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BCS Insanity

Looking at 5 plausible BCS scenarios (all scenarios assume USC wins out)

1. What's Expected (According to the Polls)

Key Game Breakdown:

Texas Tech def Oklahoma, Texas Tech def Missouri (Big 12 Champion), Alabama def. Florida (SEC Champion).

In this scenario the higher ranked team always beats the lower ranked team and you end up with a BCS National Championship Game pitting Texas Tech against Alabama. USC will likely end up in the Rose Bowl against Penn State as I find it difficult to believe that Oregon State will not pick up one more loss between Arizona, Cal, and Oregon. In this case let's assume USC eviscerates Penn State, like they have done to every other Big 10 opponent they have faced under Pete Carroll, which means the Trojans end with a likely 3rd place finish.

2. Texas Tech Loses the Big 12 Championship Game

Key Game Breakdown:

Texas Tech def Oklahoma, Missouri def. Texas Tech (Big 12 Champion), Alabama def. Florida (or vice versa, SEC Champion).

Let;s say that somehow Missouri rallies to beat TTU and throws the BCS into a tailspin. This likely means that USC has a good shot at working their way into the national title conversation as there will not be another conference champion with as much a claim to a trip to Miami as SC. Their would be a lot of outcry from Oklahoma and Texas fans, but both lost to Texas Tech so the Trojans get the nod in the polls.

3. Texas Tech Loses to Oklahoma

Key Game Breakdown:

Oklahoma def. Texas Tech, ???? def. Missouri (Big 12 Champion), Alabama def. Florida (or vice versa, SEC Champion).

This would be a fairly chaotic outcome as it would be hard to say who would come out on top of the three way tie breaker. If Oklahoma beats TTU badly then they ride out with the higher ranking in all likelihood, but if it is a close win (like Tech's win over Texas) then Texas may get the nod over Oklahoma. Either way, whichever Big 12 South team "wins" the division championship will probably also win the conference championship meaning that USC fans are left to wait at least one more year.

4.) Alabama loses to Auburn, but beats Florida

Key Game Breakdown:

Texas Tech def Oklahoma, Texas Tech def Missouri (Big 12 Champion), Auburn def. Alabama, Alabama def. Florida (SEC Champion).

This would be about as chaotic as the previous scenario, but this time USC would actually get thrust into the national title picture. Although Auburn is a fairly bad team this year, it is difficult to discount the fact that the Alabama/Auburn rivalry is the most intense rivalry in the country (take it from someone who has lived in Alabama and Ohio) and that Alabama has had their share of struggles against sub par competition (see Kentucky, Ole Miss). However, Alabama has been absolutely spot on when under the spotlight and Saban is a big game coach leading me to believe that they could defeat Florida even if they drop a game to their hated rival. The only question is, who gets in? Obviously undefeated texas tech would get the nod, but how would the voters pick between Alabama and USC? Perhaps it would be better if Florida lost to FSU but defeated Alabama, leaving the path to Miami wide open for the Trojans.


Key Game Breakdown:

Oklahoma def Texas Tech, Oklahoma State def. Oklahoma, Kansas def. Texas, Auburn def. Alabama, Florida State def. Florida

This situation, while the craziest of the bunch, still would not be quite as crazy as what happened during the last couple of weeks of the season last year (so it still technically falls into the realm of plausibility). In this case the outcome is pretty obvious, USC would likely rise to #1 and meet #2 Texas Tech in the BCS national championship game.

So there you have it. USC's championship hopes have not been completely flushed, and as you can see there are a number of things that could happen to get SC back in the title picture. Most importantly though, SC has to win out and do so CONVINCINGLY! Either way, it is looking very unlikely that USC will finish lower than fourth in the final polls regardless of what happens. Fight On and beat the Farm!