Breaking down the BCS as we head into November


We’re 2/3 the way through the regular season of college football. It goes fast, no?

If you look at the college football landscape from a big picture, national perspective – something we SEC fans typically don’t like to do – you have to admit that it is a great season. Heading into November, we have four undefeated teams sitting atop the BCS standings. Each represents a different conference (or Notre Dame is independent). Each from a different region of the country, too.

1. Alabama
2. Kansas State
3. Notre Dame
4. Oregon

Alabama is the clear #1

Alabama has a unanimous #1 ranking from both human polls while Kansas State and Notre Dame are tied at #1 in the computer polls. Alabama of course has the perception of most members of the media and fans around the country of being the best team in the nation.

While Kansas State and Notre Dame have better resumes currently, this too should also move in favor of Alabama as we head toward the conclusion of the year. After beating Mississippi State this past weekend (currently #15), Alabama plays #5 LSU this week on the road and then #16 Texas A&M the following week at home.

Assuming the Tide keep winning, Alabama will likely play Georgia in the SECCG; Georgia is currently ranked #6 in the BCS. It’s worth noting that on the date of the SECCG (Dec 1), Notre Dame doesn’t even play. Kansas State plays Texas. Add all this up and Alabama should have the top computer ranking along with the top human polls ranking solidifying its #1 rank in the BCS if they win out.

Who will be #2?

This is difficult to say, because history definitely tells us to expect top teams to lose late in the year. Notre Dame has a few easy matchups and then USC to end the year. Kansas State has Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas. Interestingly, as both KState and Notre Dame have a road win at Oklahoma, the Sooners’ multiple losses make this win slightly less meaningful. Additionally, the perception of wins like West Virginia and Stanford are becoming less sexy as well.

Oregon has the toughest stretch of its schedule in November starting this week against USC. Saturday at USC, at Cal, Stanford at home and then Oregon finishes the season at Oregon State. Add in a potential Pac-12 Championship Game, and I think it’ll be difficult for the Ducks to run the table.

Interestingly, Oregon can actually impact Notre Dame since both teams play USC in November. If Oregon beats USC this week, USC will have at least three losses by the time Notre Dame gets to play them. Will beating a three loss team help them leap Kansas State? I’m not so sure.

If the Championship were held today, it would be Alabama vs Kansas State. While the path is there for Kansas State to remain in the two spot at the end of the season, history tells us to expect the unexpected.

The other top SEC teams

The next four spots in the BCS belong to the SEC:

5. LSU
6. Georgia
7. Florida
8. South Carolina

These teams have beat each other up thus far this season. LSU has beat South Carolina. South Carolina has beat Georgia. Georgia has beat Florida. Florida has beat LSU and South Carolina. Welcome to the SEC.

Looking ahead, Georgia has the easiest regular season schedule, but they likely have the pleasure of playing Alabama in Atlanta. LSU still has Alabama and Missisippi State. Florida still has Florida State. South Carolina still has Clemson.

Is South Carolina overrated at #8?

The Gamecocks are the highest ranked two-loss team in the BCS. I’ve heard lots of chatter about how they’re ranked too high considering the two losses and one of them being a blow out (Florida). The reality is that South Carolina has lost to the #5 and #7 teams in the BCS, and both on the road. They also have a win over the #6 team (Georgia).

While you could argue that South Carolina should be maybe behind a team like Florida State, does it really matter? If you’re out of the national title picture, debating whether a team should be ranked 8th or 10th is pretty useless.

When comparing South Carolina and #9 ranked Florida State, the human polls have Florida State at 7, and South Carolina at 11. However, the computers give the edge big time to South Carolina (9 vs Florida State’s 21). Clearly the loss to unranked NC State hurts the Noles.

Who will finish the highest ranked SEC team outside Alabama?

If we assume Alabama beats LSU this week, they’re likely to drop below the likes of Georgia, Florida and maybe even South Carolina. If Florida wins out and beats Florida State (a top ten team) and Georgia loses to Alabama in the SECCG, you might find the Florida Gators ranked ahead of Georgia later in the year. Should this materialize, Florida might be the SEC’s second representative in a BCS game despite losing to Georgia.

Photo Credit: Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE



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  • Always biased as much as possible. You still don’t give respect to the Dawgs even when the credit is due. Shame on you, Kevin.

    • You realize that if Georgia loses to Bama they’ll have two losses to Florida’s one right? That would probably give UF the edge in the BCS rankings given their tough schedule. I don’t see how stating facts is biased at all.

    • Not biased…If UGA loses to Bama and Florida beats FSU, it will likely work out to where Florida is ranked above UGA and will get a BCS bowl berth if Bama goes to the national title. Georgia would have two losses…Florida would have one. Georgia is getting their credit…not to worry.

