz. And the best big-game player in college football, Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith, will collect the Heisman Trophy in two weeks time.

That much we know for sure. Now, the part that's caused so much uproar.

Michigan remains No. 2 in the BCS, but the Wolverines' grip on that coveted position is tenuous. So much so that, if USC wins out against Notre Dame and UCLA, it is almost certain to line up in its third straight national title game.

Are the Trojans more worthy than the Wolverines? Hard to say, unless they actually play. And that isn't happening without a legitimate playoff (dream on about that one).

The message from the BCS poll seems to be what qualifies as the next best thing: Let's see how USC handles Notre Dame, which got its doors blown off by Michigan 47-21 back in September but has improved since then.

What about the SEC? Florida still has only one loss and has played arguably the toughest schedule among the contenders. But the Gators haven't given off the aura of a title-game worthy team in quite some time. And the voters haven't forgotten Arkansas' 50-14 loss to USC, even if it happened nearly three months ago.

Meaning it's likely down to the Wolverines and Trojans. And at Michigan, the refrain has already begun ... cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame.

The picks for Week 13 (odds supplied by Sportsbook.com):

GAME OF THE WEEK

No. 6 Notre Dame (+7) at No. 3 USC (Saturday, 8 p.m, ABC) -- The Irish haven't played a game that matters in more than a month. Has the service academy tour helped keep QB Brady Quinn and Co. sharp enough to handle a USC team that's 19-0 in Novembers under coach Pete Carroll, and playing its best football now? Not in L.A., we say. PICK: USC.

NEXT BEST THINGS

No. 9 LSU (Pick) at No. 5 Arkansas (Tomorrow, 2:30 p.m., CBS) -- Few teams run the ball as well as Darren McFadden and the Hogs, but now comes a huge test against the nation's No. 1-ranked defence. The Tigers will see a team, though, that's come a long, long way since that flogging by USC. PICK: ARKANSAS.

No. 4 Florida (-91/2) at Florida State (Saturday, Noon, ABC) -- On paper, the Gators should have it easy against a Seminoles team that's Bobby Bowden's weakest in years. But Florida's done a lot of BCS squawking in the past week, and that sounds like the mindset of a team looking way too far ahead. They'll still win, but close ... PICK: FLORIDA STATE.

QUICK PICKS

(STRAIGHT-UP SELECTIONS IN BOLD)

TONIGHT

Miami (Fla.) (+4) over No. 18 Boston College

TOMORROW

No. 11 Texas (-13) over Texas A&M

Colorado (+14) over No. 23 Nebraska

SATURDAY

No. 7 West Virginia (-21) over South Florida

No. 8 Louisville (-111/2) over Pittsburgh

Nevada (+3) over No. 12 Boise State

No. 13 Oklahoma (-51/2) over Oklahoma State

No. 15 Rutgers (NL) over Syracuse

No. 16 Georgia Tech (+2) over Georgia

Virginia (+17) over No. 17 Virginia Tech

No. 19 Tennessee (-19) over Kentucky

Maryland (-1) over No. 20 Wake Forest

Utah (+10 1/2) over No. 21 Brigham Young

No. 24 Clemson (-5) over South Carolina

Purdue (+17) over No. 25 Hawaii

Last week -- 17-1 straight up; 9-8 ATS.

Season record --206-34 straight up; 114-111-4 ATS.

Best bet -- USC (7-5).


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