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SEC Still Has Slim Title Hopes After Short BCS Drop For Bama

The SEC got good news when the latest BCS standings were released yesterday evening.  Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M on Saturday didn’t sink the Crimson Tide’ title hopes as much it might have.

For league fans who’ve grown accustomed to chanting S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C after every BCS title game, Bama is the conference’s best hope for reaching said game.  As we showed you two weeks ago, rarely do teams climb from outside the top four spaces into the top two (and the championship game) over the final month of the season.

So when Alabama dropped to fourth — and no further — it was actually a good thing for Mike Slive’s league.  On two fronts, really, but we’ll get to that in a second.

The SEC will still need some serious help from others to make it to Miami and get a shot at it seventh BCS championship in a row.  At least two of the following teams will likely need to lose:

 

*  Top-ranked Kansas State will need to lose at Baylor (4-5) or at home versus #15 Texas (8-2) in its season finale.

*  Second-ranked Oregon will have to fall against #13 Stanford (8-2) or at #16 Oregon State (7-2) or in the Pac-12 title game.

* Third-ranked Notre Dame will need to lose at home to Wake Forest (5-5) or at #18 Southern Cal (7-3).

 

Clearly, Oregon’s got the toughest stretch run out of that bunch.  But for the sake of argument, let’s say two of the above three teams do indeed fall victim to upsets.  That would open the door — possibly — for a one-less SEC champion to get back into the BCS title game.

Currently — and this is how Alabama’s short drop from #1 to #4 was a blessing for the league — Bama and Georgia are back-to-back in the BCS standings at fourth and fifth.  The Bulldogs punched their ticket to the SEC Championship Game on Saturday with a thorough pasting of Auburn.  Alabama is a win over the winless-in-the-SEC Tigers from doing the same.

If Alabama wins out against Western Carolina and Auburn and if Georgia wins out over Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, the winner in Atlanta would finish 12-1 with yet another win over a highly-ranked foe under its belt (thanks to the championship game itself).

For safety’s sake, Georgia and Alabama will need to be pulling for some of their previous victims to keep on winning, too.  Georgia would be aided by a Florida win over Florida State and/or a South Carolina win over Clemson.  Alabama would be helped if LSU, Texas A&M and even Michigan can win out.

That’s a lot of ifs…

 

Dumb and Dumber 'There's a Chance'

 

But anything’s possible.

The fact that Alabama remained in the top four of the BCS standings means that the Tide at least still have hope of reaching Miami.  The fact that Bama didn’t fall further also means that Georgia’s longshot hopes of making a jump from #5 all the way into the top two aren’t completely dead yet as UGA would likely get a nice bump from beating a top four Tide team in Atlanta.

The chances are slim, but there is a chance.

 

Speaking of the BCS standings, six SEC teams are currently ranked among the top nine teams in the nation:

 

1.  Kansas State

2.  Oregon

3.  Notre Dame

4.  Alabama

5.  Georgia

6.  Florida

7.  LSU

8.  Texas A&M

9.  South Carolina

10.  Florida State

 

Remarkable.  Too bad one of those six isn’t among the top two right now.

 


10 comments
Crayton
Crayton

You know... Florida is sitting at #6 in the BCS.

 

If all the above happens to let a 1-loss SEC champ in, you can just add a 3rd loss (or a 2-loss SEC Champ) and viola the Gators are in the title game.Well, it may not be that easy. A 1-loss Oregon, KSU, or Notre Dame may be favorable to a 1-loss Florida (but the computers look favorably on the Gators). So, we better throw in a rockin' landslide over Florida State to sway the human voters as well as the computers. 

jtfris
jtfris

UGA benefits from anyone in front of them losing.  Bama was a must, now we will see if a couple of the others fall.

KyleTaft
KyleTaft

Interesting situation coming up. If BCS Standings stay the same, SEC might could only get 1 team in to the BCS at all. Kansas State is number 1, so Fiesta could chose Notre Dame as a replacement. Rose gets Stanford to replace Oregon and winds up with Nebraska from the Big 10. Fiesta chooses again, gets Oklahoma. Sugar has Bama/Georgia as SEC champion. Orange has Florida State/Big East Champ. Sugar's only options would be another SEC team or Clemson.

DaveHenson
DaveHenson

As I said just after the Bama game, Georgia benefits from the Bama loss because the Bama-loving media - including Mr. SEC - will now open the conversation to get a one-loss SEC champ into the National Championship game. Georgia benefits by being in the same boat as Bama.  And sure enough, within hours, ESPN's Mark May is talking up the possibility of Alabama OR GEORGIA making it to the title game.  Discussions like this were not happening last week, and you can be darn sure that Mark May was not building up Georgia until that moment.  So the immediate benefit is that Georgia is now getting talked up in order to make a win by Bama in the SEC title game look more impressive, but the bigger benefit to Georgia is that they are forced to include group Alabama and Georgia together in the "should a one-loss SEC champ play for the national title" argument.  Instead of collateral damage, call it collateral benefits.

