Could Auburn lose and STILL get to the BCS championship game?

Conventional wisdom says that for No. 1 Auburn, Saturday’s SEC championship game is for a berth in the BCS title game in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 10. Beat South Carolina for the second time this season and the Tigers (12-0) will play somebody, probably Oregon, for its first national championship since 1957. Lose, and Auburn is likely headed to the Orange Bowl.

But remember, we are in the age of the BCS, when humans combine with computers to make the unusual happen.

Remember 2003? No. 1 Oklahoma was undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the BCS Standings and No. 1 in both the human polls going into championship Saturday. But the Sooners lost 35-7 in the Big 12 championship game to Kansas State.

Still, when all the BCS numbers were crunched the next day,  Oklahoma (12-1) was No. 1 and LSU (12-1), which had beaten Georgia in the SEC championship game, was No. 2. USC (11-1), which had beaten Oregon State 52-28 on championship Saturday, moved to No. 1 in both human polls but dropped to No. 3 in the final BCS Standings. Oklahoma and LSU went on to play for the BCS national championship, which was won by LSU. USC beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl and was awarded the national championship by the Associated Press.

The next year they changed the BCS formula to give greater weight (two-thirds) to the voters in the human polls. A non-conference champion has not played in the BCS title game since.

So I want to ask an unconventional question this morning: If Auburn loses in a tight game to South Carolina on Saturday at the Georgia Dome, could the Tigers STILL get into the BCS championship game?

Despite the change in the BCS formula I believe the answer is yes. And here’s why:

First of all, you can make the argument that at 12-1, Auburn’s resume is still stronger than TCU at 12-0  or for any other one-loss team in the top five:

1. Auburn, if it loses,  will be 12-1 with FIVE wins over teams in the BCS Top 25:   No. 7 Arkansas, No. 10 LSU, No. 16 Alabama, No. 19 South Carolina (earlier this season), and No. 22 Mississippi State. Auburn enters the game ranked No. 1 in all six computer polls.

2. Oregon (11-0): Has played TWO teams in Top 25: No. 4 Stanford (won) and No. 23 Arizona (won)

3. TCU (12-0): Has beaten one team, No. 20 Utah, in the BCS Top 25.

4. Stanford (11-1): Has played TWO teams in Top 25: lost to No. 2 Oregon 52-31; beat No. 23 Arizona

5. Wisconsin (11-1): Played TWO teams in the Top 25: lost to No. 8 Michigan State; beat No. 6 Ohio State

 The biggest argument, however, will come if the voters have to choose between a 12-0 TCU and 12-1 Auburn.

Using the CBSSports.com 120, which ranks all 120 teams, here are the rankings of Auburn’s 11 Division I opponents:

8—Arkansas

9—LSU

18—Alabama

19—South Carolina (which it has already beaten)

23—Miss. State

52—Georgia

61—Kentucky

62—Clemson

78—Ole Miss

100—Louisiana-Monroe

103—Arkansas State

That’s five wins in the top 23, nine wins in the Top 80 and two opponents ranked No. 100 or higher.

 Here are the rankings of TCU’s 11 Division I-A opponents:

21—Utah

28—Air Force

32—San Diego State

46–SMU

47—Baylor

64–BYU

67—Oregon State

104–Wyoming

107—Colorado State

109—UNLV

119—New Mexico

That’s one win the Top 21, seven wins in the Top 80, and four wins against teams ranked 104 or higher.

 So for Auburn it is all going to come down to the human voters in the Coaches poll and the Harris Interactive polls. If Auburn loses on Saturday, do the voters look at the body of work to make the decision on how far to drop the Tigers? Or do they simply say that Auburn didn’t win its conference championship and thus elevate TCU or Wisconsin?

Remember, there is no rule that says a team has to win its conference championship to play in the BCS title game.

Man, this is going to be a fun week.

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457 comments Add your comment

Saint Simons SUCKS

November 29th, 2010
6:56 am

((((((((42-34)))))))))) BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dooley the Vol

November 29th, 2010
7:11 am

Go Big Orange, at least we still own UK football. Watch out Dogfans, CDD will have us back sooner than later.

Joe

November 29th, 2010
7:12 am

Here is hoping that the truth comes out this week. Did Cam go to Auburn for $200,000? What did Fairley get?

KidRay

November 29th, 2010
7:13 am

No way do they get in, nor should they. If they choke in SECCG, send em to the Orange.

ALLIN4AU

November 29th, 2010
7:14 am

I think Auburn locked itself into the big game last Friday.Ga dome will not matter.

UgaLeeDawg

November 29th, 2010
7:19 am

They will put AU in the game because Cam will bring the most $$$ to the table. TCU does not have a chance unless Oregon loses. I think AU beats TCU so it would be the technically correct decision BUT not the right one. More fuel for a playoff I say.

Dawg_Mike

November 29th, 2010
7:25 am

The phone call Saban got at halftime Friday from Slive’s office assured Auburn of going to Glendale. BIG MONEY to the conference….

How else could Alabama’s collapse be explained?

Of course, this is in jest…..or is it?

m

November 29th, 2010
7:33 am

Tony….even more of your idiotic rants in support of the indefensible BS-bcs?

Why not wonder if a 0-12 sec team could be chosen over someone else with a 12-0.

Your asinine opinions are what is wrong with college football.

We need a 16 (or 24) team playoff and we need all opinions (especially Tony’s) out of college football and let the athletes DECIDE IT ON THE FIELD. And that is ALL the athletes, not just sec athletes.

The BS-bcs is a disgrace and so is Tony.

MURPHY

November 29th, 2010
7:42 am

S.Carolina will UPSET the Tigers in the SEC Championship Game!!!

The Evil One will be prepared.

MURPHY

November 29th, 2010
7:45 am

Dooley the Vol,

It will be sooner! Like 2011. Dooley has done an outstanding job. The Vols have some great young talent who got SEC Game playing time this year.Tenn and S.Carolina will rule the SEC East for the next 2-3 years. Congrads on the Bowl Trip.

merculf

November 29th, 2010
7:45 am

They aren’t going to lose so it won’t matter.

aw

November 29th, 2010
7:54 am

worst scenario ever is possible … Oregon Stanford rematch.

sleeze

November 29th, 2010
7:57 am

M…you have issues, brother..

ATL is TigerTown

November 29th, 2010
8:01 am

SimpleDawg

November 29th, 2010
8:02 am

Scam and the Looters should appear in the BCSNCG whether they win or lose.

Reality Sets In

November 29th, 2010
8:02 am

Some years the entire league is down. This is one of those years. This season was set up to give Boise State their big Cinderella moment, but the Broncos blew it. Auburn will play in Glendale because they are the closest thing to a traditional power left standing in the Top 5. The SEC Championship means nothing. Auburn has already punched their ticket to the BCSCG. Only one game against a 4-6 team stands between Oregon and Glendale. This Championship game will garner respectable viewership on the West Coast and in Lee County, Alabama. Cam can sell his Heisman Trophy on eBay long before he is declared ineligible.

SimpleDawg

November 29th, 2010
8:04 am

Scam may have gotten paid in cash, but Fairly gets paid in raw meat.

jumbeauxtiger

November 29th, 2010
8:05 am

First of all congrats to Arkansas for a big win over LSU and a likely Sugar Bowl bid.

There were comments on here last week that LSU has no business playing in the BCS title game as they can’t win the SEC. If Auburn loses to SC, wouldn’t they be in the same position?

I believe TCU will get in the game although I think Auburn should because of their schedule. If Auburn does back into the game you better believe there will be an uproar.

A plus-one playoff seeding the top 4 teams and rotating two of the BCS bowls would be a step in the right direction.

SimpleDawg

November 29th, 2010
8:06 am

I still say the SEC is not down…….nor mediocre.

Watch what happens in the bowls……The SEC doesn’t lose a game.

AU77

November 29th, 2010
8:07 am

Hey Joe,

Herchel Walker, Reggie Bush, Vince Young , Julio Jones, AJ Green, just to name a few. You think they went to their schools just because. If you do you are not very bright. Cam Newton should have asked for more!!! WAR EAGLE!!!! Just win baby!!!

Reality Sets In

November 29th, 2010
8:07 am

Correction: Oregon State is 5-6, not 4-6.

Reality Sets In

November 29th, 2010
8:11 am

Auburn: “Everybody does it.”

Everybody: “Maybe so, but we aren’t dumb enough to get caught!”

Realistic Fan

November 29th, 2010
8:11 am

Dawg_Mike = Moron.

Call from the league office to AL so they can make more money? There will be two SEC teams in BCS bowls regardless.

What a total dumb@ss. Typical neck bull pup fan. Nice win over a mediocre ACC team by a freaking missed PAT.

DC

November 29th, 2010
8:13 am

Murphy..keep on saying it…12 games have passed and nothing has changed..AU’s defense will tear up that SMALL o-line SC has..again..I watched some of the clemson game and I reassured my assessment of them. A good team but AU’s strengths definitely outweigh SC’s strengths (ie wide receiver)..

Back to the story…its hard to say..West coast people will put TCU up…East coast people will be alot more kind to AU…I say AU win saturday and don’t have to worry about all that nonsense!

Then people will say AU will lose to (Fill in the blank) in the championship game…people have been saying same thing since week 2..trust me I’m smiling every minute of it!

S GA AU FAN

November 29th, 2010
8:13 am

Nice clean game Friday between two big rivals. I think we see who the thugs are.

Cam4Heisman

November 29th, 2010
8:13 am

SimpleDawg your name says it all LOL!! Can’t wait to see the egg all over your face when Cam gets cleared! If they had any reason to suspect he was paid the NCAA would not continue to let him play: UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!! They would have recomended that AU sit him and we would have complied. Right now they are trying to determine who leaked this false info to the press, and who at UF released his academic records. But all this is over your head I forgot u are a thUGA fan LOL

SWGADAWG

November 29th, 2010
8:14 am

Yes….and then they forfeit at a later date. All the bowl money goes back to the NCAA. And people wonder why the NCAA is dragging it’s feet….

Reality Sets In

November 29th, 2010
8:14 am

@SimpleDawg

Just because the entire league is down doesn’t mean that the SEC isn’t still superior to their peers.

social circle dawg

November 29th, 2010
8:17 am

UgaLeeDawg is correct….it’s all about the money.

Reality Sets In

November 29th, 2010
8:18 am

Cam Newton’s eligibility is the least of Auburn’s NCAA problems. Cameron will be a mere footnote when this crap really hits the fan. By then, Auburn will own another tainted trophy to sit beside the one from 1957.

Mike

November 29th, 2010
8:20 am

Give it up Tony, if AU doesn’t win it’s conference it’s not playing for the title and it doesn’t deserve to. Just stop already, you’re making the SEC look like a bunch of babies. WIN all of your games and you will play for it all.

Bubba

November 29th, 2010
8:21 am

This would aggravate me if Auburn looses and still gets in there……..if im not mistaken UGA was set to go in “07″ and they came up with the BS of you have to win your conference ……….wuts up with that ???

Mike

November 29th, 2010
8:21 am

Didn’t the SEC just go 2-2 against the pitiful ACC Saturday? Stop with all the SEC is so superior to any other conference bull. No one is buying it. Auburn better win or they will be watching TCU play for it all.

Bama Fan #2

November 29th, 2010
8:23 am

After BLACK FRIDAY I am going on a long trip on a slow boat to China!!

Reality Sets In

November 29th, 2010
8:24 am

@Mike

Oregon wouldn’t be undefeated right now if they played in the ACC. The PAC 10 is a joke this year.

DC

November 29th, 2010
8:25 am

Mike,

Florida lost to a ranked opponent in a year it is clear that florida is NOT good at all…and are we really going to compare what Vandy does against anyone?..just saying..

