Why The Championship Will Be SEC/Big 12 And Other Musings

Fun week in college football. I love to see upsets. I don’t care if I pick them right or not. Every time they happen I am happy. Even if it is my alma mater getting upset (sorry Cougars, picked against you anyway as I know the choke artists you are in that game.) But now that all the real teams are finally starting to play other real times, some things look to be panning out, and it’s an SEC/Big 12 BCS championship this year.

I’m looking at this straight from statistics is all. Statistically, the BCS championship participants are almost always undefeated. I think every year but two at least one of the teams was undefeated. So looking down the list, let’s look at which undefeated teams (early, I know) have the best shot at staying that way.

1. SEC

We’ve got Alabama, LSU, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida who have any realistic shot of going undefeated. The interesting part? Literally only one of them can do undefeated. Doesn’t mean one will, but of the five who really could, it’s only possible for one.

2. Big Ten

Sorry Big Ten, your championship hopes are already over. Your best chance now lies with Ohio State (shouldn’t inspire any confidence) and they are banned from the post season. No Big Ten team in the BCS championship this year, that’s a fact.

3. ACC

Florida State or Clemson have a shot, but they play each other next week, so only one of them has a shot.

4. Big 12

Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas really have any hope, with TCU and Kansas State having outside chances. Still, they do round robin, so all of them play each other. Only one can come out undefeated if one does.

5. Pac 12

Oregon and Stanford are the standard bearers of the conference now that USC has fallen. Stanford isn’t really that good this year, just got lucky, so I don’t think they have a shot to go undefeated. Oregon might though, but having a USC potentially twice could be tough.

6. Independents

Notre Dame is making a strong case for being an elite team this year. It’s about time.

7. Big East

Louisville is not going to be undefeated. We might as well talk about the Sun Belt as the Big East since bringing in anyone else at this point means nothing.

Ok, so that’s the conference breakdown. As far as things are stacked right now, it’s the SEC and Big 12 with the most potentials to go undefeated, so statistically the most likely matchup is going to see their undefeated champions play each other. Those are just the numbers.

Then again, some interesting things could happen. We could have no undefeated teams. As soon as you remove that possibility, things can get very complicated. What if you have 8 one loss teams? Don’t laugh, that could legitimately happen this year with the few really good teams being focused in just two conferences this year. Imagine if at the end of the season we have a one loss Alabama, LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida State and Notre Dame? They all play grueling schedules, they all have great teams, how would you like to be the coaches assistant to have to make those rankings?

There are some good teams this year, and if any two manage to go undefeated they are in the championship, no question. If no one goes undefeated then the answer is pretty obvious. Voters will simply look at the best conferences (SEC and Big 12). They will just vote their champions one and two and that’s that.

So how do I think it will really play out? I honestly don’t see anyone touching Alabama after seeing them for three games. I also don’t think an undefeated team comes out of the SEC east for the championship. Alabama cruises to a #1 spot and remains undefeated all year.

The #2 spot? I think there will be a big controversy here. I think LSU will only have one loss, their game against Alabama. I think Oregon will have an undefeated season but lose the Pac 12 championship game to USC and then have one loss. I think Florida State will run the table in the ACC but lose to Florida in its final game before the ACC championship. And I think West Virginia and Oklahoma will each lose one game, but West Virginia will win the head to head. Then I think Notre Dame will only lose once.

And that’s when chaos ensues. Voters will choose between LSU, Oregon, Florida State, West Virginia and Notre Dame. Suppose it really does happen. Who do you think deserves to be #2? That sure would be fun. Probably not going to happen only because I predicted it, so you can count on this scenario having no chance, but still, fun to think about.