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