Alabama can jump over Boise, but can it jump over Michigan State, Missouri?

Here are some of the BCS questions I’ve gotten since the new standings came out on Sunday. Included are my best answers after talking to a bunch of people smarter than me:

1. If No.1 Auburn and No. 2 Oregon win out, will they play in the BCS title game regardless of what everyone else does?  The answer appears to be yes. Oregon is a solid No. 1 in the human polls and that doesn’t figure to change as long as the Ducks keep winning and winning impressively. Oregon is No. 8 in the computer polls but its numbers should improve with games against USC, Cal, and Oregon State down the stretch. Auburn’s a lock to stay No. 1 in the BCS Standings as long as the Tigers win.  They are already No. 1 in the computers and that won’t change with a date looming against No. 7 Alabama on Nov. 26.

2. We have seven undefeated teams left. What are the odds that we will still have four or more when the season is over? It would say the odds are pretty long. First of all, two of the undefeated teams—TCU and Utah—face each other in Salt Lake on Nov. 6. Every team in the top eight has a meaningful road game or two where they could stumble. Here is the list:

1. AUBURN (8-0): at Ole Miss, Oct. 30; at Alabama, Nov. 26

2. OREGON (7-0): at USC, Oct. 30; at California, Nov. 13; at Oregon State, Dec. 4

3. BOISE STATE (6-0): at Nevada, Nov. 26

4. TCU (8-0):  at Utah, Nov. 6

5. MICHIGAN STATE (8-0): at Iowa, Oct. 30; at Penn State, Nov. 27

6. MISSOURI (7-0): at Nebraska, Oct. 30.; at Texas Tech, Nov. 6; at Iowa State, Nov. 20

7. ALABAMA (6-1): at LSU, Nov. 6.

8. UTAH (7-0): at Air Force, Oct. 30.

 

3. If we end the season with only two undefeated teams—Boise State and TCU—will they play for the BCS championship? I doubt it. It’s not impossible for two non-AQ’s (automatic qualifiers) to play for the national title but I have to believe that a one-loss team from one of the power conferences could slip in there and jump either TCU or Boise, especially if that team has played 13 games (instead of 12) and won its conference championship. For example: No. 7 Alabama has the perfect schedule to move up the rankings if a bunch of teams in front of them lose. The Crimson Tide plays No. 12 LSU, No. 21 Mississippi State, and No. 1 Auburn in the month of November. Should Alabama win all those games and then win the SEC championship to finish 12-1, I would expect Alabama to jump over an undefeated Boise or an undefeated TCU for a spot in the BCS title game.

4. So you’re saying that it’s possible that if No. 1 Auburn and No. 2 Oregon lose down the stretch, then either No. 3 Boise State or No. 4 TCU could get left out of the  BCS championship game even if they go undefeated? Won’t that make a lot of people mad and create a whole bunch of criticism for the BCS yet again? Won’t that bring about cries for Congressional investigations and speeches from politicians (in Idaho and Texas) about how awful the BCS is?

You betcha.

Won’t that FINALLY blow up the BCS?

Nope. Got three years left on the contract.

5. Okay, so a 12-1 Alabama can jump over an undefeated Boise or TCU. Could a 12-1 Alabama jump over an undefeated Michigan State or an undefeated Missouri into the BCS championship game?

Okay, now you’re getting greedy. The answer is probably not. According to Jerry Palm of collegebcs.com, a one-loss team from one of the six original BCS conferences has never jumped over an undefeated team from another BCS conference to play in the championship game. The SEC folks may argue that their one-loss team is more deserving, given the fact that their conference has won four straight national championships. But an undefeated Big Ten champion or an undefeated Big 12 champion is going to get an edge over a one-loss SEC champion when it comes down to the final human polls.

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652 comments Add your comment

PC Easy

October 27th, 2010
11:20 am

Duck fans should not be too confident. Yes they should be #1 and sure Auburn should be in the top 10. But like most PAC 10 teams – they’ll choke. Look for them to lose to either USC or Oregon State. PAC 10 teams always disappoint their fans.

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:20 am

“what is your point?”

Be specific with your question, fan.

