Sunday, November 2, 2008
The (Temporary) BCS Standings
Like the ol' CBS 1973 Promo Campaign sang "This year, like last year, the best is right here..."
Until next week, that is!
Here are the soon to be shuffled BCS top 5 rankings:
2. Texas Tech
3. Penn State
(Oklahoma checks in at #6 and USC is right behind at #7)
Interesting, isn't it? It seems radical to place Texas Tech at number two so quickly, but not so!
Texas Tech is still undefeated as of November 2nd. Up to now, they beat the number one team in the country, Texas. In addition, Tech beat one time BCS hopeful Kansas 63-21. While the rest of the schedule is lousy, Texas Tech has a strong case for Number 2.
But it's not going to last! Texas Tech faces Oklahoma State next, who already beat Missouri and nearly beat Texas themselves. If Texas Tech survives that, they'll have to go to Norman and try to stop Oklahoma. Oklahoma is unstoppable at Norman, having won every home game by 20+ points.
Alabama is currently #1. They mostly earned it, given their unbeaten record.
But it's not going to last! Very few experts buy into Alabama's strength of schedule, having played two ranked opponents (Tennessee doesn't count!). Their point differential is +183, seemingly impressive, but also buoyed by two blowout wins of dreadful Tennessee and Arkansas State. Next, 'Bama travels to Baton Rouge to face LSU. One would be hard pressed to think they come out of there with a win.
Penn State is ranked #3. PSU had the week off, and as a result, avoided any potential upsets.
How to Get to the BCS Championship Game
In all likihood, Penn State will remain undefeated. That leaves 5 teams to compete for one spot. Alabama can be eliminated right off the bat. Even if they survive LSU, the Crimson Tide could potentially face Florida for the SEC Championship.
First of all, Alabama can be eliminated altogether. No one is convinced they'll finish undefeated, and they will NOT get the nod over any other one loss team, especially Florida.
If Texas Tech wins out, the Red Raiders are in automatically. However, there's a serious possibility of a let-down against Oklahoma State next week, as detailed previously.
As for Texas and Oklahoma, it's as simple as this. If Texas or Oklahoma win the Big 12, they're in, but not without some help. Texas defeated the Sooners and Texas Tech beat Texas, so unless USC, Florida, Texas Tech, and Alabama lose another game it would be a slim chance for the either team.
Florida may have the safest path to the BCS Championship. Suffice it to say, their strength of schedule in-conference helps them dramatically in the BCS standings. If Florida can win out and clinch the SEC title, they will get the benefit of the doubt over every other one loss team in the standings. The odds are highly against Texas Tech and Alabama finishing undefeated.
Then... there is the forgotten team.
USC. SC is the much maligned, deservedly so, powerhouse that plays in the lousy Pac-10. Again, if Penn State finished undefeated, forget about it. But, if Penn State lost a game...
Five teams remain to compete for two spots.
Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech have the cruel fate of being in the same division! Two of the three teams are eliminated automatically while the third goes to the Big 12 Championship game.
Three teams remain to compete for one spot: Alabama, Florida, and USC.
Alabama, it bears repeating, should be eliminated entirely. Florida alone would get precedence, assuming Florida wins the SEC.
Two teams now compete for one spot: Florida and USC.
USC will still get shut out, unless, by some miracle, Florida loses a game between now and January. It could well be the SEC title game against Alabama or LSU.
As of now, USC's title hopes *are* alive, which was NOT the case a month ago.
Aside from that, it's pretty obvious who's making the BCS Championship :)