Monday, October 22, 2012

SEC Champ Is Not Such a Sure Thing

Now that we have Oregon fans going all apoplectic after correctly forecasting the Ducks would fall another spot to No. 4 in the latest BCS standings, it's perfectly sensible to get somebody else all riled up.

Take a deep breath and here goes: A one-loss SEC champ is no sure thing to play in the BCS title game.

That's right. As unfathomable as this sounds, the SEC does not yet have a mortal lock to play in Miami on Jan. 7 even after winning the last six BCS championships. If the conference does not produce an undefeated champion, it's possible that the SEC would be watching someone else winning the 2012 national title.

There are three undefeated SEC teams now, and that number will dwindle to two next week after Alabama plays Mississippi State. The top-ranked Crimson Tide certainly seem invincible at the moment, but let's look at a couple of hypotheticals:

If Alabama loses at LSU in two weeks, and then LSU defeats an unbeaten Florida in the SEC title game, It's possible that all three teams would be shut out. Or if Georgia beats Florida to win the SEC East and then upsets undefeated Alabama in the SEC title game, it's also possible that neither gets to play in the BCS title game.

Neither of the above are implausible, and other scenarios that would produce a one-loss SEC champion certainly also exist. If two of the teams among Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame - and especially all three - finish the season undefeated, it's actually difficult to see how a one-loss team would crash the BCS title game party, even if it's one from the SEC.


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