The USA Today Coaches Poll which makes up 1/3 of the BCS rankings is out, and Texas A&M has moved to the #10 spot (up from #14). This compares to the #9 ranking in the AP poll.
The 8-2 Aggies should finish 10-2 with games against Sam Houston State and Missouri remaining on their schedule. Several teams ahead of the Aggies will still likely lose. Florida plays Florida State. Clemson plays South Carolina. Alabama and Georgia play each other. The Aggies could easily be looking at a top 6 or 7 BCS ranking at the conclusion to the regular season.
What this means is that Texas A&M – in their first season in the ultra-competitive SEC – could find themselves as the second BCS representative for the conference.
For the Jan 2013 BCS games, the order of at-large selection is Fiesta, Sugar, Orange. However, if a bowl loses a team to the BCS Championship, they pick ahead of at-large teams.
If no SEC team gets into the BCS Championship, the SEC Championship winner will head to the Sugar Bowl. In such a scenario, we’ll likely get one of the three following matchups:
BCS Championship: Oregon vs Kansas State
These teams likely currently sit at the #1 and #2 spots in the BCS (updated rankings comes out tonight). Should this occur, then the Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl lose their automatic team. If Oregon’s the top seed, the Rose Bowl gets to fill that slot first. I think you’ll be looking at Notre Dame vs the Big Ten Champion (snoozefest).
In that case, the Fiesta Bowl will likely take an SEC team and maybe a team like Clemson or Oklahoma.
BCS Championship: Oregon vs Notre Dame
If Kansas State goes down, they’ll head to the Fiesta as the Big 12 Champion. Rose Bowl will likely take another Pac-12 team like Stanford to play the Big Ten Champion. Fiesta could take an SEC team. Texas A&M vs Kansas State in the Fiesta is a very real possibility.
BCS Championship: Kansas State vs Notre Dame
If Oregon loses, they will still play in the Rose Bowl unless they lose the Pac-12 Championship Game. If they lose the Pac-12 Championship Game, then Oregon will be one of the top at-large teams taken. Oregon vs Texas A&M would be some serious offensive fireworks with more drama considering Johnny Manziel was committed to Oregon prior to going to Texas A&M.
If Oregon loses, but stil wins the Pac-12, there’s a good chance another Pac-12 team doesn’t qualify for an at-large position.
The bottom line is that the Fiesta Bowl is a logical place for an SEC team to land now with the SEC Champion probably not getting into the BCSCG. It’ll likely be a question of if you take Texas A&M or LSU to fill that spot. I think several factors point to Fiesta taking the Aggies over LSU. First, the geographic proximity is a little better. Second, the excitement level of the Aggies playing this well in their first SEC campaign is huge. Moreover, Manziel is probably going to at least be a Heisman finalist. Lastly, the Aggies travel very well.
I think Manziel helped secure a spot for his team in the BCS with the victory yesterday.
Photo Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE