BCS National Championship: Alabama & Oregon Prime Candidates

By Andrew Schmidt
November 01, 2012 4:37 pm
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Alabama Who Will Play For The BCS National Championship?

The following is a breakdown of the BCS Rankings, and the projections for the remainder of the NCAA Football season.

Knowing the history and volatility of college football, it would be no surprise if one or even two of these teams were to lose prior to end of this season.

However the lens in which this examination takes place is assuming that all four current undefeated teams REMAIN undefeated at the end of the regular season.

 (Current) Week 9 BCS Standings

  1.  Alabama (.9759)
  2.  Kansas State (.9400)
  3.  Notre Dame (.9147)
  4.  Oregon (.9136)

Alabama (1) sits firmly atop the BCS Standings as they travel to Baton Rouge for a rematch of last year’s BCS Championship Game against LSU (5) this upcoming Saturday. A win against LSU will only solidify Alabama’s position as the top team in the nation.

Kansas State (2) hosts Oklahoma State (24) in a Big XII battle, which should have the Wildcats’ coming out on top. Notre Dame (3) begins their “cool-down” schedule, after a very impressive road win over Oklahoma (12) this past weekend, the Irish will host Pittsburgh (4-4).

Oregon (4) travels to Los Angeles for their toughest challenge to date against USC (17). USC’s loss on the road against Arizona (22) this past week has the Trojans reeling and in need of a major victory to salvage their season.

Continuing the presumption that all top 4 BCS Teams continue to win this week, there will not be much change to the top 2 (...yet) as the BCS standings will be very similar next week with the exception of Oregon (.9136) passing Notre Dame (.9147) and Alabama (.9759) increasing their margin after a top 5 road win against LSU.

(Projected) Week 10 BCS Standings

  1. Alabama
  2. Kansas State
  3. Oregon
  4. Notre Dame

In order to form an accurate projection for the BCS National Championship Game, it is necessary to examine and isolate the BCS Components (Harris Poll, USA Today Coaches Poll, & Computer Rankings).

Harris Poll + USA Today Poll + Computer Rankings = BCS Total

 

Harris Poll

  1. Alabama (.9976)
  2.  Oregon (.9478)
  3. Kansas State (.9238)
  4. Notre Dame (.8880)

USA Today Coaches Poll

  1. Alabama (1.000)
  2. Oregon (.9431)
  3. Kansas State (.9261)
  4. Notre Dame (.8861)

With the Harris and USA Today poll both having the teams ranked in similar fashion, these rankings do not seem likely to change significantly, unless one of these teams happens to lose.

Precedent has demonstrated that the voter rankings give deference to teams previously ranked higher throughout the season unless a loss or a “quality” (top 5) win occurs.  

(See Remaining Schedules Section)

With the “human” polls, not likely to have much variability, the remainder of the BCS is composed of the Computer Rankings, and will rely heavily on the remaining strength of schedule for each team. 

Computer Rankings (Average) 

  1. Kansas State (.970)
  2. Notre Dame (.970)
  3. Alabama (.930)
  4. Florida (.870)
  5. Oregon (.850)

Kansas State and Notre Dame have made their impression on the computers, and do not appear to increase their computer margin any higher over the coming weeks. Both Alabama and Oregon own tougher remaining schedules as well as a conference championship game(s) compared to Notre Dame and Kansas State with weaker schedules and no conference championship game.

Alabama will surely catapult in these rankings with a road win over LSU (5). Oregon is clearly the underperformer in the computer rankings, but that’s not all bad for Oregon, as the Ducks have the greatest amount of room for improvement, which will likely correlate to a higher overall BCS ranking in weeks to come.

Remaining Schedules

 

Alabama (1)

@ LSU (5) **(Alabama clinches SEC Championship Game Berth with a win over LSU)**

vs. Texas A&M (16)

vs. Western Carolina

vs. Auburn

SEC Championships UGA (5) / Florida (6) ** ( UGA clinches SEC Championship Game Berth with win over Ole Miss)

With LSU as their stiffest competition until the SEC Championship game, Alabama looks poised to return to the BCS National Championship, of the four undefeated teams, Alabama projects to have the 2nd most difficult schedule. Games against underwhelming Western Carolina (1-8) and shockingly awful Auburn (1-7) water down Alabama’s otherwise impressive remaining schedule.

Kansas State (2)

vs. Oklahoma State (24)

@ TCU

@ Baylor

vs. Texas (23)

The Wildcats’ most challenging remaining game will take place this week as they host the Cowboys of Oklahoma State (24). The next two contests are Big XII road battles with TCU and Baylor, both of which are not as impressive as seasons past. K-State concludes its season against Texas (23) at home.

Due to conference realignment there is no longer a Big XII Championship game which will ultimately hurt K-State. Having played potentially one less game than Alabama and Oregon. Kansas State’s remaining schedule is the 3rd most challenging of the undefeated 4. With Collin Klein at quarterback, the Heisman favorite, K-State will have incredible momentum and fanfare surrounding their quest to get their icon of a coach Bill Snyder to the BCS Championship.

 

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By Andrew Schmidt
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Previous Comments (4)

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23 months ago
Andrew, as a result of Ala. beating LSU, it could be said that Georgia is now the Team that controls it's own destiny (other than Ala.). If Georgia wins out, they probably play Ala. for the BCS Title.
23 months ago

But you are probably right-while Georgia absolutely must win out, Oregon now could probably lose 1 game and still finish with 12 wins and a very good resume.
23 months ago

If UGA wins out and beats Alabama in the SEC Championship, you think there would be a rematch for the National Champ? (Interesting)
23 months ago

Last year might just have set a precedent. Had that LSU-Ala. game gone the other way, I thought it would have come down to the winner of the SEC Champ. Game (probably LSU vs. Georgia) vs. Ala. in the Big Game. I hate to say it, but those SEC Teams (the Top 3) probably are the 3 best teams in the nation by the end of the year. Who would you favor if LSU played Ore., K-St., or ND on a neutral field this Sat.? Same question for Georgia and Ala. And you could almost throw in Fla. as well. I don't like the way it is going, but it is getting harder and harder to deny what I am watching when I watch those SEC teams beat each other up week after week.

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