5 teams will jockey for SEC’s second BCS bowl team

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That lovely three-letter word we talk about more than anything in college football – the BCS – will likely see another SEC team playing for the national championship in Alabama.

The Tide solidified itself this past weekend defeating LSU and showed yet again they are bound and determined to win the SEC Championship and make an appearance in Miami. Alabama could still lose to Georgia in Atlanta, and they would likely still be selected as an at-large team for another BCS bowl game. However, if they take care of business against Georgia, five teams – including the Bulldogs – will be jockeying for that other BCS bowl slot.

It’s important to remember there are maximum of two teams per conference that can play in BCS bowl games.  The only exception is if #1 and #2 play in the national championship from the same conference and neither team are the champion from that conference. Amazingly, this had a chance of happening when LSU, Alabama and Arkansas found themselves in the top three of the BCS late in the season.

Here are some scenarios to think about:

#6 Florida (8-1, 7-1)
BCS ranked teams beaten: #7 LSU, #8 South Carolina and #15 Texas A&M
Key game remaining: #10 Florida State
What has to happen: Florida has to beat Florida State, and Georgia must lose in the SEC Championship game. If that happens, Florida will be the highest one-loss ranked team in the BCS from the SEC. A victory against the ACC’s best team on the road will look great for the resume, and it should land Florida in the Sugar Bowl. It is likely that the Gators will be underdogs in Tallahassee even with the higher ranking.

#5 Georgia (8-1, 6-1)
BCS ranked teams beaten: #6 Florida
Key game remaining: #1 Alabama (SEC Championship)
What has to happen: Assuming Georgia beats Auburn… a Georgia win in the SEC Championship Game gives them the automatic qualifier. If Alabama beats the Bulldogs, the question would then become, does the BCS take the SEC Championship game loser with two losses? It probably depends on what Florida does against FSU. If Florida loses to FSU, it’ll likely be down to a two-loss Georgia and a two-loss LSU. If in fact Alabama beats Georgia, the margin of victory could be key to determining if Georgia is the most attractive BCS team available.

#7 LSU (7-2, 3-2)
BCS ranked teams beaten: #8 South Carolina and #15 Texas A&M
Key game remaining: #21 Mississippi State
What has to happen: LSU is sitting in an interesting spot in the BCS rankings. They are the highest-ranked two-loss team in the country at #7, and the Sugar Bowl would be eager to take them because of the home crowd in New Orleans. However, Florida and Georgia both have to lose one more game in order for that to happen, which is very possible. LSU will likely win out, setting themselves up for the best opportunity of any two-loss team in the SEC to get that other at-large bowl bid.

#8 South Carolina (7-2, 5-2)
BCS ranked teams beaten: #5 Georgia
Key game remaining: #13 Clemson
What has to happen: South Carolina could be the odd man looking in with regards to the BCS. USC would need for Florida and Georgia to definitely lose again, and in all likelihood, LSU would have to lose again, too, considering New Orleans would prefer the Tigers as the home team, knowing they beat the Gamecocks earlier in the year.

#15 Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2)
BCS ranked teams beaten: #20 Louisiana Tech and #21 Mississippi State
Key game remaining: #1 Alabama
What has to happen: The Aggies still have a very outside shot at getting to a BCS game, but they would have to beat the Crimson Tide next week to knock the Tide out of national championship contention. The Aggies would have to finish 10-2 and look very convincing doing so to at least be in the BCS conversation. This is the steepest slope to climb among any of the four other teams. Both of the Aggies losses’ came at home to two of the four teams mentioned.

One aspect we continually neglect to talk about is what would happen if Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game. In such a scenario, Georgia would need probably two of the three undefeated teams (Kansas State, Oregon, Notre Dame) ahead of them to lose. A one-loss SEC Champion is probably not jumping any of those teams as long as they remain undefeated. If Georgia upsets Alabama in the SECCG, Alabama would likely get the at-large spot.

How do you think it will end, and who do you think gets the second BCS bowl berth?

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

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COMMENTS

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  • Wait, so if UGA finishes 13-1 and as SEC champ they would still not play in the Sugar bowl or any BCS bowl unless 2 of the 3 other undefeated teams lose?

