Wednesday, November 21, 2012

We're No. 2: Ten Teams in the Running for the BCS National Championship Game, or maybe only eight

CLIFFORD F. THIES

 With two big upsets this past weekend, all kinds of scenarios have opened up for the BCS National Championship Game. There are two clear paths: Notre Dame as the lone remaining bowl-eligible undefeated team, and the winner of the SEC conference championship game, either Alabama or Georgia. But, there are hurdles in each of these three teams' paths, and as many as seven contingencies.

1. Notre Dame - clear path #1 - must beat a tough Southern California team in its next and final game. If Notre Dame were to lose to Southern California, it would fall into a tie with Florida and Clemson, hoping for something strange to happen to numbers 2 through 6.

2(t). Alabama - clear path #2 - must take care of business against lowly Auburn in its regular season wrap-up and then beat Georgia in SEC Championship game

2(t). Georgia - clear path #3 - must defeat Georgia Tech in its regular season wrap-up and then beat beat Alabama in SEC Championship game

4. Oregon - needs help - must defeat a tough Oregon State team in its regular season wrap-up, and must have either (a) Notre Dame lose to Southern California or (b) Alabama lose to Auburn and then beats Georgia or Georgia lose to Georgia Tech and then beats Alabama. If UCLA defeats Stanford, and then Oregon defeats UCLA in the PAC-12 Championship Game, Oregon would be next in line for a berth in the BCS National Championship Game. If Stanford defeats UCLA, and thereby shuts Oregon out of the PAC-12 Championship Game, Oregon would fall into a tie with Florida and Clemson.

5.. Florida State - needs help - must defeat a tough Florida team in its regular season wrap-up and must win the ACC Championship Game, and must have either (a) Notre Dame lose to Southern California or (b) Alabama lose to Auburn and then beat Georgia or Georgia lose to Georgia Tech and then beat Alabama. Then, if Oregon doesn't finish as the PAC-12 Champ, Florida State would be next in line for a berth in the BCS National Championship Game.

6. Kansas State - needs a lot of help - must defeat a tough Texas team in its next and final regular season game, and must have either (a) Notre Dame lose to Southern California or (b) Alabama lose to Auburn and then beat Georgia or Georgia lose to Georgia Tech and then beat Alabama, and cannot have either Oregon finish as the PAC-12 Champ or Florida State beat Florida and finish as the ACC Champ.

7(t). Florida and Clemson - needs a lot of help - Florida must defeat a tough Florida State team in its regular season wrap-up, and Clemson must defeat a tough South Carolina team it its. Then, these teams must have either (a) Notre Dame lose to Southern California or (b) Alabama lose to Auburn and then beat Georgia or Georgia lose to Georgia Tech and then beat Alabama, and cannot have any of: (c) Oregon finish as the PAC-12 Champ (d) Florida State beat Florida and finish as the ACC Champ, and (e) or Kansas State beat Texas. Even with all this, neither of these teams would be guaranteed a berth in the BCS National Championship Games.

9(t). Cincinnati and Rutgers - needs a miracle - the winner this regular season wrap-up must have either Alabama lose to Auburn and then beat Georgia or Georgia lose to Georgia Tech and then beat Alabama, and cannot have any of: (c) Oregon beat Oregon State or (d) Florida State beat Florida and finish as the ACC Champ, (e) Kansas State beat Texas, (f) Florida defeat Florida State, and (g) Clemson beat South Carolina. In this highly improbable scenario, the one-loss Big East Champion would face Notre Dame. Or, maybe the BCS people would just invite a two-loss team from a power conference than besmirch the BCS National Championship Game with a representative of the Big East.

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