Each week, I’ll take a look at the BCS contenders and analyze their prospects for making the BCS championship game based on their schedule and the BCS standings. As a starting point, unless all BCS conference champs but the Big East champion ends up with at least two losses, I don’t see any way for this year’s Hawaii to make the BCS championship game due to strength of schedule issues and how that manifests itself in the various computer rankings. Utah is currently the best non-BCS team at 8th in the standings and is at 7th in the computer rankings. Boise State and TCU are both in the top 14 of the BCS, as well.
Oh, yeah. I have also assumed a “Georgia” rule that you have to win your conference to play in the BCS championship. I guess you could call that the “Oklahoma” rule, since they are the ones that screwed it up for everybody else.
Show them the door (teams dropped off the list this week):
-FSU: Seminoles, we hardly knew ye. By virtue of the loss to Georgia Tech.
-Minnessota: By virtue of their loss to Northwestern.
-Georgia: By virtue of their loss in Jacksonville to Florida.
Clayton and Jagdish at Omega House:
- Any ‘mid-major’ team: The only way is if all ‘Big 6 5″ conference champs have two losses and one of the mid-major teams really blows their competition away in the final weeks. An undefeated Utah has the best chance right now.
Kissing Your Sister:
- Oklahoma: The Sooners got one piece of their puzzle put in with Texas Tech’s win in Lubbock. Now, they need to end up in a three way tie with Texas and Texas Tech and end up as the highest ranked BCS team from the Big 12 South. Sounds like the SEC East in 2003. The Sooners still are in a decent position, in my opinion, since they will have at least a win over Texas Tech and Okie State prior to the Big 12 championship game under this scenario. If they do that, I like their chances of being the Big 12 South rep to the championship game. Win that game and they probably end up in Miami over everyone but an undefeated SEC champion and possibly an undefeated Penn State.
- Texas: Ditto, but have Texas Tech and the team that beats Texas Tech (Oklahoma or Oklahoma State) in a three way tie.
- Oklahoma State: I would say ditto, but Oklahoma State is getting no respect from the polls right now, which is confusing to me. Wins over Texas Tech and Oklahoma will correct that. As long as they don’t end up in a two way tie with Texas for the Big 12 championship, they have a shot at the Big 12 championship. I am less confident in their chances over USC and Penn State.
The Champagne Room:
- Florida: Of all the current remaining one loss teams, this is the one that the pundits feel is most likely to go all the way. The win over Georgia improved their computer score from T-10 to 5th. Their schedule has a fairly high upside right now with games against FSU and the winner of the LSU/Alabama game in the SEC championship. However, if it is a two loss SEC West champion they beat, I am less confident in their options. The game against the Citadel in November has a bunch of downside. Right now, it looks like Florida goes over everyone but an undefeated Texas Tech if they win the SEC as a one loss team.
- USC: Good news is their strength of schedule will only improve. Bad news is Notre Dame’s loss to Pitt took one possible way for USC to jump some teams out of the mix. Southern Cal really needs to have a two loss champion in the Big 12 or SEC to be assured a shot. The Trojans have some upside with the computers (they are 10th). The Trojans definitely goes over a one loss Big 10 champ, but have to have some help in the Big12/SEC.
On the Way Home (and what happens if they call their date by the wrong name):
- Texas Tech: Arrrgghhh! Texas Tech now has the control we all thought Texas did over their destiny. Of course, they have the toughest schedule with games against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma left. It is my opinion that Texas Tech will suffer the most from a loss of the three major undefeateds, since it would probably knock them out of the Big 12 championship game. If they play in and win the Big 12 championship game as a one loss team, they probably end up in Miami over everyone but an undefeated SEC and Big 10 champ.
- Penn State: If Penn State ends up as a one loss champ, I don’t see how they go to the championship game without everyone else being two loss champions, although there is an outside possibility something along the lines of 1997 could happen, with the coaches just giving Joe Pa a chance to go out on top.
- Alabama: If they win the SEC with a loss (as long as the loss is to LSU), the Tide probably plays in BCS championship game, IF they beat a one loss Florida in the SEC championship game. If they lose teams on their schedule, the Sugar Bowl is as good as it can get for them.
Starting next week, I’ll look at the BCS bowls and think about who goes where, plus where the SEC teams go.