This past weekend was one of the most exciting in college football history. Was it BCS chaos? Not really. I just call it high intensity palate cleansing.
If chaos is your pleasure, the next two weekends could deliver a heaping dose for you. Let’s take a look at some scenarios involving the four top-ranked schools in the BSC standings: LSU, Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma State. Of course, LSU hosts Arkansas on Friday, Alabama visits Auburn and Oklahoma State has a week off before playing hosting in-state rival Oklahoma on Dec. 3. The SEC championship game is also Dec. 3.
LSU beats Arkansas and beats Georgia. Alabama beats Auburn. Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma. This is the easiest scenario to map out. The Tigers would head to Atlanta to play Georgia and with a win there, the Tigers and Bama would meet in a rematch in New Orleans. Oklahoma State would finish on the outside looking in at No. 3 in the BCS standings. The wrench in this scenario is if Alabama lays a stink bomb in beating Auburn while the Cowboys destroy Oklahoma. In that case, it’s not entirely outside the realm of the possible for the Pokes to jump Bama.
LSU beats Arkansas and loses to Georgia. Alabama beats Auburn. Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma. This scenario may cause full-on chaos. Alabama would most likely punch a ticket to New Orleans, but would LSU get a mulligan because losing to Georgia was their first loss? It would depend on how the game plays out, but most likely so. It would also depend on how soundly Alabama beats Auburn and how soundly OSU beats Oklahoma. Again, if Bama lays an egg and the Cowboys destroy OU, the Pokes could get the nod.
Arkansas beats LSU. Alabama beats Auburn. Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma. This scenario = chaos. This one gets a little complicated:
If the Hogs win by a slim margin and the Tide wins without a problem at Auburn, the Tide would most likely go to Atlanta to play the Dawgs via being higher ranked in the BCS standings.[See edit below.]
- If the Hogs roll and Bama struggles at Auburn, the Hogs could jump to No. 1 in the standings and head to Atlanta instead of Bama. [See edit below.]
- Obviously, if LSU beats Georgia they are in the championship game, but that is also the case for Alabama or Arkansas. For either of those to play in Atlanta, they would be ranked No. 1 in the BCS and however they beat the Dawgs would get them to New Orleans.
- But here’s the tricky part. What if Bama wins in unimpressively against Auburn and is jumped by the Hogs? How far would LSU fall? It’s possible if the Tigers lose a close game to Arkansas that the Tide could win against Auburn, but fall to No. 3 in the standings and be left out.
- Then Bama would need Georgia to beat Arkansas to ensure a rematch vs. LSU.
- It’s also possible that Oklahoma State to enter this mix if they beat Oklahoma impressively.
Like I said, this scenario = chaos.
[Edit: According to the SEC’s tiebreaker rules, Alabama would most likely go to Atlanta under this scenario. Assuming an Arkansas win, Alabama would most likely be no lower than 2nd in the standings and would trump Arkansas via the tiebreaker. If Arkansas won and ascended to first, but LSU fell to 2nd and Bama remained at 3rd, then the Tide would be left out of Atlanta and would have to hope Georgia beats the Hogs.]
Arkansas beats LSU and Georgia. Alabama loses to Auburn. Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma. Compared to the previous scenario, this one is relatively easy to digest. Arkansas would be in the title game. Depending on how close the loss was to the Hogs, LSU could possibly stop at No. 2 and see the Razorbacks in New Orleans. If LSU’s loss to Arkansas was close, I don’t think it would matter how badly Oklahoma State beat the Sooners.
Arkansas beats LSU and loses to Georgia. Alabama loses to Auburn. Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma. This one is pretty easy: LSU vs. Oklahoma State in New Orleans.
Arkansas beats LSU and loses to Georgia. Alabama loses to Auburn. Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma. Another case of chaos. If the loss to Arkansas was close, LSU would play in New Orleans. Who would they play? Well, the next one-loss teams would be No. 5 Virginia Tech, No. 6 Stanford and No. 7 Boise State. The highest ranked of those three would be the Tigers’ date. Again, chaos.
The best thing Alabama can do is to beat Auburn in impressive fashion. That doesn’t guarantee a trip to Atlanta or New Orleans, but it’s they only thing the Tide has control over. The next best thing is for LSU to win. Then, regardless of what happens in Atlanta, the Tide can start packing for New Orleans.
What have I missed here? Let me know what you think.