Week ten has come and gone and we’ve still got a major BCS bess brewing.
Sure, Florida State waxed Miami, but who didn’t see that coming?
Thursday night four of the BCS top ten will be playing — Oklahoma at Baylor and Oregon at Stanford — but I think we’re going to see Baylor and Oregon both win those football games.
If those two teams win on Thursday and then Alabama wins on Saturday then there’s going to be a sudden realization that we’re careening towards BCS chaos.
Sure, in every year since 2004 everything has resolved itself by the end of the year.
But I don’t think that’s happening this year.
2004 Auburn’s going to have company this year.
Outkick’s national top ten:
The Tide play three BCS top 13 teams in the next five weeks.
That will be four top 14 BCS teams on the 2013 Tide schedule.
That’s two more top 14 teams than any other non-SEC top ten BCS team will play this season. (Ohio State won’t even play a top 15 team in Urban Meyer’s first two entire years).
So, yeah, there’s really not much to criticize about Alabama’s schedule.
The Ducks travel to Stanford on Thursday night.
Win that game and it’s likely the Ducks would sweep through the rest of their schedule and then play Arizona State in the Pac 12 title game.
It’s really pretty simple for the Ducks — if Oregon wins out then they will play Alabama for the BCS title.
3. Florida State
The Seminoles mauled Miami, but now there’s not much left on the Seminole schedule.
Wake Forest, Syracuse, and Idaho remain before the traditional end of the year game against Florida. Unfortunately Florida’s bad this year and will probably limp into that Florida State game 6-5. The Seminoles really need the Gators to be a major challenge this year, unfortunately that’s not going to happen.
The polls are not going to change substantially and there isn’t much movement that can happen in the computers since FSU’s schedule strength will peak this week.
Given that it looks like Florida State will play Miami in a rematch in the ACC title game, a team the Seminoles just beat by 27, what more can FSU do to impress the voters?
Put simply, a 13-0 FSU team needs either Alabama or Oregon to lose.
The Bears begin their title run on Thursday against Oklahoma. Then comes four games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU, and Texas. These teams will send the Baylor schedule strength surging. If the Bears keep winning, look out Ohio State, you don’t need to just be concerned about the teams above, you have to worry about the teams below you too.
Lots of you still haven’t seen Baylor play a full game, but you can remedy that on Thursday by tuning into FS1’s broadcast of Oklahoma at Baylor. I think y’all are going to be impressed.
Baylor’s for real.
Stanford hosts Oregon on Thursday night. (That’s why I told all of you to take Friday off work. That game won’t be over until midnight and it will follow Oklahoma at Baylor, comprising the best college football doubleheader in the history of a non-Saturday).
Could a one-loss Stanford get into the BCS title game over undefeated Baylor or undefeated Ohio State?
Keep in mind that if Stanford beats Oregon the Ducks lose the Pac 12 North division and wouldn’t advance to the title game.
6. Ohio State
The Buckeyes are screwed.
Dominate a bad team like they did on Saturday and we all point out how weak the Big Ten is. Play a close game against a Big Ten opponent and we all talk about how weak Ohio State’s performance was.
Yesterday Ohio State destroyed 1-7 Purdue. Next week the Buckeyes get Illinois, another winless Big Ten team. The week after that? Indiana, who has just one Big Ten win. All in all the Buckeyes will play three straight games against teams that have one Big Ten win among them.
Then comes the big game at Michigan.
Michigan, not even a top 25 team this year, will have at least three losses by the time Ohio State comes to Ann Arbor.
There’s just nothing Ohio State can do to play for the title other than root for two of the teams ranked above them to lose. Plus, hope that Baylor doesn’t catch them from behind.
The Tigers bounced back from a fourth quarter and overtime collapse against South Carolina to deliver a thorough beating to the Tennessee Volunteers.
Next week is a virtual off week against Kentucky and then Mizzou finishes with a road game at Ole Miss and then comes back home to host Texas A&M in a massive game for both teams.
Can Mizzou be 11-1 in Atlanta?
Will the Tigers pull it off?
I have no idea. The final two games on the Mizzou schedule are both toss-ups.
If I was filing my national coach of the year ballot Gus Malzahn, Gary Pinkel, and Art Briles, in that order, would be my top three votes for national coach of the year in 2013.
The Tigers, now 8-1 with a lone road loss at LSU, finish at Tennessee, and then with home games against Georgia and Alabama.
It’s looking like Auburn will roll into the Iron Bowl at 10-1 with the SEC West title on the line.
Anyone predict that coming into the year?
9. South Carolina
The Gamecocks are one win away from posting a 6-2 SEC East record and waiting to see whether or not Mizzou loses down the stretch.
I’m going to dive into the SEC East tiebreaks below in the SEC power rankings, but in the meantime, it’s likely like Steve Spurrier will post his third consecutive ten win or more season at South Carolina.
Now if we could just figure out what in the world happened in the Tennessee game. The Gamecocks loss in Knoxville is the single most inexplicable result in SEC play so far this season. I just have no idea how South Carolina lost that football game. (By the way, for Clemson fans who wonder why their team isn’t ranked in the top ten, it’s because I believe South Carolina will beat Clemson on the final week of the season. That and giving up fifty points at home is hard to justify for any top ten team.)
