NCF Nation: conference-race-110712

SEC race update: Week 11

November, 7, 2012
The SEC race could come to close this weekend.

Wins by Alabama (9-0, 6-0 SEC) and Georgia (8-1, 6-1) on Saturday, and both will be headed to Atlanta for the SEC championship game. If Alabama tops Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2) this weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Crimson Tide will take the West because the worst it can do is lose one conference game. No other SEC West team has less than two losses in SEC play.

Now, if Alabama were to lose, things will get very interesting. It wouldn't take away the Tide's hope for the SEC West because Alabama would clinch the division next week with a win over Auburn, but if Alabama turned around and lost to the Tigers on Nov. 24, the SEC would be lost for the Tide if LSU and Texas A&M were to win out. That means A&M would have to beat Missouri at the end of the regular season and LSU would have to beat Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas.

If it came down to a three-team tie, Alabama would be eliminated because it would be the only one of the three teams with two losses within the division. Now, you're down to LSU and Texas A&M, and since LSU beat the Aggies head-to-head, the Tigers would be heading to Atlanta.

Texas A&M can only make it to Atlanta if it beats Alabama and Missouri, and the Tide loses to Auburn. It then needs LSU to drop at least one of its last three SEC games.

Things are much simpler in the East. If Georgia loses to Auburn this weekend, Florida (8-1, 7-1) takes the division because the Gators finished conference play with just one SEC loss, while the Bulldogs would have two.

Who would have thought that struggling Auburn could totally change the SEC race?

Big East conference race update

November, 7, 2012
Let us take a look at the Big East race with four weeks left in the regular season.

Remember some of the basic rules: In the event of a two-way tie, the head-to-head winner between the teams will represent the Big East in the BCS game. In the event of a three-way or four-way tie, there are multiple scenarios that could determine the BCS rep. The two most common scenarios in a three-way tie: 1) if one team beat the other two tied teams, that one gets the BCS bid, regardless of ranking; 2) if they’re each 1-1 against the other two tied teams, it goes to the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings (as with West Virginia last season).

UConn, Pitt, Temple and USF have been mathematically eliminated from contention.


No. 9 Louisville (4-o)

Scenarios: Win out and go to the BCS.

If the Cardinals lose to either Syracuse or UConn but beat Rutgers, they would go to the BCS -- even if there is a three-way tie for first with the Scarlet Knights and Cincinnati. In that case, Louisville would be 2-0 against those two teams and get the nod.

No. 23 Rutgers (4-0).

Scenarios: Win out and go to the BCS.

If the Scarlet Knights lose to either Cincinnati or Pitt but beat Louisville, they would get the BCS nod over the Cardinals if there is a two-way tie for first. If there is a three-way tie between Cincinnati, Rutgers and Louisville, AND Rutgers beat both the Bearcats and Cardinals, they get the BCS nod. If those three teams are 1-1 against each other, the team that finishes highest in the final BCS standings goes to the BCS.

Next up

Cincinnati (2-1)

Scenarios: The Bearcats need some help if they want to win another Big East title. They already lost head-to-head to Louisville so their best shot at going to a BCS game is to win out AND have the Cardinals lose twice. Chances are remote they would win a tiebreaker in a three-way tie with Rutgers and Louisville.

Long shots

Syracuse (3-2)

The Orange already lost to Cincinnati and Rutgers, so they are going to need major help to get to a BCS game. They need to win out and then hope for Cincinnati, Rutgers and Louisville to keep losing to bolster their chances. Here is a best-case scenario:
  • Win out (beating Louisville and Temple)
  • Rutgers loses out (to Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Louisville)
  • Louisville loses to UConn
  • Cincinnati loses at least two of its three games against Temple, USF and Connecticut

If all that happens, Syracuse and Louisville both finish 5-2 and Syracuse has the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Big Ten race update: Week 11

November, 7, 2012
Another week of Big Ten games is in the books, and one spot in the league title game can be wrapped up this Saturday as Wisconsin and Indiana meet in Bloomington.

Let's take a quick look at the division races with three weeks to go in the regular season.


Front-runner: Nebraska (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten). The Huskers took a big step toward Indianapolis after rallying to beat Michigan State last Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Nebraska remains tied with Michigan atop the division standings, but Bo Pelini's team holds the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker. The Huskers have their toughest remaining game Saturday against Penn State at Memorial Stadium before concluding with Minnesota (home) and Iowa (road). A Nebraska win combined with a Michigan loss to Northwestern would essentially give Nebraska a 1.5-game lead in the standings because it beat both the Wolverines and the Wildcats.

Other contenders: Michigan (6-3, 4-1) and Northwestern (7-2, 3-2) are the only serious threats to Nebraska, the Wolverines more so than the Wildcats because they're tied with Nebraska in the loss column. If Michigan beats Northwestern on Saturday and Nebraska falls to Penn State, Michigan will have sole possession of the division lead with two games to play (vs. Iowa, at Ohio State). Looking at Nebraska's closing schedule, Michigan almost certainly will need to win out, including against archrival Ohio State on Nov. 24, to win the division. Northwestern, meanwhile, must hope to win out and have Nebraska lose two of its final three games to claim the division title. Iowa (4-5, 2-3) isn't completely out of the race, as it still has games with both Michigan and Nebraska. But the Hawkeyes need to win out, have both Michigan and Nebraska lose one other game, and have Northwestern also lose once to claim the division title.

Fuhgettaboutit: Both Michigan State (5-5, 2-4) and Minnesota (5-4, 1-4) are out of the race with four league losses and, more damaging, three division losses apiece. Both teams could have made things interesting had they won home games last Saturday against Nebraska and Michigan, respectively, but those losses closed the door.


