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

Beast from the East

October 27th, 2010
7:12 am

Lots of football still to be played, so it’s all just speculation at this point. One thing for sure is my Gators don’t have to worry about it this year. We’ll be happy to win our remaining games and build momentum for next year.
Go Gators!

Jay

October 27th, 2010
7:14 am

bama is irrelevent. they will have 1 more loss by end of season…there’s a tiger team that’s going to beat them…maybe 2 of them.

Dooley the Vol

October 27th, 2010
7:33 am

Auburns D is acerage at best, if the Ducks meet them in the BCS it could get ugly.

PC Easy

October 27th, 2010
7:33 am

Mizzou & Mich St will lose before the end of the season, once or maybe twice each. Auburn’s luck runs out this weekend and they’ll lose again to Bama at the Iron Bowl. Boise St played a sloppy game yesterday against a #? La Tech and should not be considered for any national championship game.

Dooley the Vol

October 27th, 2010
7:33 am

I meant average.

cuttysark

October 27th, 2010
7:36 am

This could be the year that 2 non automatic qualifiers are pitted against each other in the BCS National Title Game. BSU will win out, and either Utah or TCU will probably also be undefeated after they play each other next month. the SEC winner will have 1 loss, as will the Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac 10 Champion. What this will do is force a + 1 game either next year or the year after that will make the BCS complete. The Big Boy Conferences will not stand by and allow 2 non AQ schools to play for the final BCS Title, and this matchup of BSU v. either TCU or Utah will finally force what everyone who enjoys following college football has been asking for; a +1 game to decide the true National Champion. This will be as close to a playoff as we will ever have in the BCS system.

Go to http://isportsweb.com for articles on both Georgia and Georgia Tech Football.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
7:37 am

Im picking 2 upsets this week:

*USC to beat Oregon
*Rocky Top over the Kickin-Chickins

JT

October 27th, 2010
7:37 am

Jay, keep thinking Bama is irrelevant. Last year at this time, Bama looked like they were unraveling and the rest is history. LSU will be an easy win and Julio, Maze and Hanks will likely combine for 550 yards receiving against AU’s high school calibre secondary. Throw the running game in the mix and who knows what the total offense could be. And Cam beware — Saban is already scheming.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
7:39 am

PC Easy,

Just discussing the Boise game last night with a co-worker.If im a voter and watched that game last night,I would not put Boise in the Championship game.They did not look that caliber last night.

Troy

October 27th, 2010
7:39 am

I think Bama will drop one more game (LSU. The crowd will help LSU beat Bama. Auburn (Bama) and Oregon (USC & OSU) will both lose at least one game. No doubt Michigan State (Iowa) and Missouri(Nebraska) lose at least one game. What then?

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
7:45 am

I say Bama beats up LSU pretty good.

Bama: 31
LSU: 10

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
7:46 am

JT

Schemes are great, but Saban doesn’t have to get out on that field and tackle that guy. Creating a good defensive gameplan is one thing, getting Newton on the ground is another.

shane

October 27th, 2010
7:47 am

Bama wins out and plays in the BCS title game

Mike

October 27th, 2010
7:47 am

Better hope MSU and Mizzou lose this weekend, cause if they don’t they’ll both go 12-0.

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
7:48 am

MURPHY

If Bama wins by that much in Baton Rouge, then they’ve sold me that they’re a good team. I haven’t seen a big-time win by this team yet, but that would be one.

Auburn Man

October 27th, 2010
7:52 am

PC Easy…I can agree that AU could lose the Iron Bowl but I don’t see Mississippi “outlasting” AU. Mississippi is allowing 31 points a game. When they play AU a lot more than 31 points will be on the board and they don’t have the O to come close to keeping up. Yes this could be a trap game but I think Chizik will keep their heads on straight and they will keep on top and not look back. Bama….well that’s another conversation. UGA is a bigger concern than Ole Miss.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
7:52 am

3rdn8

LSU has nothing left-Auburn broke their spirits. Bama is warming back up for the stretch run.

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
7:53 am

Mike

I agree. MSU wins against Iowa, then the only game left is against a weak PSU team that is getting weaker.

Lee Barton

October 27th, 2010
7:54 am

Auburn and Michigan State are so lucky they don’t have to play Boise State’s schedule….never a break! Nevada, San Jose State, La Tech, Idaho…brutal.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
7:54 am

Auburn Man,

Be carefull with ole’ Huston Nutt-he can for sure get a team ready to play a big game. Cam and the boys should by all means throttle Ole Miss but Coach Nutt is sneaky.