BAMA dude

October 27th, 2010
11:20 am

WashingtonDCDuck, I get that this year isn’t last year and all that, but look what happened last year. Your guys hung 40+ on just about everybody in the conference. In OOC play you got 8 against Boise St. and 17 against Ohio St. This tells me that defenses aren’t very good out there as a whole.

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:21 am

“I get that this year isn’t last year and all that, but look what happened last year.”

Look what happened THIS YEAR! Bama lost.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 27th, 2010
11:21 am

WashingtonDCDuck, hell of a schedule you guys still have to play.

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:22 am

gdawginkalamazoo

As in Michigan? If so, did you get hammered by that wind storm?

PC Easy

October 27th, 2010
11:25 am

Common Sense: Yes yes I know that the towns you list are nice Southern towns. I am just saying that Tuscaloosa is nicer than most. When I went to school there you rarely went downtown. Whenever I visit down South I always end up downtown.

Mobile Dawg

October 27th, 2010
11:25 am

BamaGuy, I like my position better than yours. Sorry you have to live in Atlanta, I turned down the opportunity to go back in 2005 and chose Mobile instead. But you are right, Alabama rules college football having the Number One Ranked team in the Nation, and the Number Seven Ranked team.

RTR, my exposure to the Bama culture I was referring to is not a product of Finebaum. It’s kinda like the BCS, it’s a forumla, if you read my post Finebaum was only a portion of it.

And you are right, in all fairness Auburn has it’s share of jerks too. Every team has it’s percentage. I did say “I admire the program Alabama has, the job Saban has done, and the history”. Nothing personal to anyone in particular, like I said before, if my post described “YOU” feel free to comment. To most Bama fans on this blogs credit, there has been very little response to my criticism of some.

WAR TO THE EAGLE

October 27th, 2010
11:26 am

@RTR….Absolutely. Gonna be a hell of a game.

PC Easy

October 27th, 2010
11:28 am

Common sense prevails & WashDCDuck

Nothing would please me more to see Oregon totally destroy Auburn on national television at the Liberty Bowl!

Not So Fast

October 27th, 2010
11:29 am

Hey MURPHY:

I don’t know about Rocky Top. I think you may be on to something re USC and Oregon. IF USC holds the Ducks to 35 they win. Look for the Trojans to score 38 or more.

Bamadan

October 27th, 2010
11:29 am

Take it from a long-time Bama fan, you can take this Alabama team out of the equation. Alabama has nothing for the Auburn offense and Nick Fairley for that matter. Auburn would have to beat themselves in order to not win in Tuscaloosa.

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:29 am

“Nothing would please me more to see Oregon totally destroy Auburn on national television at the Liberty Bowl!”

Gee, that makes sense.

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:30 am

Bamadan

Are you serious? Better watch out because the other bama fans will accuse you of being a GT fan.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 27th, 2010
11:31 am

CommonSense, we had the wind but not too much damage, yet. They say 60-65 mph gusts are in store for this afternoon. Worst storm since the Edmund Fitzgerald sank. 20 footers off the lakeshore. Surfers were out. Don’t think Gordon Lightfoot will be doing any benefit concerts though.

Alphare

October 27th, 2010
11:31 am

The combined population of FL and GA is 30 millions (isn’t that bigger than NY?). And the coming GA-FL game has SEC East title on the line.

Biggest game of the week.

Don4654

October 27th, 2010
11:31 am

Mobile Dawg,Auburn’s jerks were out in full force during the 6 game winning streak over Bama and Finebaum was very critical of Bama back then.He changes with the wind.As you said all fanbases have jerks and Bama’s are more prominent now because we are winning again.

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:32 am

gdawginkalamazoo

OH yeah, get out there and surf!!!!!! I haven’t seen 20 foot waves since I was at the North Shore back in March.

BAMA dude

October 27th, 2010
11:32 am

Mobile Dawg, I missed that the Mobile in your name was Mobile, AL. I thought you were just describing yourself as mobile. If you’re living in state than I can imagine you’d rather everyone just get along. It can get nasty down there and it’s equally divided between the two.

Ulysses S. Grant

October 27th, 2010
11:33 am

BAMA dude, you’re right this isn’t last year, if it was they wouldn’t need to play the games- everything you wrote after that is pablum… as usual. Soft defenses in 2010 (the year that matters)- Arkansas, Auburn, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Georgia. Plus, Alabama’s defense isn’t remotely as good as last year.

Mobile Dawg

October 27th, 2010
11:34 am

Zoo, watch this, Common Sense is a troll just looking for something to snap at. Best off leaving it alone. I believe it was Spurrier yesterday.

BAMA dude

October 27th, 2010
11:35 am

Bamadan

October 27th, 2010
11:29 am
Take it from a long-time Bama fan, you can take this Alabama team out of the equation. Alabama has nothing for the Auburn offense and Nick Fairley for that matter.

Don’t know about that Dan. Two teams have scored over 13 points on us this year, and both did it throwing the football. Cam is unique as Tebow was, it will be interesting to see what we have for him.

BAMA dude

October 27th, 2010
11:36 am

formatting fail

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:37 am

Mobile Dawg

Nope, you’re wrong.

Mobile Dawg

October 27th, 2010
11:37 am

Ulysses, better move on back up North with your carpetbagger buddy Finebaum. I hear if things don’t improve in Washington very soon, like Nov 2nd, we may have to withdraw from your Union once again.

Common sense prevails

October 27th, 2010
11:38 am

“Cam is unique as Tebow was, it will be interesting to see what we have for him.”

Cam is faster and has much better vision than Tebow. Also, Tebow beat up on the 2008 Alabama team just to be fair.

WashingtonDCduck

October 27th, 2010
11:39 am

BAMA DUDE,

Not going to argue with you on that. When team’s loose, their fans are so quick to say the grass was too high, our guys wore the wrong cleats, it was too hot, it was too cold, ect…. Nope. Oregon lost two games last year to quality opponents. I will inject that we had a different QB. I think if you are shuffling in and out offensive lineman, or maybe guys in the secondary while it effects your game planning and obviously the impact of the game, nothing effects the overall picture more so than a QB. Some offenses, I really what comes to mind is your more pro style offense like Ron Zook runs up at Illinois, or USC’s with Kiffin’s offense – where, if you lose your QB you can hopefully plug a guy in who at least can hand the ball off and optimistically get some play action working, or quick slants/screens, and get his rhythm going. More or less, you run the same offensive package.

Well, with Oregon & Masoli’s marriage, it was fairly one dimensional: run the ball down the defense’s throat. Masoli did have weapons on the edge (i.e. Ed Dickson, who’s getting a ton of playing time with the Baltimore Ravens currently) and other guys who could get open downfield. The issue that Masoli, aside from really two games last year, couldn’t hit those targets vertically downfield. Think of him as your prototype erratic, athletic QB. Sure he could bull you over (see Holiday Bowl vs. Oklahoma St. YouTube clips) but when teams like Ohio St. threw 9 guys in the box, it spelled trouble. You couldn’t punish them by throwing it over their heads to a deep posting WR or TE.

Darron Thomas bring a whole different offensive package that Chip Kelly can now install into the 2010 Oregon offense. 2009’s attack did not have the passing yards you now see. And it’s not like Oregon goes into the game thinking: “we’ll, if we don’t rush for 300 yds and pass for 200yds we will lose, we have to do this to win!”. No, not at all. Oregon will take what the defense gives, and if it’s passing for 300yds like UCLA let them time and time again last Thursday night, or if it’s LaMichael James running for 250+ yds on Stanford then they’ll do that. Darron Thomas, while a red-shirt sophomore, has been in Eugene for 3 years, he knows the offense. He’s a smart kid (Houston TX native – verbal to LSU than switched last minute to Oregon) with a strong arm, but speed to break off big runs on that option run.

Yes, the overall body of work in 2010 is weaker than Auburn’s, but look at what they’ve done to the given opponents. And you can always take some overall characteristics from a team a year ago (any team in football), but there will always be some tweaks here and tweaks there, which some of them can be pretty significant in how teams approach game planning.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 27th, 2010
11:39 am

Ulysses, Derek Dooley might be giving you a call. Since that German thing didn’t go over so well he is looking for something to compare Tennessee’s woes to this year. I wonder if he knows that you are a yankee?

