CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The unusual is usual in BCS race

Oregon failed to score on the drive and lost by three in overtime.

That missed block probably sent Alabama to the title game instead of the one-loss Ducks.

So what's it going to be this season?

In 1998, the first BCS year, Arkansas quarterback Clint Stoerner fumbled without being touched, allowing Tennessee to win, advance to the title game, and win it.

Same year, UCLA needed one tackle against Miami to play for the championship. Same game, UCLA receiver Brad Melsby fumbled at the Miami 26 after being hit by someone named … Ed Reed. Miami recovered and scored the winning touchdown. Melsby's knee was actually down, but that was before instant replay could have reversed the call.

UCLA lineman Andy Meyers said after the game that "it took all the self-control I had not to punch the official."

Same year, Kansas State missed the BCS title game when a completed Hail Mary pass against Texas A&M fell a few feet short of the goal line. Kansas State lost the Big 12 title game in overtime.

A Texas A&M player joked that the air-conditioning vents at the TWA Dome in St. Louis may have contributed to the victory.

In 2000, Miami defeated Florida State in the regular season, but Florida State earned the title shot against Oklahoma only because the BCS standings spit out 5.37 for the Seminoles and 5.69 for the Hurricanes.

In 2002, Cincinnati receivers dropped two passes in the end zone in a September game that would have upset Ohio State, which finished at 14-0. Ohio State also needed a fourth-down conversion that year to beat Purdue.

In 2003, USC and Louisiana State should have played for the title after No. 1 Oklahoma was clobbered, 35-7, by Kansas State in the Big 12 title game.

Oklahoma stayed at No. 1 in the BCS, however, because pollsters could drop the one-loss Sooners only to No. 3. Every team below that had multiple losses, which allowed Oklahoma's No. 1 computer strength to prevail.

In 2004, USC went undefeated but only by stopping California four times inside the 10-yard line in a 23-17 victory at the Coliseum.

Cal's quarterback had completed 29 of 31 passes before being shut down. His name was Aaron Rodgers.

In 2006, Florida squeezed Michigan out of the title game by the BCS margin of .9445 to .9344. You'll have to trust the numbers were accurate, because BCS computer operators don't reveal their formulas.

In 2007, Oregon was the best team but was gut-punched in November when quarterback Dennis Dixon suffered a season-ending knee injury. Two-loss LSU won the championship.

In 2009, Texas advanced to the BCS title game when officials put one second back on the clock to allow the Longhorns to kick the winning field goal against Nebraska.

In 2010, a Clemson receiver dropped the game-winning touchdown against Auburn in overtime. Clemson made the tying field goal, but the Tigers' center was called for "double clutching" the snap. The kicker missed the second attempt and Auburn survived.

Guess who won the national title?

In 2011, Alabama lost to LSU in the regular season but won a rematch in the BCS title game. No. 2 Alabama's final BCS margin over No. 3 Oklahoma State was .9419 to .9333.

Again, you'll just have to trust those figures.

Last year, the Pittsburgh kicker had a chip shot field goal to knock Notre Dame out of the championship race.

He missed it.

So, what's it going to be this year?

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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