Jerry Palm — for years a numbers guru on the college basketball scene — has become a go-to man for BCS numbers coverage at CBSSports.com. Today he tries to put the brakes on nationwide talk that the SEC is practically guaranteed two teams in this season’s BCS title game.
You can read his “what if” scenarios right here. Most hinge on some issues we addressed earlier today — human voters might decide at the last minute that they don’t want a rematch in the BCS Championship Game (see: 2006) or that they don’t want a squad that didn’t win its league crown playing in that game (see: 2007).
Both are certainly possible. But the problem for human voters would be this: Who could they jump all the way to #2?
In past years, there’s been a good option at #3. This year, there seems to be a healthy gap between #2 Alabama and the Oklahoma States and Stanfords of the world.
Palm thinks Georgia could still be a player in all of this as well, if they win the SEC Championship Game:
“I don’t think it’s a difficult concept to accept that the top two teams in the country could be in the same conference. But, if that is truly the cae, don’t you think one of them could manage to win the league?
If the Bulldogs pull it off (an upset in Atlanta), expect them to shoot way up the rankings. They might end up even being the top-rated SEC team in the human polls (assuming they beat Georgia Tech this week). In 2001, two-loss, Big 12 champion Colorado finished ahead of one-loss Nebraska in the polls, but NU ended up in the BCS title game anyway because the polls were only 25% of the formula back then.
In any event, this is the best case scenario for an Oklahoma State or Virginia Tech (if the voters still love them) to get into the title game. I doubt very seriously that we would have two non-champion SEC Teams playing for the BCS title.”