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
7:55 am

MURPH

I’ve never seen an LSU team with nothng left, especially a defense coached by John Chavis. I’m guessing this game will look a lot like 2008. I don’t think the crowd will be quite as ugly to Saban.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
7:58 am

That defense over in LSU got physically beat up last week.If Cam and the boys can do that think what Richardson and Ingram will do.

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
8:03 am

Oregon will lose one game on their remaining schedule. I think the Ducks are a super team, but that is a tough row for them down the stretch.

Mizzou gets a loss this weekend, or in the Big 12 championship

If my Tide can win out, I suspect they’ll be watching the NC game at home.

If AU and Oregon lose a game, the NC will be between Michigan State and Boise/TCU

Those teams will have made the show playing a pretty weak schedule (MSU does not play OSU), and without having to play a conference championship.

That doesn’t seem quite fair, but then what does?

Troy

October 27th, 2010
8:03 am

Who has Oregon played to date? Divison II Portland State with a 2-5 record. New Mexico who hasn’t won a game in two years (0-7). Tennesse (2-5). Arizona State (3-4). Washington State who is 1-7 with that ONE win coming against Montana State! The DUCKS ONLY quality win thus far was against Stanford. Period. The DUCKS defense is suspect.

Auburn pulled it out of their b*!!s against Mississippi State 17-14, Clemeson 27-24 OT, and Kentucky 37-34. And where was the defense when they played Arkansas?? 65-43! 108 points in a football game.

The Ducks haven’t been tested. They will lose at least one maybe two games.

Auburn has been lucky (aka LSU). One person can not carry an entire football team (see Michigan or Ohio State). They will lose at least one maybe two games.

MaJo

October 27th, 2010
8:04 am

Dooley the Vol, by “get ugly” do you mean the same way that Tennessee loses games?

Tony Blowhard

October 27th, 2010
8:05 am

Gee, what should I write about today? Hmm.. Maybe another column on what it would take to get an SEC team into the Nat’l Championship Game! Everybody wants the SEC in there. No way could my readers be getting tired of my 24/7 SEC coverage. There is just no way! Note to self.. Make sure to every once in a while put a sentence or two about one of the other conferences in there. We don’t need anybody thinking we could possibly be biased…

Hurt Kurbstreit

October 27th, 2010
8:09 am

It’s going to be difficult for a SEC team to get into the BCS game this year. They are all going to beat each other up. Auburn has 3 difficult games left and is bound to lose at least one of them with that very average defense. Alabama has already lost one game and also has 3 difficult games left. Probably will lose another one. LSU has one loss and it will be hard for them to move up with that lousy offense. The run may come to an end even though the SEC might have the 3 or 4 of the best teams this year.

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
8:10 am

To my fellow Bama fans. Don’t let your all-consuming hate for anything AU blind you. That is a good football team they have down there on the plains. The defense is a bit average in the secondary, and their LBs are a little small, but that’s the only glaring weaknesses on that team.

And…they’re not a one trick pony on offense. Newton has some good skill players at his disposal. D. Adams could play on any team in the SEC, and if Dyer gets a bit healthier he is an o/s RB.

I like Bama’s chances of beating AU in Tuscaloosa, but I don’t see them losing before that.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
8:11 am

Tony Blowhard,

You are in the South-This is SEC Country-Go on-line and pick a Northern paper if you dont want to here about the SEC.No one is forcing you to be here! We dont care about any other conferences

shane

October 27th, 2010
8:11 am

Maybe he writes about the SEC due to the fact that the other Conference in the South doesn’t have any title contenders. That would be my guess.

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
8:13 am

shane,

OUCH!!!

shane

October 27th, 2010
8:14 am

notthisyear

October 27th, 2010
8:16 am

This Gator still thinks there is only one complete SEC Championship type team this year.And it will be Alabama!

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
8:17 am

notthisyear,

This Dawg feels the same way

Not a Tech or UGA Fan.....

October 27th, 2010
8:19 am

This week is Mich St’s only obstacle left so if they win they should go 12 and 0. If Missouri wins this week they will still have to play Oklahoma or Oklahoma St in the Big 12 championship game something Oregon and/or Mich St would not have to worry about so they would have a legitimate gripe if they go undefeated and are left out of the BCS championship game.

shane

October 27th, 2010
8:20 am

Getting the Feeling that both Sparty and Mizzou both going down this weekend.

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
8:21 am

nothisyear, MURPHY

hope you’re both right, but I’m straining to see the “complete” part.

shane

October 27th, 2010
8:23 am

3rdn8

Come on man. You should have that bye week confidence like I do. Now this time next week I’ll be thinking of all the ways LSU can beat us. LOL

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
8:26 am

shane

I’m actually getting less nervous about this team. I think they’re finally starting to gel on defense. If somehow the OL can keep people out of McElroy’s grill, he can make some plays.

