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 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, where they have probably peaked, regardless of what they do the rest of the season absent some crazy upsets to teams in front of them. Boise State and BYU 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):
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.
- USC: The Trojans get demoted because they are just not getting any love from the computers. They are ranked 8th by the computers, presumably because of the weakness of the Pac-10 and need a couple of crazy things to happen like Florida losing to Florida State, Alabama losing to anyone, Missouri winning the Big 12. The only reason I didn’t move them completely off the list is because of last season, but it looks like the Rose, Fiesta or Sugar for the Men of Troy right now. Strangly enough, Utah’s computer ranking is 4 full ‘spots’ in front of USC’s, based on the system used to calculate the computer scores (USC is at 7.75 and Utah is at 3.75).
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 or one loss (as long as the loss isn’t to Arkansas State or The Citadel) SEC champion.
- Texas: Ditto…for the most part. The Red Raiders would have to lose to Oklahoma or Baylor for them to have a shot, since a tie with Texas Tech alone equals sitting home on December 6th. 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 real problem for the Longhorns is the likelihood of Oklahoma jumping Texas if the Sooners beat the Raiders.
The Champagne Room:
- Florida: The Gators are well on the way to a defacto national championship semi-final in Atlanta. If they win out and beat an undefeated or one loss Alabama in the SEC championship game, they go to Miami. It looks like Florida goes over everyone but an undefeated Texas Tech or possibly a one loss Texas 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: Ok, it is this simple. Win out and play in Miami. Start printing money for Mike Leach or risk losing him. A loss to Oklahoma really makes the Big 12 south interesting, because of the tie breaker rules and having to depend on the BCS poll for a trip to the Big 12 championship game. A win over Oklahoma, but a loss to Baylor gets them to the Big 12 championship game, but still knocks them out of the national championship picture, in my opinion.
- 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.
Tomorrow, I’ll look at the bowls and give my best guess on who will go where from the teams on these lists, plus look at the SEC bowl tie ins.