10. Texas A&M
The Aggies get the bump back into the top ten thanks to Miami’s loss.
With two incredibly close losses to our number one and eight teams in the country, Johnny Manziel’s crew is still looking like a tough beat down the stretch.
After dispatching of Mississippi State, the Aggies will be 8-2 with two tough road games left — at LSU and at Missouri.
I can’t wait to see what Manziel and crew can pull off in those games.
Here are Outkick’s SEC power rankings along with the SEC East tiebreak scenarios that would propel Missouri, South Carolina, or Georgia to Atlanta:
The unquestioned best team in the SEC.
If Mizzou wins out then the Tigers win the SEC East.
If Mizzou beats Kentucky next weekend — and if Mizzou loses to Kentucky then the SEC East shouldn’t get an SEC title game bid this year — then any three-way 6-2 tie would favor Missouri by virtue of its 5-1 SEC East divisional record. A three-way tie would feature Mizzou, South Carolina, and Georgia.
If South Carolina lost to Florida and Georgia won out then Mizzou would win a head-to-head tiebreak over 6-2 Georgia even with a loss in its final three games.
Mizzou would lose a head-to-head tiebreak with 6-2 South Carolina.
When Gus Malzahn watches the tape of Tennessee’s rush defense against Missouri, he’s going to be happier than a dog with two peters.
Auburn’s going to run roughshod over the Vols on Saturday.
4. South Carolina
The Gamecocks win the SEC East if they beat Florida on November 16th and the following happens:
a. Mizzou loses two of its final three games and Georgia loses to Auburn
b. Mizzou loses one of its final three games and Georgia loses to Auburn
Basically, Georgia has to lose to Auburn and Mizzou has to lose at least one game for South Carolina to win the SEC East.
5. Texas A&M
If A&M hadn’t lost to Auburn, you’d be hearing whispers of a BCS title game rematch against Alabama.
But, alas, Nick Saban vs. Johnny Manziel won’t happen again.
Instead if A&M won out, there’s a good chance the Aggies would be the SEC’s BCS selection filling the Sugar Bowl spot vacated by Alabama’s BCS title game appearance.
Doesn’t Johnny Manziel’s A&M career ending on Bourbon Street just feel right?
If LSU hadn’t lost to Ole Miss then the Bayou Bengals would still be a legitimate national title threat.
A 12-1 SEC champ LSU would probably have finished above every undefeated team but Oregon and Florida State.
Instead, LSU finds itself in the season wrecker role.
Also, just like A&M, if the Tigers win out they’d have a very good shot of garnering the SEC’s Sugar Bowl berth.
Georgia wins the SEC East if the Bulldogs win their final two SEC games and Mizzou loses two of its final three games.
Since the Bulldogs lose the head-to-head tiebreak with Mizzou as well as the three-way tiebreak with South Carolina and Mizzou, the only way the Bulldogs can have a repeat trip to Atlanta is if Mizzou is 5-3 in the conference.
8. Ole Miss
Ole Miss should spank Arkansas and Troy to run its record to 7-3.
Then comes a massive home game against Missouri. Win that one and the Rebels would be poised to win nine games after a victory over Mississippi State. Then Ole Miss would head to a bowl game with a chance to win ten games in Hugh Freeze’s second season.
Since no SEC coach has won a league title without winning at least nine games in his second season, Rebel fans could dream big.
By the way, Texas is currently leading the Big 12.
The SEC’s 8th best team went on the road and beat Texas by 21.
But the league’s top heavy, right?
Will Muschamp now has a worse three-year SEC record than Ron Zook did.
Oh, and Muschamp ran his Cocktail Party record to 0-7, four losses as a Georgia player and three losses as a Florida coach.
Muschamp’s officially on the Gator hot seat.
With likely losses at South Carolina and at home to Florida State, 6-6 looms as a best case scenario.
And watch out for a rested Vanderbilt Commodore team that’s coming into town next weekend for a noon eastern kickoff. You think Gator fans will show up for that one? Vandy will be poised to pull that upset.
The Commodores had an off week.
With a final four that looks like this: at Florida, Kentucky, at Tennessee, and Wake Forest, the Dores look likely to finish 6-6 at worst and head to a third straight bowl game. But how big would a road upset of the Gators be? If the Dores could pull off that win suddenly 8-4 would be in play.
Auburn will beat the Vols this weekend. That will leave Butch Jones at 4-6 needing to beat both Vanderbilt and Kentucky to qualify for a bowl game.
Meaning that toss-up Vanderbilt game on November 23rd will be massive for both Vandy and Tennessee.
12. Mississippi State
The Bulldogs are going to lose at A&M and against Alabama.
That will have Dan Mullen’s troops at 4-6 with the saddest game in the SEC this year, a neutral site game in Little Rock against Arkansas.
The good news is someone has to win this game.
The bad news is, some of y’all will have to pay to watch it.
The only reason Kentucky isn’t the worst team in the SEC this year is because Arkansas is in the conference.
The Wildcats are going 2-10.
Thank God Mark Stoops is recruiting like a beast.
The Razorbacks have been outscored 214-67 in the SEC this year, losing every league game by double digits.
The past three games have been even worse, 139-24.
Before the season started I predicted the Razorbacks would be 4-8 and, predictably, fans said I was crazy.
It looks like 4-8 might have been too generous.