It’s the great debate that I truly enjoy each and every year. The anticipation; the wait; the angst; the debate. That’s why I’ve loved this system since 1998.
Related: What happened to you on Saturday?
With Alabama’s loss to Auburn, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 in the country in the latest BCS rankings. So, the impending question becomes: Does a one-loss SEC Champion deserve to jump an undefeated Ohio State?
That question is going to get ripped apart in every debate on every media outlet in the country. Auburn AD Jay Jacobs has already lobbied for a one-loss SEC Champion.
History does not bode well for either Auburn or Missouri, though, because no one-loss team has ever been ranked above an undefeated BCS conference team in 16 years.
The BCS is made up of three polls – Coaches’ Poll, Harris Poll and the computers. Ohio State is No. 2 in every single one of them. There’s a chance that if Auburn wins the SEC Championship, the computer polls would have Auburn No. 2 and Ohio State No. 3. However, since the Coaches and Harris make up two-thirds of the rankings, Auburn would still likely not get the nod over the Buckeyes because coaches tend to vote for and highly regard undefeated records, not to mention the rest of the country is tried of the SEC winning championships.
Here’s a look at the resumes of each teams: (*denotes currently ranked teams)
|#1 Florida State||#2 Ohio State||#3 Auburn||#5 Missouri|
|Pittsburgh (6-6)||Buffalo (8-4)||Wash. St. (6-6)||Murray St. (6-6)|
|Nevada (4-8)||SD State (7-5)||Ark. St. (7-5)||Toledo (7-5)|
|Bethune-Cook. (10-3)||California (1-11)||Miss St. (6-6)||Indiana (5-7)|
|Boston College (7-5)||FAMU (3-9)||Ole Miss (7-5)||Ark. St. (7-5)|
|Maryland (7-5)||*Wisconsin (9-3)||West. Car. (2-10)||Vanderbilt (8-4)|
|*Clemson (10-2)||Northwestern (5-7)||*Texas A&M (8-4)||*Georgia (8-4)|
|NC State (3-9)||Iowa (8-4)||FAU (6-6)||Florida (4-8)|
|Miami (9-3)||Penn State (7-5)||Arkansas (3-9)||Tennessee (5-7)|
|Wake Forest (4-8)||Purdue (1-11)||Tennessee (5-7)||Kentucky (2-10)|
|Syracuse (6-6)||Illinois (4-8)||*Georgia (8-4)||Ole Miss (7-5)|
|Idaho (1-11)||Indiana (5-7)||*Alabama (11-1)||*Texas A&M (8-4)|
|Florida (4-8)||Michigan (7-5)||*LSU (loss) (9-3)||*S. Carolina (loss) (10-2)|
|71-74 (49%)||65-79 (45.1%)||78-66 (54.2%)||77-67 (53.5%)|
Sagarin’s strength of schedule ratings currently ranks Auburn as the 26th toughest schedule in the country. Missouri is 41st; Ohio State is 61st; Florida State is 66th. The margin of victory tells a similar story. Auburn has played the toughest schedule and is beating opponents by a 16-point margin; Missouri is winning by 19.4 points per game; Ohio State is winning by 27.9 per game, and FSU is throttling teams by 42.7 points per game.
The debate will wage on this week, and even up to last year, I thought an undefeated Notre Dame deserved a shot in the national championship game. But after forgetting to get off the bus against Alabama, I think it’s fair to pick apart the contenders and poke holes in their resumes. In hindsight, Notre Dame had no business being in that game, but their resume sure screamed championship-caliber before kickoff.
Then again, why are we wasting our time, when Ohio State will lose to Michigan State Saturday?
Photo Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports