Projected BCS & AP Top 4: 1. LSU 2. Alabama 3. Arkansas 4. Stanford* Other BCS projections: Notre Dame will be ranked in the top 25. Houston will be ranked in the top 10. Clemson will drop out of the top 10. *On the Bubble: Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State are on the bubble for the BCS top five and have a chance at the four spot over Stanford due to the volatility in the rankings as the result of numerous ranked teams losing.
I wrote a blog during the off season in which I called the SEC West division the Dirty South of college football because it’s just plain nasty. Week 13 will prove my point with LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas
as the top three ranked teams in college football. What makes it nastier is that Arkansas plays at LSU and Alabama at Auburn to finish up the regular season for SEC football.
Number four is up for grabs this week with four losses by top 10 teams leaving the slot open (Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Clemson). I am projecting Stanford
to fill the slot with Virginia Tech
as the most likely to move up next, but Oklahoma State
may stick around in the top five due to the computer rankings or just outside of it. However, all three have a chance at four. Notre Dame
will be back in the BCS top 25 after appearing in the USA Today Coaches and AP Top 25 polls coming into this week (note AP poll is not part of the BCS). Florida State, Texas
and Southern Mississippi
all may drop out of the BCS top 25 leaving a spot open for the Fighting Irish. Arkansas
trounced Mississippi State ensuring that LSU will have another high hurdle to jump for the SEC championship. In an awkward situation featuring a tiebreaker between Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas, if Arkansas beats LSU and is ranked number one in the nation, then they still may not get into the SEC championship if Alabama is ranked second. Here is the final three team tiebreaker according to the SEC Digital Network: “The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.”
Here are the highest to lowest BCS ranking scenarios for Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama to make it to the SEC championship if LSU loses to Arkansas and all three teams are tied in the SEC standings: Arkansas gets in
Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama.
LSU, Arkansas, and Alabama. LSU gets in:
LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas. Alabama gets in:
Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU.
Arkansas, Alabama, and LSU.
Note that Arkansas, Alabama, or LSU would not have to qualify for the SEC championship to make it to the BCS National Championship. The probability of an SEC rematch in the BCS is now much more likely unless Alabama is upset by Auburn and there is an upset in the SEC championship.