Sunday, November 11, 2012
A look at the now Trio of undefeateds: Notre Dame, K St, and Oregon's remaining schedules
While it'd be a tough argue to say Notre Dame, Kansas St, or Oregon would beat a 1 loss SEC champ (I don't think any of the 3 would even make Atlanta personally, and might not even finish top 2 in either division), the BCS won't really care about that.
If they end the season undefeated, they will go to the BCS Title game. If 2 of the 3 end undefeated, a one loss SEC team will not go in before them. Whether or not they should is another subject, and this year may play out perfectly for next year's 4 team playoff (isn't that the problem, each year is different, and would be best served by a different style to settle the champ), but let's face facts that those 3 will have "undefeated" and their schedules are good enough to shut an SEC team out of the mix, and we've been lucky the last 6 years that in several of them, the fallout of the final weeks kept an SEC in the mix. We'll need that luck again if Alabama (or the slim chance of Georgia) are to keep this train rolling.
If undefeated, Kansas St will need to win at Baylor Saturday night (the Bears are 4-5, 1-5 in the Big 12, so yeah, that should happen). Then comes a week off, followed by a home finale against Texas. If you've seen the Longhorns, that means Collin Klein gets a great showcase to put up big stats for a Heisman. (Their resume will also include wins over potential ACC Champ Miami and debatable top 25 teams Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Oklahoma St).
Oregon has to Stanford coming to town next weekend, makes the trip to Corvallis for Oregon St the following week, and either USC or UCLA in the Pac 12 Championship (a winning out UCLA would be their best case scenario). That's 3 decent chances for a loss, no matter how unstoppable Oregon looks against the rest of their west coast cupcakes. (This Ducks team didn't face a solid non-conference opponent, so their resume will be Pac 12 teams + opening the first 3 weeks with Arkansas St, Fresno St, and Tennessee Tech. They have by far the weakest schedule in the trio.)
Notre Dame may actually end up with the best resume of the 3 when all is said and done. They get Wake Forest, and a trip to LA vs Southern Cal these next two weeks to end the year. Wake Forest isn't awful, and Southern Cal has more than enough talent to win if Kiffin doesn't lose it. That it's in the Coliseum makes these games tougher than what K St has left, but much easier than Oregon's. The Irish finishing undefeated and getting the Wildcats, leaving a #1 in the polls Oregon and 1 loss SEC Champion out should be a possibility. Look at their schedule, which unlike the Wildcats' or Ducks' doesn't contain a bought win over a patsy. Their worst wins will be BC, Pitt, and Purdue, with wins against that possible ACC champ of Miami, as well as potential Big 10 Champion Michigan, in addition to decent teams of Michigan St, Stanford, BYU, and of course, Army and Navy. Southern Cal could still win the Pac 12, or Oklahoma the Big 12, so while you might hear Notre Dame could get left out, don't believe the hype. If they are one of 2 remaining undefeateds (with Oregon or K St, but not both), they'd have a great opponent's winning percentage, and a schedule with potentially multiple 10 wins teams and BCS conference champs defeated. It's simply not going to happen for an undefeated Notre Dame to get left out.
So be prepared SEC jihadists, that the SEC will NOT win a national title this year. You can enjoy watching Notre Dame, or a defensively incompetent conference's champion in Oregon or Kansas St hoist that crystal ball in Miami unless something completely crazy between now and early December.