What Are the Chances We End Up With Five Undefeated BCS Teams?

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I really enjoy the work of Paul Bessire over at predictionmachine.com. Paul runs a computer simulation 50,000 times to see what’s most likely to happen over the course of a season. 

Last year he analyzed the chances that undefeated teams would finish undefeated for us. This year I asked him to do the same thing again and he obliged. You can and should read the entire analysis here.

But here are some pertinent takeaways. 

Chances Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Baylor and Ohio State are undefeated on December 8: 0.83% (or 1-in-121)

In fact, according to Paul’s analysis, there’s still a much greater chance that each of these teams loses a game than that all finish undefeated. 

Chances that Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Baylor, Ohio State and Florida State all have at least one loss on December 8: 7.7% (or 1-in-13)

Indeed, keep your chin up even if your team has already lost one game, Paul says there’s a 38.9% chance that a one-loss team plays in the BCS title game. 

So which undefeated BCS conference teams have the best chances to finish undefeated?

1. Alabama has a 49.2% chance of finishing undefeated.

2. Ohio State has a 44.7% chance of finishing undefeated

3. Florida State has a 40.3% chance of finishing undefeated

4. Oregon has a 39.9% chance of finishing undefeated.

5. Baylor has a 23.4% chance of finishing undefeated.

6. Miami has a 6.4% chance of finishing undefeated. 

Oregon Ducks

Current Power Rank: 1
Current Strength-of-Schedule Rank: 66
Games Remaining: 5 (with conference championship)
Undefeated Chances: 39.9%
Closest Remaining Game: at Stanford (November 7)
Teams that would be favored over Oregon on a neutral field: None
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 39.9% (if Oregon wins out, the Ducks should be in)

Alabama Crimson Tide

Current Power Rank: 2
Current Strength-of-Schedule Rank: 42
Games Remaining: 5 (with conference championship)
Undefeated Chances: 49.2%
Closest Remaining Game: SEC Championship Game (December 7)
Teams that would be favored over Alabama on a neutral field: Oregon
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 49.2% (if Alabama wins out, the Tide should be in

Florida State Seminoles

Current Power Rank: 3
Current Strength-of-Schedule Rank: 41
Games Remaining: 6 (with conference championship)
Undefeated Chances: 40.3%
Closest Remaining Game: ACC Championship (if Miami on a neutral field, otherwise, Miami this week)
Teams that would be favored over Florida State on a neutral field: Oregon, Alabama 
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 32.4% (if Florida State wins out and either Alabama or Oregon loses, Florida State should be in)

Baylor Bears

Current Power Rank: 5
Current Strength-of-Schedule Rank: 95 (yeah, that’s about to change quickly)
Games Remaining: 5 (all against teams in top 40 of our Power Rankings)
Undefeated Chances: 23.4%
Closest Remaining Game: at Oklahoma State (November 23)
Teams that would be favored over Baylor on a neutral field: Oregon, Alabama, Florida State
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 15.1% (if Baylor wins out and two teams from Alabama, Ohio State and Florida State lose, Baylor should be in)

Ohio State Buckeyes 

Current Power Rank: 6
Current Strength-of-Schedule Rank: 73
Games Remaining: 5
Undefeated Chances: 44.7% (second most likely among BCS-AQ and third most likely in FBS)
Closest Remaining Game: at Michigan (November 30)
Teams that would be favored over Ohio State on a neutral field: Oregon, Alabama, Florida State, Texas A&M, Baylor (all by at least 6 points)
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 22.4% (if Ohio State wins out and three teams from Alabama, Ohio State, Baylor and Florida State lose, Ohio State should be in)

Agree or disagree with Paul’s analysis?

Read the entire piece here, there’s much more data to see. You guys will love his work.


Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.