    • If Florida beats a top ten FSU and Georgia loses to Alabama, Florida would only have one loss at the end of the season. It’s not absurd to say that Florida has a chance to be higher ranked at the end of the year as a one loss team considering that Florida is only one spot behind the Dawgs currently anyways. That doesn’t take anything away from Georgia beating Florida. I’ve been high on Georgia all year. I have immense respect for that team. However, I wouldn’t say I’m in the minority in thinking it’ll be very difficult for them to beat Alabama.

  • I had a friend tell me a theory early. They think that Florida purposefully lost. His reasoning? Well, he thinks Florida realized that they couldn’t beat Alabama (or LSU a second time), and so realized that if they lost to UGA they wouldn’t drop far and if they won out could potential get to the Sugar Bowl, saving the season, if UGA won out and lost to whatever West team they played.
    Of course there are a lot of ifs in that. What if Florida lost to FSU? Or UGA to Ole Miss/Auburn? Or UGA beat whatever West team they played?
    Really I doubt it. I believe UGA won out and out. But it is an interesting theory.

  • How bout a little confidence in LSU? The whole nation is tired of seeing Roll Tide. Yes I know it is very likely that Alabama wins, but you never know in college football because adrenali and emotion are always going through those players minds. LSU has the talent, but do they have the leadership? No, They need someone like their QB to step up and maybe just maybe LSU wins, aka LSWho.

    • I just looked it up. LSU is playng a night game against Alabama at Death Valley where LSU is on a winning streak. You need to watch the video on it will show you the emotions all across that LSU campus.

    • “They need someone like their QB to step up”………. now, THAT’s funny.

      • Why is that funny? As an Alabama fan, have you forgotten that AJ absolutely sucked in the passing game?………until he didnt. One day he stepped up and all of a sudden he was throwing the ball all over the place, like a pro. Just so happened to be the nat’l championship, you probably watched. Just a year later, AJ is the only real superstar on the team. I absolutely agree that if our little reject from UGA, Mettenberger, can dig deep and find the skills he was recruited for, it would make a huge difference in their game. Until that happens, they will keep hoping they can win off pounding the ball with several backs and trusting an oustanding defense. Problem is, Bama is pretty special when it comes to stopping a one demensional attack.

        • AJ is the only superstar? I think I can actually hear Eddie Lacy, TJ Yeldon, Barret Jones, and Amari Cooper laughing at you. Here, I’ll join in and maybe you can hear all of us.

        • Eddie Lacy is no superstar. I will give you Barret Jones though, forgot about him, my bad on that one. TJ Yeldon is gonna be great, but is a freshman, just like our Gurley and Marshall. AJ is the “superstar” because of the notoriety he gets every game. That comment was actually intended as a compliment to the way Alabama plays together as a TEAM, and not as one or two “great” players. Bama fans could learn a little from their coach and never assume they will beat the good teams just because….ANY team can come out flat and have a bad game, even one coached by the great Nick Saban. Never assume anything. That’s why they actually play all the games. I do believe though, right now, Bama could beat the Jacksonville Jaguars.

      • Alabama’s RBs dance around there outstanding blockers. They are not as talented as many think, and you dont have to be a talented back to run around amazing blocks by your offensive line and wide recivers. Almost everytime that TJ Yeldon or Eddie Lacy gets the ball they have only 1 or 2 people to beat that is insane. You wanna know something about Alabama. The entire nation wants them to lose because everyone is sick of them winning. I dont just speak for LSU, but I am speaking for teams like Oregon, Kanas State, and every team in the SEC is sick and tired of it. I understand Alabama is most likely gonna win, and you know what they probably deserve to win the BCS. I would not mind at all if any SEC team other than Alabama went to the BCS National Championship. These days you cant tell who is really a Bama fan because most people like them because they win. I am very curious how many fans will stay true to the Crimson Tide after they have two losing seasons???

        • Bama fans are for the most part, loyal thru thick and thin. That was proven by the sell-out crowds thru the Fran/Smith/Shula years. And MOST of us don’t assume anything! The LSU game should be a good close game. But I also thought Miss St was gonna be much closer! Saying everyone is sick of Bama… Well, were they sick of FLA back during their run? If they were, SHAME on them! I pull for every SEC team in non-conference play! I pull for AU when they’re not playing Bama!(Yes, this year has SUCKED on that front!) And when it comes to the post season, whoever is in the Nat Championship game form our great conference gets my vote!

        • Umm, of course they go around their blockers. What would you expect them to do, run in front of them? I know everyone wants Alabama to lose and frankly I don’t care. Jealousy is the best form of flattery. Will Alabama always be on top of college football? Of course not! I’ve been a Crimson Tide fan for a long time. I actually haven’t seen many bandwagon fans (because I live in Arkansas) so I can’t really agree with you there. But by god I am going to enjoy the glory days when they are and still be a fan through any bad days.

        • I understand you guy are true bama fans, but many people just jump on the bama bandwagon, and like I said I dont really care who wins the BCS National Championship. As long as it’s an SEC team. I just think Bama should give someone else a turn, an SEC team of course, as childish as that may sound.

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