As the college football season comes down the homestretch, teams are starting to emerge as the favorites for a birth in the final BCS National Championship. In the BCS’s final season, we could be headed for one of the most dramatic years yet, where its computers may have to decide between 1-loss teams, or even undefeated teams. Alabama, Florida State, Oregon, Baylor, Missouri, Auburn, and Ohio State are all still in the hunt. Let’s breakdown each team’s chances.
Alabama Crimson Tide 10-0 (7-0 SEC)-
For the Tide, their job is simple. Win out, go to the National Championship. Once they beat down on Chattanooga this weekend at Bryant-Denny Stadium, they will face two tough tests. The 6th ranked Auburn Tigers host the Crimson Tide on November 30th, in the annual Iron Bowl. The winner of this game is headed to Atlanta for the SEC Championship. If Alabama wins at Auburn, they will play either #8 Missouri or #11 South Carolina in the SEC Championship. If Alabama loses either of these games, it is highly unlikely they qualify for the title game.
Florida State Seminoles 10-0 (8-0 ACC)-
Florida State has the easiest path to the National Championship. Along with Alabama, if they win their next three games, they will be playing in Pasadena for the BCS Title Game. This week, the Seminoles should dominate 1-9 Idaho. After that, the Noles head to the swamp, where the Florida Gators await. Sure ,Florida has been absolutely awful, and decimated by injuries, but they are still playing for their pride against a long time rival. However, Florida State should pass this test. Next, the Seminoles will play in the ACC Championship vs an underrated Duke team. Duke is 25th in the AP Polls, and is quietly 8-2 with wins over Miami and Virginia Tech. Florida State should not expect to waltz into the title, but they will be 2 touchdown or more favorites in every game until then.
Teams That Need Some Help:
Baylor Bears 9-0 (6-0 Big 12)-
Baylor is the team waiting on the BCS doorstep. If either Alabama or Florida State were to lose, and Baylor won out, then Baylor would get the ticket to Pasadena. The Bears lead the nation in scoring, averaging 61.2 PPG. They are also 7th in points against, allowing only 17.4 PPG. Baylor is just slightly behind Ohio State in the BCS; however, if Baylor wins at Oklahoma State this weekend, at TCU, and vs. Texas at the end of the year, they will pass Ohio State.
Ohio State Buckeyes 10-0 (6-0 Big 10)-
Ohio State is in a similar situation as Baylor. They must win out, and have 2 of the following lose: Baylor, Alabama, and Florida State. Ohio State has dominated a weak Big 10, and only has 1 quality win, over Wisconsin. They host an inconsistent Indiana this week, then head to the Big House next week to play at Michigan. After that, they will play in the Big 10 Championship game, against Michigan State (most likely). Ohio State also has to win that game. They have to prove to the voters that they dominated their opponents, to get more votes in the polls. As of now, they remain slightly ahead of Baylor in the BCS, but behind in the polls.
Need a Lot of Help:
Oregon Ducks: 9-1 (6-1 Pac 12)-
Did anyone think the Ducks still had a BCS chance after they were dominated by Stanford? No, Oregon has benefited from Stanford’s loss at USC. The Ducks now control their own destiny to the Pac 12 Championship, and Pasadena, for the Rose Bowl. In order to reach the BCS Championship, Oregon would have to defeat Arizona, Oregon State in the Civil War Rivalry Game, and win the Pac-12 Championship over either Arizona State, UCLA, or USC. If the Ducks win out, have three teams ahead of them lose, and manage to remain ahead of Missouri or Auburn, then the Ducks could be in the title.
The Missouri and Auburn Tigers: Auburn 10-1 (6-1 SEC) Missouri 9-1 (5-1 SEC)
These two teams are grouped together because they have the same path to the BCS title. Auburn plays their final regular season game hosting Alabama in 2 weeks. They have to win that game, and beat either Missouri or South Carolina. For Missouri, they have to beat Ole Miss and Texas A&M back to back, to clinch a spot in the SEC Championship game. If Missouri won those games, and Auburn beats ‘Bama, then the two would square off in Atlanta for a chance at the BCS Title. There is a catch though: Two of the following have to lose: Florida State, Ohio State, and Baylor. It is a long shot, but this is college football.
BCS Title Game: Baylor vs Auburn
How this happens:
Baylor wins out. Auburn defeats both Alabama and Missouri. Ohio State loses to a solid Michigan State team in the Big 10 Championship. Oregon is passed by Auburn, after back-to-back top 10 wins by Auburn. Finally, the craziest part. Florida State loses to either Duke or Florida. I do not know which, but I feel that Florida State will overlook them.
The next four weeks are going to be FUN.