It’s the final year of the BCS, headed into the final weekend. We know something crazy is going to happen, right?
The odds are against the SEC winning its eighth straight national championship. Leaving the conference’s title hopes in the wide-open arms of a one-dimensional Michigan State team doesn’t make anyone feel great at all.
Related: SEC Bowl Projections
Still, two SEC teams will make it to BCS bowl games, even without a national championship berth, and there’s still a shot there’s an all-SEC BCS national championship…a long shot, that is.
The top five in the BCS sits like this heading into conference championship weekend:
2. Ohio State
The most likely path if the favorites play out: The one-loss SEC Champion will get the automatic bid to the Sugar Bowl, and Alabama, which will likely be the second-highest BCS ranked SEC team over the SEC Championship loser, should get the at-large bid for the Orange Bowl. Undefeated Ohio State and FSU will play for all the marbles. That’s the most likely scenario at this point.
Related: SEC Championship Game Predictions
Does a one-loss SEC Champion get in over an undefeated Ohio State? If Auburn didn’t jump Ohio State last week with their win over Alabama, I’m not sure the SEC gets in if the Buckeyes win the Big Ten Championship. If this were to happen, OSU would have to play a dreadful game against Michigan State in a winning effort, and the SEC Champion would have dominate in Atlanta with no questions asked. Furthermore, the only likely SEC team that could jump an undefeated Ohio State is Auburn, not Missouri. The only way I see it that the SEC gets into the BCS National Championship is if OSU loses Saturday.
Auburn plays for a national championship if: They win the SEC Championship and Ohio State loses Saturday, or if Auburn throttles Missouri with ease and OSU really struggles in a winning effort against MSU. That might be enough momentum from voters to put Auburn ahead of Ohio State.
Missouri plays for a national championship if: Ohio State loses to Michigan State, and Mizzou wins in Atlanta. I don’t see any way Missouri jumps an undefeated OSU, despite being the one-loss SEC Champion currently sitting at No. 5.
The ultimate chaos situation: If FSU loses to Duke and Ohio State loses to Michigan State, we could be looking at another All-SEC national championship with the one-loss SEC Champion against Alabama. Imagine the meltdown of the rest of college football.
One team that could trump Alabama if OSU and FSU lose: There’s currently a lot of momentum in Oklahoma State’s corner. With one loss and Oklahoma on the schedule Saturday, the Cowboys could theoretically find its way into the national championship. But the odds are slim to none.
Where does this leave #8 South Carolina? South Carolina’s best bowl hopes ride on an Auburn win and Missouri loss. With Alabama likely grabbing that other BCS at large bid, South Carolina could land in the Capital One Bowl, mainly because of the head-to-head win against Missouri. The Cotton Bowl is also in the mix, too. So, if you’re South Carolina, you want Auburn to win the SEC Championship.
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