Sunday, November 20, 2011
SEC closer to title-game rematch
By Mark Schlabach
College football fans who live north of the Mason-Dixon Line and west of the Mississippi River were already sick of hearing about the SEC’s dominance.
What are they going to do now?
After its teams won each of the sport's past five BCS national championships, the SEC now has the top three teams in the latest BCS standings, which were released Sunday night. With only two weeks to go in the regular season, an all-SEC rematch in the Jan. 9 Allstate BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans now seems like a strong possibility.
LSU remained No. 1 with a perfect BCS average of 1.000, followed by No. 2 Alabama (.9491) and No. 3 Arkansas (.8985).
Oklahoma State, which kicked off a chaotic weekend of football by losing to unranked Iowa State 37-31 in overtime on Friday night, fell from No. 2 to No. 4 with an .8408 average. Virginia Tech is No. 5 (.7842) and Stanford is No. 6 (.7711).
“It’s quite a lineup for us,” SEC commissioner Michael Slive said Sunday night. “It’s not over yet, though.”
LSU hosts Arkansas in Baton Rouge, La., on Friday, and if it wins would then play No. 13 Georgia in the Dec. 3 SEC championship game in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. But if the Razorbacks upset the Tigers -- and if Alabama beats No. 24 Auburn on the road in Saturday’s Iron Bowl game -- the SEC West would be decided by a three-way tiebreaker.
In that case, the SEC West champion would be determined by the final BCS standings. The highest-rated team in the Nov. 27 BCS standings would be declared champion, unless the second-place team were within five spots and won the head-to-head matchup.
Alabama seems to be in better shape than Arkansas -- even if the Razorbacks upset LSU -- because of the Tide’s 38-14 victory over the Hogs in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Sept. 24. Because of that victory, it’s hard to imagine the Tide falling below the Razorbacks, as long as the Tide beat Auburn.
LSU has the tiebreaker over Alabama because of the Tigers’ 9-6 overtime win in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 5.
Here’s a couple of other BCS notes:
- Houston is No. 8 in the BCS standings, one spot behind No. 7 Boise State. But as long as the Cougars defeat Tulsa on the road on Friday and win the Dec. 3 Conference USA championship game, they’ll receive a BCS at-large bid. That’s because the Cougars would be rated in the top 16 of the BCS standings and would be higher than the Big East champion. The Big East doesn’t have a single team included in the top 25 of the BCS standings.
Under that scenario, the Broncos would probably be eliminated from BCS at-large consideration, since BCS rules state that only one team from a non-AQ conference must be selected each season.
- Michigan is No. 15 in the BCS standings, but must finish in the top 14 to be considered for a BCS at-large spot. If the Wolverines defeat Ohio State on Saturday, there’s a good chance they’d be in line to receive an at-large bid. If the Wolverines are defeated, Kansas State might be next in line. The Wildcats are No. 11 in the BCS standings.