Sunday, November 18, 2012
The SEC is back in the BCS title picture
By Edward Aschoff
It only took a week for the college football world to take a step out of the SEC's shadow. For seven long days, the country soaked up the feeling of finally being able to look down on the SEC.
That week better have been a real blast because it took just one night for the SEC to crawl right back into the national title picture.
With Kansas State and Oregon both going down on Saturday, Alabama is right back in the running for the BCS title game, as the Crimson Tide shot up to No. 2 in the BCS standings after drubbing Western Carolina 49-0. If Alabama wins out, it is headed to Miami for the Discover BCS National Championship Game.
Alabama now has to beat an overmatched Auburn team at home this coming weekend and then get past Georgia in the SEC championship game. Georgia is now No. 3 in the BCS standings and is playing its best ball of the season.
If Alabama and Georgia both win this upcoming weekend, the SEC championship becomes a semifinal for the national championship.
But it doesn't just stop there for the SEC.
With No. 1 and No. 2 losing, there's a chance that the SEC could party like it's 2011 and send two teams back to the national championship. It's a long shot, but it's possible with some help.
First, Florida, which is No. 4 in the BCS standings, has to beat No. 10 Florida State to end the season 11-1. Then, No. 1 Notre Dame has to lose to USC. If that happens, the Gators could make it to Miami if No. 5 Oregon doesn't jump them with a Pac-12 championship. But the Ducks have to get to the league championship first.
If Notre Dame and Florida both win, the Gators will be heading to the Allstate Sugar Bowl if the SEC champion makes it to Miami.
LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina are still in the BCS mix. If the SEC champ makes it to Miami, Florida loses to FSU and No. 7 LSU and No. 9 Texas A&M win out, both will be up for the Sugar Bowl. The Aggies have been one of the hottest teams in the country and are equipped with the new Heisman front-runner, Johnny Manziel, but it might be tough for the Sugar Bowl to turn down a 10-2 LSU team from right up the road.
South Carolina dropped from ninth to 12th in the BCS standings and pretty much needs all of the SEC teams in front of it to lose if it's going to have any chance at a BCS bowl.