    • No, if Georgia wins out and beats Bama, they get an automatic bid into the Sugar Bowl. The question then would be whether Georgia deserves a shot to play for it all…

      • Jon, do you think it is safe to say that LSU would get the Sugar Bowl nod over a 2 loss UGA team if FSU beats UF?

        • I think that would be the case. I see it playing out as Florida, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina all having 2 losses. I think LSU would get the nod because 1. they lost earlier and 2. the Sugar Bowl wants LSU to be there. Obviously the Sugar Bowl isn’t biased, but they know the kind of $ LSU fans would bring there.

      • If Georgia beats Alabama, then Georgia should play for the national title. Unfortunately, the BCS feels like Oregon is supreme since they beat every team by 50. I dont understand how the sugar bowl could take a 2 loss LSU over a 2 loss UGA if LSU didn’t even go to the conference championship.

      • Jon, do you really think UF loses to FSU? Last year, FSU won a ridiculous game that by no means did they earn. I just don’t see FSU out playing UF statistically or defensively. Nor do i see FSU win a bogus game again against UF. (by bogus i mean, FSU only had 95 total yards to UF 185. Last year UF’s passing, rushing, defense and special teams out played FSU, yet, while FSU still won, I don’t see them winning again to a much better UF team.)

        • To be honest, by the way Florida has been playing on offense, the defense is going to have to keep FSU to two touchdowns or less and hope the offense can punch in two and maybe a field goal. Gators have scored only two touchdowns in the last two games. But it will come down to the wire, I’m sure.

  • A 2 loss LSU will get in over a 2 loss Georgia. The country watched LSU play very well against Alabama, plus Georgia got blown out by SC earlier in the year.

  • I’m glad that nobody gives the Dawgs a shot against Alabama. We’re going to surprise everybody when the Tide’s season ends in ATLANTA.

    • Just like last year right?

      • Funny a SC fan asking a question like that that lmao. I guess SC fans will be watching the sec championship game on TV once again. Ga is not the same team as last year either. Lsu lost to FL…GA beat FL….lsu was bama’s first real competition and actually played a better game than Bama and in reality should’ve beat Bama. Ga is a better team than lsu when they are playing to their potential. If the same GA team shows up that played last week no one in the country can beat them. If GA beats Bama you can’t keep them out of the title game….sec=toughest conference…GA beats #2 FL…then #1 Bama= best team in the country.

        • That’s sound logical, Florida beat LSU and UGA beat Florida so UGA must be the better team between UGA and LSU.

          Oh wait you forgot one part to the equation that blows your hypothesis up USC destroyed UGA 35-7 and LSU beat USC so now does that mean LSU is better than UGA. Or maybe we should just look at the most recent history last time LSU & UGA played I am pretty sure UGA got destroyed, does that mean LSU is better than UGA this year. No it does not, it is pretty simple if LSU, UGA & UF all have 2 losses at the end of the season, I would think the LSU will be the higher ranked team because UGA and UF will have losses later in the season than LSU and will probably drop below LSU in the polls considering where the polls are at this time. That would make it a simpler choice for the Sugar Bowl to take LSU because they would be ranked higher in the polls not to mention they would prefer LSU because of the home town desires.

        • Listen brother, I love the enthusiasm…but beating ‘Bama does not mean we should be in the title game. Not by a long shot. If Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame all remain undefeated until then I would be lying if I didn’t say I would feel like we were cheating some teams out of what should be their spot.

  • Good analysis and right on the mark.

    • If Georgia keeps it close with Bama, but still loses say 27-24, shouldn’t UGA go to the Sugar Bowl? Lsu and Uga would be tied with 2 losses and we each beat a team that the other lost to. Shouldn’t the team in the conference championship go to the BCS bowl? Makes sense to me

  • The goal is to win out…beat Florida State and we will go to the Sugar Bowl. No way BCS will take two-loss LSU or two-loss Georgia over a 1-loss Florida and the second best team in the SEC…assuming Georgia loses.
    And I just hope we play Notre Dame – a team that is so comparable in every way to Florida.

  • I understand the scenarios. It’s just wrong to punish a team for winning its division and playing in its conference championship. Losing in a championship game should not count as a regular season loss since its not technically a regular season game. The loser of the SECCG should get the Sugar Bowl auto bid if the winner is playing in the NCG. How about a rule to clear this mess up since it will continue to happen with SEC dominance?

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