The SEC got good news when the latest BCS standings were released yesterday evening. Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M on Saturday didn’t sink the Crimson Tide’ title hopes as much it might have.
For league fans who’ve grown accustomed to chanting S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C after every BCS title game, Bama is the conference’s best hope for reaching said game. As we showed you two weeks ago, rarely do teams climb from outside the top four spaces into the top two (and the championship game) over the final month of the season.
So when Alabama dropped to fourth — and no further — it was actually a good thing for Mike Slive’s league. On two fronts, really, but we’ll get to that in a second.
The SEC will still need some serious help from others to make it to Miami and get a shot at it seventh BCS championship in a row. At least two of the following teams will likely need to lose:
* Top-ranked Kansas State will need to lose at Baylor (4-5) or at home versus #15 Texas (8-2) in its season finale.
* Second-ranked Oregon will have to fall against #13 Stanford (8-2) or at #16 Oregon State (7-2) or in the Pac-12 title game.
* Third-ranked Notre Dame will need to lose at home to Wake Forest (5-5) or at #18 Southern Cal (7-3).
Clearly, Oregon’s got the toughest stretch run out of that bunch. But for the sake of argument, let’s say two of the above three teams do indeed fall victim to upsets. That would open the door — possibly — for a one-less SEC champion to get back into the BCS title game.
Currently — and this is how Alabama’s short drop from #1 to #4 was a blessing for the league — Bama and Georgia are back-to-back in the BCS standings at fourth and fifth. The Bulldogs punched their ticket to the SEC Championship Game on Saturday with a thorough pasting of Auburn. Alabama is a win over the winless-in-the-SEC Tigers from doing the same.
If Alabama wins out against Western Carolina and Auburn and if Georgia wins out over Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, the winner in Atlanta would finish 12-1 with yet another win over a highly-ranked foe under its belt (thanks to the championship game itself).
For safety’s sake, Georgia and Alabama will need to be pulling for some of their previous victims to keep on winning, too. Georgia would be aided by a Florida win over Florida State and/or a South Carolina win over Clemson. Alabama would be helped if LSU, Texas A&M and even Michigan can win out.
That’s a lot of ifs…
But anything’s possible.
The fact that Alabama remained in the top four of the BCS standings means that the Tide at least still have hope of reaching Miami. The fact that Bama didn’t fall further also means that Georgia’s longshot hopes of making a jump from #5 all the way into the top two aren’t completely dead yet as UGA would likely get a nice bump from beating a top four Tide team in Atlanta.
The chances are slim, but there is a chance.
Speaking of the BCS standings, six SEC teams are currently ranked among the top nine teams in the nation:
1. Kansas State
3. Notre Dame
8. Texas A&M
9. South Carolina
10. Florida State
Remarkable. Too bad one of those six isn’t among the top two right now.