The BCS may be gone, but that won’t eliminate debate about which teams should play for the national championship in January.

With four playoff spots available, go ahead and pencil in the SEC and Pac-12 champions. Don’t write it in pen, mind you. But that leaves two at-large spots, presumably for the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 to grovel about. Or would a second SEC team gobble up one of the bids?

If you aren’t so sure if the new system will capture the same buzz, your finger must not have been on the pulse of Twitter and other sites when

RELATED: Kirk Herbstreit says two SEC teams are projected in College Football Playoff

Yes, we’re well aware that Homeland Security switched to a new system to inform the public of the current threat level more than three years ago. It’s called the National Terrorism Advisory System, and it features two alerts: “elevated” and “imminent.” Apparently the color-coded system implemented by former President George W. Bush presented “little practical information” to the public.

We at Saturday Down South will defer when it comes to matters of national security. But when it comes to other issues of great importance to the public — say, the SEC’s chances to place one or two teams in the first-ever College Football Playoff — we respectfully disagree.

Each week, we’ll take a look at the credible and not-so-credible threats to the SEC’s playoff aspirations, based on the now-retired Homeland Security Advisory System.

To take a quick scan of the good guys, Alabama didn’t perform to expectations in a road win at West Virginia, but the Tide did nothing to damage their CFP hopes because it won. South Carolina can’t say the same thing as Texas A&M and Johnny Football replacement Kenny Hill took a blowtorch to their national title aspirations.

Georgia, Auburn and LSU, all three strong contenders, handled business Saturday as well.

Now for the terrorists.

Threat Level: Severe

Severe risk of terrorist attacks.

Oklahoma: Not only did Trevor Knight ruin AJ McCarron’s farewell at Alabama, he stole McCarron’s signature move by kissing his pretty girlfriend in front of all the cameras after Saturday’s win. Knight didn’t duplicate his Sugar Bowl performance, but the Sooners dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against Louisiana Tech, building a 31-0 lead before halftime to match Big 12 threat Baylor. SEC fans should stay on high alert for Oklahoma unless and until the Sooners lose.

Pac-12: Oregon, USC, Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State did nothing to hinder their contender status. Some of the teams that could help the argument for the Pac-12’s strong depth floundered, namely Oregon State (trailed Portland State at halftime), Washington (one-point win at Hawaii) and Washington State (three-point loss to Rutgers). But Arizona freshman quarterback Anu Solomon more than made up for that, accounting for 475 yards of offense against UNLV. Until proven otherwise, the Pac-12 should be considered a direct and imminent threat to the SEC.

Threat Level: High

High risk of terrorist attacks.

Florida State: The Seminoles allowed unranked Oklahoma State to score 31 points. Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston accounted for 379 yards of offense and two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions. FSU won’t win a national title playing an entire season like this, but much like Alabama, the team won. Four months from now, that may be all that matters.

Oregon: Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Ducks’ offense looked unstoppable in the season opener, hanging 41 first-half points on South Dakota. But Oregon’s defense gave up 172 rushing yards to the Coyotes. Until the defense proves it can barricade itself against hard-nosed rushing attacks like Stanford, the Ducks don’t present a “severe risk” to the SEC, but they must stay high on the list of threats.

UCLA: The Bruins’ offensive line didn’t hold up well at Virginia. Erstwhile Heisman candidate Brett Hundley didn’t look comfortable under pressure. Luckily, UCLA’s defense bailed it out. The Bruins will take an eight-point road win three time zones and 2,500 miles from home, but must play better to survive a brutal schedule.

Baylor: See Oregon.

Threat Level: Elevated

Significant risk of terrorist attacks.

USC, Notre Dame: Quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Everett Golson (remember him?) looked excellent in blowout wins. The Trojans and Fighting Irish each face difficult schedules, but if they play like they did Saturday, that will only elevate their threat level as they continue to win.

Threat Level: Guarded

General risk of terrorist attacks.

Big Ten: LSU dispatched of Wisconsin, or else the Badgers would be near the top of this list given their mild Big Ten West schedule. Ohio State labored for much of the game against Navy. It’s one thing for the Buckeyes to replace quarterback Braxton Miller, but the defensive line was supposed to be scary good. That wasn’t the case Saturday. And it looks like Michigan State will be a double-digit road underdog this week. Don’t cross the Big Ten off your list of potential terrorists — Ohio State or Michigan State still could run the table and Michigan probably has improved — but the conference doesn’t present much of a threat at this time.

Threat Level: Low

Low risk of terrorist attacks.

Florida International: The team went 1-11 in Ron Turner’s first season as coach in 2013. The follow-up? The Panthers banned the Miami Herald beat writer from covering the football team, then lost to Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC.

Southern Mississippi: The Golden Eagles ended a 23-game losing streak in November by whipping UAB, but Mississippi State proved Southern Miss is a long way from returning to respectability with Saturday’s 49-0 win.

Iowa State: Granted, losing to North Dakota State is no embarrassment. The Bison won the last three FCS national championships and have won five consecutive games against power conference teams. But 34-14? Considering the next four games (vs. Kansas State, at Iowa, vs. Baylor, at Oklahoma State) as well as the remaining schedule, the Cyclones could have one of the worst football records in all of FBS this season.

Small-Conference Powers: UCF lost to Penn State on a late field goal in Ireland. Boise State no longer looks like a power conference slayer. Tennessee did away with any hope that Chuckie Keeton and Utah State could put together a scary season. And Houston, the favorite of many in the media to emerge from outside the power conferences, lost by 20 points to Texas-San Antonio. BYU (which is independent) and Marshall are the lone flag-bearers outside of the power conferences.

Eliminated From Contention

None. South Carolina and Wisconsin are the only Top 25 teams that lost on opening weekend. The Gamecocks and Badgers need to win out to make the CFP (and Wisconsin may need some help at that), but we can’t eliminate anyone just yet.

Week 2 Rooting Guide

In which we tell you which teams you should root against in the upcoming week.

Michigan State at Oregon: The Spartans, Rose Bowl champions in January, suddenly would become a high-level threat if they can knock off the Pac-12 favorites. Meanwhile, an Oregon win would give two of the top three Big Ten teams a non-conference loss just two weeks into the season. SEC fans should root for the Ducks on Saturday.

Virginia Tech at Ohio State: The Hokies are double-digit road underdogs, but for the same reasons, SEC fans would relish a loss from the preseason Big Ten favorites. Losses by both Michigan State and Ohio State would put the Big Ten’s CFP hopes on life support one week into September.

USC at Stanford: The Pac-12 will beat itself up much like the SEC. We won’t be able to eliminate the conference’s top team all year, whichever program holds that distinction. But considering Stanford’s losses on defense and USC’s explosive potential on offense, the Trojans seem like more of a threat to make SEC teams nervous at this point in the year. Root for Stanford to hold off USC.