I also feel that having these 6-6 teams are going to screw up SEC record in bowl season…Tennessee doesn’t deserve to get a bowl!

3rdN8

November 29th, 2010
8:26 am

Congratulations to AU and USC. Both had outstanding seasons.

I thought the first quarter was the best 15 minutes of football I ever recall a Bama team playing. Unfortunately, The AU team didn’t throw in the towel, and decided to play the last 45 minutes. Hats off to a great comeback.

I’m guessing there is a lot of soul searching going on in Tuscaloosa this morning.

moops

November 29th, 2010
8:27 am

If AU loses, they do not go to NC game. How can you have a national champion who is not even the champion of their own conference?

This same argument was used against UGA in 2007, which kept them out of the NC game. If they lose, I see either TCU or a 1 loss team (like Wisonsin maybe) sneaking in there.

Reality Sets In

November 29th, 2010
8:28 am

@DC

Don’t worry about the Vols. There will be some 5 win teams getting into bowl games this year.

Mulk

November 29th, 2010
8:29 am

m – i agree with your post but what do you expect from Bonehart? He should change his self proclamation to Mr. SEC Football. I’m surprised he’s not beating the drums for Arkansas to be playing for the NC.

I think that he is in favor of a playoff if it is loaded with SEC teams and if they host all the games.

Percy Harvin

November 29th, 2010
8:30 am

Does it really matter? Auburn will give up those wins in the end and cripple the program!

Insider

November 29th, 2010
8:31 am

Paul Johnson will take the Vandy job!

Paul

November 29th, 2010
8:31 am

To Reality Sets In: You are incorrect, sir. The SEC is not down this year. They are just as strong as ever. The difference is the power has shifted from the SEC East to the SEC West, and with the “traditional” SEC East powers (UF & UT, with UGA ocasionally) being down, the perception is that the conference is down. However, Auburn, Arkansas and MSU have replaced those eastern powers and the east now resembles the west of past seasons.

3rdN8

November 29th, 2010
8:32 am

They have to fill seventy (7-zero) bowl slots. There will probably be some five win teams in bowls. Let’s just give every kid a trophy, and be done with it.

But since we’re going down this path, the Vols sure get my vote. They played hard all year in one of the toughest situations I’ve seen a coaching staff encounter (Mike Shula’s first year at Bama being the other).

Paul

November 29th, 2010
8:33 am

Sorry, I didn’t mean to slight bummer(spit!). The tiders are still a power to be reckoned with as well…

3rdN8

November 29th, 2010
8:34 am

Paul

you also left out LSU.

jumbeauxtiger

November 29th, 2010
8:40 am

3rdN8,

I saw a report over the weekend that there are exactly 70 bowl eligible teams now and there are still a few teams such as Washington that have a chance to become bowl eligible this weekend. Thus it doesn’t appear that any 5-7 team will go to a bowl.

3rdN8

November 29th, 2010
8:43 am

jumbeauxtiger

I stand corrected. I was going on a comment made on ESPN last week. I guess the weekend resutls changed some stuff.

AUGUYinATL

November 29th, 2010
8:44 am

There are a lot of idiots here in the ATL but I won’t let that get me down….why? Because my Auburn Tigers beat Bama and we are in a position to play for the National Championship. There are a lot of envious folks who wish they could say the same. After 2 years, Chizik has Auburn at the top of the SEC and #1 in the BCS. War Eagle to my peeps and see you Saturday at the GA Dome. Anyone have a ticket for sale??? LOL

The GAME

November 29th, 2010
8:47 am

It is amazing the whining of the UGA fans that continue. Auburn has never been accused of anything and niether has Cam Newton. In fact UGA has more experience with the NCAA than Auburn. Alabama currentyl has 17 teams on probation, Auburn has none. Keep wishing and hoping that something will happen to Auburn. UGA better worry about keeping a coach. and BTW you paid $750,000 a year for that sorry defense.