(Ohio State (10-0, 6-0) can clinch the outright division title with a win next week against Wisconsin and one more Penn State loss. If Penn State loses Saturday at Nebraska, the Buckeyes will be assured of no worse than a co-division title. Penn State (6-3, 4-1) can only win the division title outright by winning out and having Ohio State drop both of its final two games. Wisconsin (6-3, 3-2) can clinch only a share of the division title by winning out).

Wisconsin (6-3, 3-2) can clinch a spot in the Big Ten title game by beating Indiana on Saturday in Bloomington. Indiana (4-5, 2-3) can put itself in the driver's seat to represent the Leaders Division at the championship game if it beats Wisconsin. The Hoosiers and Badgers would be tied atop the division, and Indiana would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with two games to play. Both teams still must visit Penn State, but Indiana finishes the season against slumping rival Purdue, while Wisconsin hosts unbeaten Ohio State next week.

Fuhgettaboutit: Both Purdue (3-6, 0-5) and Illinois (2-7, 0-5) are out of the race with five league losses.

Big 12 title race update: Week 11

November, 7, 2012
Kansas State is really doing us all a favor on theses posts.

The Wildcats played six consecutive games against Big 12 teams with zero or one conference loss. They won them all, and as such, Bill Snyder's team sits alone atop the Big 12 standings, holding the tiebreaker against the only team left with one loss in conference play.

Kansas State can mathematically clinch the conference this weekend with a win over TCU and losses by Oklahoma and Texas.

Oklahoma faces Baylor and Texas faces Iowa State. A handful of teams are still mathematically in the race, but Kansas State would take Texas Tech and TCU officially off that list with a win on Saturday.

Oklahoma would need two K-State losses to win the conference outright, but would earn a share if they win out and Kansas State slips up in one of its final three games.

Texas closes its season against Kansas State, and would need an Oklahoma loss and a Kansas State loss to pair with three Longhorns wins to get a share of the Big 12 title. To be the Big 12's BCS representative, it might come down to somehow surpassing K-State and Oklahoma on the BCS rankings, a feat that seems difficult considering the 42-point loss to the Sooners earlier this season.

Still, right now, this is obviously Kansas State's league to lose, and it would still be the Big 12's champion and BCS representative even if it's upset in one of its final three games.

Here's how the Big 12 standings look heading into Week 11:

1. Kansas State (6-0)
2. Oklahoma (4-1)
3. Texas (4-2)
4. Oklahoma State (3-2)
T-5. Texas Tech (3-3)
T-5. TCU (3-3)
7. West Virginia (2-3)
8. Iowa State (2-4)
9. Baylor (1-4)
10. Kansas (0-6)


ACC race update: Week 11

November, 7, 2012
Here's what we know heading into Week 11: Boston College, Wake Forest and Virginia are the only three teams that have officially played their way out of the ACC championship race.

There are a lot of long shots, a lot of what-ifs, and a lot of scenarios still remaining. Here's a simplified version of how the race stands today:

  • Florida State will win the division if it wins its final two ACC games against Virginia Tech and Maryland.
  • Clemson can still win the division if Florida State loses again.
  • Maryland and NC State can get back in the race if FSU and Clemson both lose twice.
  • If FSU wins on Thursday night, Maryland and NC State are out of the race.
  • If FSU wins on Thursday night, and Clemson loses on Saturday to Maryland, FSU will clinch the division.
  • If Miami wins its remaining ACC games, the Canes win the division.
  • If Duke wins its remaining ACC games, AND Virginia Tech loses again, the Blue Devils will win the division.
  • If Georgia Tech wins its remaining ACC games, AND Virginia Tech loses one AND Miami loses two, the Jackets win the division.
  • If Virginia Tech wins its remaining ACC games AND Miami loses twice, Virginia Tech wins the division.
Here's what we don't know: How Miami's decision to self-impose a bowl ban will affect this race, IF that's what the program chooses to do. If Miami and North Carolina are both out of the postseason, there are too many mind-boggling scenarios and too many possibilities still remaining to narrow the focus. If Miami decides to remove itself from the postseason, the Coastal Division will be even more of a jumbled mess that will go down to the wire.



Pac-12 race update: Week 11

November, 7, 2012
As we turn the corner and head for home, nothing is set in stone yet. Here's a quick look at how the divisions stand.


Front-runner: Oregon is still the leader of the pack as the conference's only undefeated team. Sitting pretty at 9-0, 6-0, the Ducks have complete control. Keep winning, and they'll represent the North Division.

Contenders: The top two contenders meet this week with Stanford hosting Oregon State. Both have matching 5-1 conference records, so the winner picks up a critical tie-breaker over the other. If either of these teams can win out (Stanford faces Oregon next week, OSU the week after) then they will hold tie breakers over Oregon and win the Division.


Front-runner: UCLA sits atop the standings with a 7-2 overall record and a 4-2 mark in conference. Every other South opponent has at least three conference losses. The Bruins already have a tie-breaker over Arizona State, so if they win out -- which includes tough games against USC and Stanford -- they win the South.

Contenders: Arizona's loss to UCLA was a huge favor to USC -- who can still win the division by winning out and not having to worry about a tie-breaker with the Wildcats, who now have four conference losses. Then again, they have to beat ASU and the Bruins -- who stomped Arizona last week. Arizona State is the other three-loss South team and they face the Trojans this week in a game that will likely clear the South landscape a bit. If ASU wins, the Bruins are in really good shape since they hold the tie breaker over the Sun Devils.