OFFICIAL BCS STANDINGS COACHES POLL HARRIS POLL AP POLL SEC Championship:
LSU would need to win out, Alabama to get upset by Auburn, and have Texas A&M beat Missouri. That would force a 3-way tie in the SEC West. Alabama would get eliminated by virtue of having the worst divisional record (2 losses), and then LSU would get the nod over A&M because of head-to-head. Of course the chances that Auburn upset seems to be completely unbelievable, but hey, its college football – anything can happen. National Championship:
Notre Dame and Bama/Georgia obviously control their own destiny. If UGA loses to Ga Tech (or Bama to Auburn) and then goes on to win the SECCG, Florida is there waiting to take their place in Miami. And if Notre Dame instead lost USC, it should be an all-SEC NC game. Oregon might have something to say about that, but they need some help. They would need Stanford to lose to UCLA so Oregon could play and win the Pac10 Championship Game – that would give them more pull with the voters, especially if Georgia won the SECCG (voters might try to avoid another all-SEC NC at all costs). But I think Oregon is on the outside looking in.
Then there is, um, LSU. This is a longshot that makes 2007 look like a sure thing. LSU and Kansas-State should be close today in the BCS, but K-State should have the nod. And I certainly think K-state takes over after the dust settles the next two weeks if LSU only beats Arkansas (while K-State beats Texas). Any longshot LSU has requires that they win the SECCG and establish themselves as the class of the super conference. Again, that means Auburn has to beat Bama. Realistically, any chance LSU has also involves Florida losing to Florida State as well. So for starters LSU needs:
1. Auburn over Bama (+ A&M over Mizzou).
2. Florida State over Florida
Plus there are 4 other teams that could block LSU (Florida State, Oregon, Notre Dame, and Kansas State) – we would need at least 3 to fall behind LSU somehow
3. 1-loss Florida State should easily jump LSU with a win over Florida (and we need them to win that game). They either need Florida State to then lose the ACC CG (quite possible) or else they would be a lock for one of the 2 teams above LSU
4. 1-loss Oregon would also stay above LSU, even if they didn’t win the Pac 10 in my opinion. I just don’t see any way LSU jumps them. So we definitely need either Oregon or FSU to lose another game.
5. 1-loss Kansas State is another story. I already mentioned that they probably have the nod over LSU – next week. But voters clearly are willing to consider LSU based on the coaches poll this week. If LSU sneaks into the SECCG and beats a 1-loss Georgia team, I think LSU “could” hold them off. Before I get jumped on, there is a precedent – 2007, 1-loss Kansas was FAR behind 2-loss LSU in the polls and BCS. Granted, they didn’t win their conference but it wasn’t even close. Kansas State could easily lose to Texas next week, so let’s pull for that to be safe.
6. Notre Dame is also interesting. They would have to lose obviously to USC - but then what? Could a 2-loss SEC Champ stay above them? Normally I would say no way but voters treated them worse than K-State when they were both undefeated, so why wouldn’t they when they both have 1-loss? They might be safe with a close loss, but a waxing by a falling USC should do them in.
Note #1: The only chance LSU has to pass 1-loss Kansas St or 1-loss ND is to win the SECCG (and even then it is a maybe)
Note #2: I do not believe any realistic scenario puts LSU in a rematch with either Bama or Florida. BCS At-large
The simplest path to an “at-large” BCS bowl is to finish in the top 4 of the BCS, but that isn’t easy either. I am assuming of course that Bama wins the West here and LSU doesn’t make the SECCG. We would need:
1. Florida to lose to Florida State
2. The loser of the SECCG to fall behind LSU. This isn’t a sure thing as the “2-loss” SEC team would technically have more wins than LSU. If that team was Bama they also beat us head-to-head. But LSU, A&M, and Bama might just split the 4th place votes by virtue of their round-robin tie – and LSU “should” get the nod in the computers.
3. Either Oregon, FSU, or Kansas State lose another game.
4. If Oregon doesn’t lose a game, they must win the Pac 10 (UCLA beats Stanford). If they finish #3 in the BCS they would steal our “at-large” (#4 isn't "automatic" if the #3 team isn't a conference champ)
I think LSU is in a lot of trouble to make a BCS game if we don’t finish top 4. Florida still needs to lose to FSU (there is a theme here) for this to be possible. The Rose Bowl would have been very interested, but that would have only been open if Oregon made the NC game. That is still possible if Notre Dame loses but then 1-loss Notre Dame would be very attractive to replace the Pac10 spot. I suppose if Michigan won the Big 10 the Rose might want avoid a Michigan/ND rematch and a Michigan/LSU game might be very attractive.
The Sugar actually should get first pick of the BCS bowls to replace their SEC Champ. They could buck the SEC and take Notre Dame, leaving the Rose to look elsewhere and maybe take LSU. But if they do stick in the SEC, I think they avoid LSU (a team 80 miles away that won’t buy hotel rooms, comes to the Superdome every other year, and just got blown out of the building 12 months ago). Florida and Georgia/Bama might be unattractive after losing their last game. South Carloina, however, would bring fans in full force and have been waiting decades for this. But A&M? A&M? They would take over New Orleans. How could the Sugar Bowl possibly pass on A&M (for LSU) and their possible Heisman winner in their first year in the SEC? I don’t see it happening. If it gets to the Fiesta Bowl, LSU has a much better chance. It is a tough call between us and A&M. To keep it simple, if Bama beats Auburn Saturday, pull for Mizzou over A&M.
This post was edited on 11/18 at 9:49 pm