Ulysses S. Grant

October 27th, 2010
11:40 am

Mobile Dawg- you can try but I’ll just burn your cities to the ground again… or did you forget about the beatdown I gave you?

Tide Rising

October 27th, 2010
11:41 am

This is pretty easy. Bama wins out and plays in the BCS title game.

Oregon, Mich state, and Mizzou all have games this weekend that they could lose. Mich state will lose most likely and if Mizzou doesn’t lose this Sat. I guarantee both will lose a game before its all said and done. And Oregon still has 3 games that they will likely lose one of. Bottom line is that of those 3 teams 2 of them will certainly lose a game between now and the end of the season- book it.

That leaves only Boise and TCU and a 1 loss Bama team will absolutely jump both of those teams not only in the strength of schedule computer component but also in the human polls.

Ulysses S. Grant

October 27th, 2010
11:41 am

gdawginkalamazoo- I’m an American, if you don’t think I’m a hero then you’re a traitor to you country.

BAMA dude

October 27th, 2010
11:42 am

Duck, you guys have a good team and deserve your ranking at this point. I was just saying that the conference track record ain’t great on the defensive side. Obviously the best four teams in the conference losing their bowls last year doesn’t help perception any either.

Mobile Dawg

October 27th, 2010
11:44 am

But we have more than just cotton fields you’d have to navigate through. Tell me how you would ever get anything approved with that buracracy we have up there now Ulysses. You guys wouldn’t even let us plug an oil leak.

BAMA dude

October 27th, 2010
11:46 am

Alphare, the WLOCP will be on my TV this weekend, that’s for sure!

Mobile Dawg

October 27th, 2010
11:46 am

Tide Rising, are you speculating Bama wins out, or pronoucing it?

jay

October 27th, 2010
11:47 am

Don’t know how good Auburn is but I think Auburn would beat Boise or Oregon. In fact, if you
took the best players from Boise and Oregon, put them together, Auburn would still win by 10.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 27th, 2010
11:47 am

commonsense, that was 10 foot waves. My bad.

PC Easy

October 27th, 2010
11:50 am

Jay you are dreaming. Auburn would have no chance against Oregon – Boise? Hmmm I dunno. It would be close but I think Boise would come out on top.

Tide Rising

October 27th, 2010
11:52 am

Duck,

I thought you guys lost 3 games last year and not 2? In any event it doesn’t matter.

My feeling right now is that you deserve the ranking but there is still a lot of football to be played. As for your qb being substantially better than Masoli I’m not sure I buy that. If that were true he would have started ahead of Masoli. He has done well passing because he hasn’t been pressured- in other words he really hasn’t played a powerful defense. As for Masoli- the guy who ran the Ducks offense last year very successfully- well he got an up front and personal view of what a real defense is like 2 weeks ago. The result- he got tossed around like a rag doll.

Oregon looks great running up and down the field on overmatched defenses. But in my mind if Boise held them to 8 points last year and Ohio State held them to 17 then I’m just not sold until I see you run over a real defense. And Boise’s defense doesn’t even have anywhere near the caliber of athletes as a defense like Bama’s. And Ohio State? Hell that’s the SEC’s personal whipping boy in the bowl games- I just can’t fathom an SEC team losing to those guys in a bowl 9-0 against the buckeyes with most of those games being blowouts.

For now I still think the Ducks are worthy of the top billing but there are definitely some chinks in the armor as they pointed out in the halftime show of last night’s game. We all still have a lot of football to play.

Tide Rising

October 27th, 2010
11:56 am

Mobile Dawg,

I’m usually much more reserved. I’m flat out pronouncing it. We go to LSU in 2 weeks where we’ve won 22 of the last 24 in Baton Rouge, then we have Miss State at home, then Georgia state on a Thursday night- basically 2 weeks to prepare for AU and we have that game at home. AU has enjoyed a lot of good fortune in a series of very close games. Great teams have a loss or 1-2 close games a year. Good teams win a series of close games but aren’t great enough to go the distance undefeated- this best describes Auburn. The luck runs out for them on Nov. 27th. And yes- that is an outright proclamation.

