This week’s Alabama-Auburn game is about more than just whether the Tigers can remain undefeated — and maybe the possible gateway to the next Cam Newton conspiracy theory. It’s probably about the SEC’s lifeline in the national title game.
The top five in the BCS rankings reads like this: 1. Oregon (10-0); 2. Auburn (11-0); 3. TCU (11-0); 4. Boise State (10-0); 5. LSU (10-1).
The question of whether a one-loss SEC team can make it into the BCS title game over an undefeated team from another conference has existed all season. But — at the risk of predicting the whims of voters or the probabilities of computers — I think that probably ended when Alabama (9-2) lost its second game of the season to LSU.
Try to follow:
♦ If Auburn, which is a four-point underdog to Alabama, loses at Tuscaloosa, it will have lost to a two-loss team. That hurts in computers.
♦ LSU has only one loss and could close the regular season with a win over Arkansas. The problem is that LSU won’t even make it into the SEC championship game (Auburn won the West Division). There is no BCS rule prohibiting a non-conference champion from being in the title game but I can’t see voters letting that happen. (I can’t speak for computers, and they’re not talking).
So Auburn losing to Alabama not only submarines its own title hopes, it submarines the conference. This would follow four straight BCS champions coming from the SEC (chronologically since 2006: Florida-LSU-Florida-Alabama).
So here’s the question: Do you care?
Some fans feel that once their team is out, they don’t care who wins it. Others pull for the division, the league, conference, the region, even the time zone.
True story: My father always has been a time zone guy. He starts on the West Coast, then works his way across the Rockies, through the Plains and eventually gets to Maine. Funny. He’s originally from Hoboken, New Jersey.
Anyway, I’ve got a poll up so let me hear ya. I guess this is mostly directed at Georgia fans:. Are you pulling for Auburn for the sake of the SEC?