Monday, October 25, 2010

College football tries to right itself

Although it's been one crazy college football season, it appears that college football is trying to right itself.

It still has a ways to go, though.

After a weekend where everybody in the SEC that was supposed to win won -- no offense LSU, but Auburn was ranked higher; and no offense Kentucky, but in a normal world, Georgia would have been a lock to win -- things are getting a little clearer.

In the East, things are much simpler now.

South Carolina, with 2 conference losses, can take the division by winning out (Tennessee, Arkansas, Florida) and getting no help from anyone. Win and they're in ... the SEC title game.

Florida, with 3 conference losses, is in the same situation. If the Gators win out (Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina), they'll win the East by virtue of a tie-breaker against USC.

Georgia also has 3 conference losses. If the Bulldogs win their remaining conference games (Florida, Auburn), they still need USC to lose 2 of their final 3 games in order to squeeze into the title game.

Vanderbilt has an even tougher time. In one weekend, they've gone from "win and you're in" to "a snowball's chance in hell" for making the SEC title game. Vandy needs to win its last 4 conference games (Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee), and get a loss each from Georgia and Florida (who play each other this coming Saturday), as well as 2 losses from the Gamecocks.

The simplest scenario is for USC and Florida to win out, and their November 13 game be for the SEC East title, and a spot in the SEC Championship Game.

The SEC West has simplified itself, too.

If Auburn wins out (Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama), they're in the SEC title game.

If Alabama wins out (LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn), they're in the SEC title game.

Everyone else needs help to make it to the title game.

LSU went from "win and you're in" to "maybe next year" with that loss to Auburn. The Tigers need to win out (Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas), and hope for two Auburn losses, in order to make the title game.

It's even harder for Mississippi State. They need to win out (Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi) ... and have LSU lose two games ... and have Auburn lose its last three SEC games.

Arkansas needs to win out (South Carolina, Mississippi State, LSU) ... and have Auburn lose all three SEC games, as well as Alabama lose its two SEC games.

The simplest scenario is for Alabama and Auburn to win out, then play for the West title on November 26.

The BCS?

It looks like the BCS might just save itself after all.

Auburn (#1 BCS, #3 AP, #3 Coaches) tops the BCS. And, if they win out, they should stay atop the BCS and play for the pretend championship in January.

Oregon (#2 BCS, #1 AP, #1 Coaches) could run the table and make the pretend title game. But, they have games against Southern California (#24 AP), Washington, California, Arizona (#15 BCS, #15 AP, #16 Coaches), and Oregon State (#33 AP).

Boise State (#3 BCS, #2 AP, #2 Coaches) may get left out. Again. Probably because they are a decent team with a cupcake schedule. They still have lots of football left to play (Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Fresno State, Nevada, Utah State). The only ranked teams on their schedule (or nearly ranked) are Hawaii (#27 AP, #27 Coaches) and Nevada (#26 AP, #26 Coaches).

If Oregon or Boise State played an SEC schedule, they wouldn't even be considered a top five team. Or a top ten team. Same could be said for Texas Christian, Michigan State, Missouri, and Utah.

With the SEC being as tough as it is, and the fact that they beat each other up so, puts the SEC in the situation of its biggest strength (so many good teams) is its biggest weakness.


  1. Basil, I don't want to curse Auburn, but I don't see anybody beating them. It was a spankin' at Jordan-Haire, against the best defense that they will face all season.

    If they can shore up their own D a bit, I see a cakewalk in their future. Oregon has an explosive offense, and even though they don't play an SEC type schedule, speed is speed. I don't think they can match Auburn, but they can run pretty close.

    It's going to be interesting to see it play out. And yes, my beloved Tigers did go to "maybe next year." However, I had predicted a 7-5 season. We may end up 9-3. In fact, I think we will. I can live with that as a fan.

  2. Re: Auburn. Yes, the Tigers from the Easy Alabama Cow College are in a great position right now. But, it is the SEC. Alabama (vs South Carolina) and South Carolina (vs Kentucky) can attest to that.

    And, you're right. All LSU fans should be proud of this season. They could still win out. If they do, they could whup up on Boise State in the Sugar Bowl.


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