WAR TO THE EAGLE

October 27th, 2010
11:58 am

PC Easy….yeah we have heard this before. Oregon looks to be pretty good, but I simply cant put much stock into it. I know it sounds cliche, but they really haven’t played anybody. I firmly believe that if they played a team with a few more athletes they would def get slowed down. Auburn would easily hang 50 on them just as easily as they could hang 50 on us. Auburn no chance with Oregon? That’s a little far fetched. Auburn just torched a defense with future NFL players on it. It’s been this way all year. This is the week Auburn will get shut down and lose. right? How many times you heard that this year? Well, they keep throwing NFL talent at Cam and he keeps going out and making them look silly. I mean, LSU was supposed to be the team to stop Cam right…He went out and had his best game rushing. Bottom line, Auburn rushes a ton…and football 101 is usually the team that rushes the most wins. If Auburn made a few key stops against Oregon Auburn would outscore them.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
11:58 am

PC Easy,

Did you see Boise St play last night? If you did you need medical attention if you think they could be Cam and the boys. No way Boise beats Auburn. I think USC beats Oregon on Sat.

Not So Fast

October 27th, 2010
12:00 pm

Hey Bama Dude:

“Obviously the best four teams in the conference losing their bowls last year doesn’t help perception any either.”

Is no more relevent than the conference going 5-0 in Bowl games the year before.

GTBob

October 27th, 2010
12:03 pm

Because of the way Boise played last night there is no way they could beat Auburn? How much did Boise need to win by last night to be considered good? Auburn has had a few close calls against mediocre teams. They are not some super powerhouse. I would consider that game probably an even pick.

PC Easy

October 27th, 2010
12:05 pm

War to the Eagle – you sound a little bias but I’ll bite.

LSU is not really that good and had been undefeated because Tennessee can’t count.

Murphy – Yes I agree that Oregon loses this weekend to USC – but if Auburn and Oregon were to play right now, Oregon would win easily. They are tough and always blow out their opponents.

gdawginkalamazoo

October 27th, 2010
12:07 pm

The Iron Bowl will be interesting this year. Bama’s O is better than Auburn’s D and Auburn’s O is better the Bama’s D. I don’t think a shootout but if Auburn can control the time of possession then Bama will lose. Newton just looks like he move the ball at will. Being healthy for it will the key.

Mobile Dawg

October 27th, 2010
12:07 pm

Tide Rising says:

“Oregon, Mich state, and Mizzou all have games this weekend that they could lose. Mich state will lose most likely and if Mizzou doesn’t lose this Sat. I guarantee both will lose a game before its all said and done. And Oregon still has 3 games that they will likely lose one of. Bottom line is that of those 3 teams 2 of them will certainly lose a game between now and the end of the season- book it.”

I like confidence Tide Rising, your’s is supreme. My advice is to watch out for that “trap game” in the middle. MS is a physical football team, but they don’t have a real arsenal of weapons. I was surprised USC was able to do what they did. I, like most others thought Bama was a jauggernaut, but was proved wrong.

I think Auburn comes in undefeated, Bama needs to do their part as you have “boldly” predicted. As Bama dude pointed out earlier, overall Alabama has the “most” superior atheletes. Auburn has “the” superior athelete. Either team could represent the SEC in my eyes.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
12:17 pm

PC Easy,

Auburn vs Oregon right now? Im taking Auburn.Cam would control the ball and clock time and limit Oregons offensive plays .Auburn would out score them by 10-15 points.Auburn would be able to slow the pace of the game.

Cam > Tebow!

October 27th, 2010
12:23 pm

Cam Newton–bigger, faster with a better arm than Tebow. More quickness and can look down the field. Bama will not stop Cam—AU beats Bama by 13–book it. War Cam Eagle!!!!!

Stink Rising

October 27th, 2010
12:24 pm

“Being healthy for it will the key.”

Isn’t that what they say EVERY week? They have a plan? Mike Tyson was being interviewed some years back. The guy interviewing says, “your opponent says he has a plan as to how he’s going to beat you”. Tyson replies “they always have a plan…until I hit’em”. Enter Auburn! They always have a plan until we hit’em!