Hard to believe we’re already down to the last four games

True, true, true...

October 27th, 2010
8:26 am

…this “blowhard” guy is a real writer, getting us to respond is exactly what his plan is.

Take for instance, he starts out talking about 7 undefeated teams and their prospects for ending the year undefeated, but along the way incorporates a 1 loss team into the picture, putting them AHEAD of one of the original undefeated 7 – gotta admire that kind of moxie…

But, he still ain’t no Furman Bisher, even though he aspires to one day reach that level…

MURPHY

October 27th, 2010
8:26 am

3rdn8

We are always more critical towards a team we root for. I still dont think my Dawgs win on Saturday.I see no way we beat the Gators.On the other hand I think Bama is still the team to beat.Watching the Tenn game I saw Bama get back to Saban ball and really get nasty with the running game.Now I understand that was Tenn but I see Bama warming up and I see them really exploding at LSU.

Gen Neyland

October 27th, 2010
8:28 am

I don’t know. I’ve no wizards crystal ball and no idea how the games will shake out. Here’s something else to muddle our minds with…ELO_CHESS..?

http://www.tima.com/~jsagarin/sports/cfsend.htm

J Clay

October 27th, 2010
8:28 am

Mizzou loses Saturday, Michigan St loses Saturday, TCU/UTH – one loses when they play, Auburn – as good as they are I think loses 1 game along the way, Oregon – think they win out IF they win this weekend, Boise St – wins out but does not deserve to be there…

Based on that scenario it would really depend on who Auburn loses to – say they lose this weekend (not predicting it, just a what if) but then win out….I don’t think the voters would put a 1 loss Auburn team in title game – I think it would be Boise St v Oregon (or winner of Utah/TCU is Oregon stumbles)….Long of way saying that I think Tony is only partially right – I think the only SEC team that has a legit shot at MNC with 1 loss is Alabama – any others I think they let the non-AQ’s in ahead of them

shane

October 27th, 2010
8:30 am

3rdn8

I agree. We have all the pieces on offense, just have to get both phases (running and passing game) clicking at the same time. Season has gone by fast.

J Clay

October 27th, 2010
8:30 am

Also one other thing Tony fails to point out….whether Auburn or Alabama in SEC title game this year – that 13th game won’t be as impressive as it normally would be – Gators are down and as for South Carolina – I’m sure Alabama would love to play them again, and they won’t scare Auburn

#1 BAMA FAN

October 27th, 2010
8:35 am

Congrats to AU for the BCS #1, they deserve it. I sure am glad BAMA made it to the off week, we are beat up. Good luck to all the teams this week. I am looking forward to November 26th, If BAMA & Auburn can win out til then. I am glad that the LSU game is a 330pm game.RTR

Realistic Fan

October 27th, 2010
8:39 am

Dooley the Vol:

Thank you for your insightful comments about Auburn’s Defense. Very enlightening. Looking forward to tomorrow when you detail how Auburn’s Offense is a “one man band”.

Half of you freaks live inside an echo chamber. Auburn will likely win relatively close games with Ole Miss and UGAy and then play a tough game at Bama.

Every idiot football personality in the media has spent the past month telling us about the greatness of bama and Saban; about them being angry and prepared. About the process – blah blah blah.

If AU wins that game, I’ll giddily await the pathetic new refrain that somehow diminishes Auburn’s accomplishments and worthiness.

War Cam Eagle. Bring it on you Bozos.

SSIgator

October 27th, 2010
8:41 am

The only reason auburn is a continder is because they have a Gator player who is carrying them. The Gators have to much ethics to allow a laptop thief to play on the team. Not to mention that he stole from some of his teamates when he was at Florida.

3rdn8

October 27th, 2010
8:44 am

J Clay

you just made my point. I also think the struggles in the SEC east this year is the main reason a one-loss Tide watches from home. Bama really needs for four of the top ranked teams to lose a game (they’ll have to take of AU themselves), That’s a tall order, if you look at the remaining schedules

jumbeauxtiger

October 27th, 2010
8:46 am

A case can be made for an undefeated Missouri team to make it to the title game over Bama, although I think the Tide is better. I don’t think an undefeated Michigan State team should. The Big 10 has an unfair advantage with no league championship game.

Murph, I think Saban will be using alot more of the Wildcat formation in Baton Rouge after the way the Tigers couldn’t handle the Auburn offense. If we don’t play better on D and don’t have some balance on offense, both big ifs, it could get ugly.