 

Now, if Georgia does beat Alabama and the Dawgs need to plead their case, do NOT put Mark Richt in front of the TV cameras.  In 2007, when it was low-key Richt making his case against enthusiastic Les Miles, he was steamrolled.  Instead, put Todd Grantham in front of the cameras and let him talk about Georgia having the best defense in the country and how the team is on a roll and can beat anybody in the country.  Yes, make it a challenge.  And Of course, talk about how illegitimate a national championship game without the SEC would be.  Would the Oregon-KSU winner REALLY be the best team in the country?  College football fans are going to be CHEATED by not having the SEC - the true litmus test - in the title game.  If you don't beat the SEC to win the national title, you have cut corners and are a fraud.  Saban will effectively make this case if Bama wins the SEC, so we need to begin planning our campaign - with Grantham - as well in case we win the SEC.  I hate the spin factor too, but it's real - just ask Saban, Miles and Meyer.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

Very interesting. I read that of the Top 4 teams ranked this week, Alabama has had the toughest schedule so far. But, that doesn't seem to help much after a loss (perhaps they would have fell further than 4th with a weaker schedule but its hard to see where they would be higher than 4th with even a stronger schedule).  So, assuming only one of the Top 3 teams loses going forward and a SEC team does not make the National Championship Game, does that make the SEC more or less likely to add a 9th Conference game? How would Alabama feel if they had to play Florida and Auburn vs. Western Carolina and Auburn in addition to the Conference Championship Game?

Crayton
Crayton

Although the southern incest jokes may fly, a Bama-Florida Sugar Bowl is conceivable. But I do think a 1-loss Clemson has the edge there. Also, the Gators are 1 loss by ND/UO/KSU away from reaching a guaranteed BCS bowl (Top 4 finish), so the Sugar Bowl may be in such a quandary. Especially if Georgia is the SEC Champ, you might see some horse-trading where the Sugar Bowl gets the Fiesta to take the Gators in exchange for "future considerations" (next year the Sugar Bowl picks before the Fiesta).I did see that La Tech is only 4 ranks away from the minimum BCS Buster rank. If they win out and the Big East champ has a 2nd loss, it could be the Tech Bulldogs playing in the Sugar Bowl. What a way for the WAC to go out.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @DaveHenson 

 

Yep, big Bama-lovers here.  Just be sure to tell all those Bama fans who constantly write-in to tell us we're Auburn fans.  Or Tennessee fans.  Or...

 

As for your point... I don't know or care what Mark May says.  I'm responsible for what I say.  And I'm saying what I'm saying because Alabama fell ONLY to #4.  If they'd taken a bigger tumble, that would have hurt Georgia's long-shot chances.  What I say has nothing to do with Bama.  It has to do with Bama's RANKING.

 

John

DaveHenson
DaveHenson

 @John at MrSECUntil now, there has been no mention of Georgia making the national title game, and it only happened in this article because of the Bama loss and under a Bama headline.  Even last week, this site only listed Bama as a national title contender and Georgia was lumped in the Top 25 category.  I suspect that will change this week -- and then ask why did it change?

 

My bigger point is that we remember what happened in 2007 and we fully understand why it happened.  We get it.  We also know how lightly regarded we've been this season.  Yes, we had a horrible game against USC, but there's no way Oregon, Kansas State or Notre Dame could survive the physically abusive SEC without a loss.  Unfortunately, the national media does matter - especially ESPN - so we do have to start making an effective argument for ourselves.  It's a pro-SEC argument.

 

Anyhow, I love this site and I hope that my points are taken in the thought-provoking context for which I intend.

 

 

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @DaveHenson 

 

As I stated... Alabama was the only team in the BCS top four.  Alabama is still the only team in the BCS top four.  If Alabama finishes in the BCS top four and Georgia finishes in the top five and beats Alabama, then Georgia could get in... IF two of the three top-rated teams lose.

 

I think I made it abundantly clear that I'm talking about rankings here.  If Bama had fallen below Georgia -- and I thought they would -- I wouldn't have even called UGA a long-shot team.  They had to have a highly-rated Bama team to beat.  And there was VERY little hope of Georgia making the title game as a #2 SEC team.  So the best bet for Georgia was for Bama to lose AND fall only a slight bit.  That happened.  Yet they'll still need a bunch of other teams to lose for them to get in.

 

Slim chances for both Alabama and Georgia at this point.

 

And for the record, I got emails from fans of every SEC team ranked in the BCS top 10 last week claiming that I was hating them and loving Alabama.  It's about the numbers.  Follow the link above and you'll see why I wrote today what I did.  History says teams from outside the top four don't jump this late in the year.

 

Thanks for reading the site,

 

John

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