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 7th in the standings and is at 4th in the computer rankings. Boise State and Ball State 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. At this point, we can also just call it the Big 12 South rule.
Show them the door (teams dropped off the list this week):
-Oklahoma State: By virtue of having their timbers shivered against Texas Tech.
-Penn State: By virtue of getting the evil “eye” in Iowa City. I am officially keeping them off list unless we have a repeat of 2007.
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. I will say that Utah is looking strong, but they have probably peaked at 4th in the computer polls.
Kissing Your Sister:
- Oklahoma: The Sooners 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 end up in Miami over everyone but an undefeated SEC champion.
- Texas: Ditto…for the most part. The Red Raiders could lose both of their remaining games and leave the head to head match up with Oklahoma as the decider. The tricky part is if the Big 12 has to go to the 5th tie breaker to decide who goes to the Big 12 championship from the South (the team with the highest ranking in the BCS). In order for Texas to get in, they have to be in a three way tie with Texas Tech and Oklahoma. The only way there can be a three way tie with Oklahoma and Texas Tech is if Oklahoma beats the Raiders. The real problem for the Longhorns is the likelihood of Oklahoma jumping Texas by beating the Raiders. The Sooners are already ranked above the Longhorns in the Coaches Poll and is nipping at their heels in the Harris Poll. It is a real possibility for the Sooners to jump the Longhorns if the Sooners win this weekend. I am not out on a limb here.
- USC: Good news is their strength of schedule still can improve. Bad news is Notre Dame’s loss to Pitt Boston College took any remaining hope for USC to jump some teams in the mix. Southern Cal really needs to have a two loss champion in the Big 12 or SEC to be assured a shot. Oh yeah, they badly need Oregon State to lose again, as some voters could consider them to be ‘not’ the Pac-10 champion. The Trojans need the Mizzu to win the Big 12. At this point, the Trojans are behind all one loss teams from the SEC and the Big 12, in my opinion.
The Champagne Room:
- Florida: The Gators are well on the way to a defacto national championship semi-final. If they win out and beat an undefeated Alabama in the SEC championship game, I see no way they get kept out of the national championship game. IF Bama loses a game before the SEC championship game, Florida probably still gets into the championship game, but it isn’t the lock it will be if they beat an undefeated Bama. It looks like Florida goes over everyone but an undefeated Texas Tech if they win the SEC as a one loss team.
On the Way Home (and what happens if they call their date by the wrong name):
- Texas Tech: Yarrrr! It is my opinion that Texas Tech will suffer the most from a loss since it will likely knock them out of the Big 12 championship game if the loss is to Oklahoma. If they lose to Baylor, I don’t seem them playing for anything more than the Fiesta Bowl as a Big 12 champion. If they were to play in and win the Big 12 championship game as a one loss team, they probably end up at the end of the line behind one loss SEC, Pac-10 and Big 10 champions.
- Alabama: If they win the SEC with a loss, the Tide probably plays in BCS championship game, IF they beat a one loss Florida in the SEC championship game. If they lose to Arkansas State, the Sugar Bowl is as good as it can get for them.
Later this week, I’ll look at the bowls and give my best guess on who will go where from the teams on these lists.