BCS Title Picture After Wacky Weekend
[Editor’s Note: This has been updated to reflect the AP poll released on Sunday.]
Wondering how the BCS title picture looks after No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 7 Clemson all lost in the same weekend?
You’ve come to the right place.
On Sunday, the BCS standings will likely be No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Arkansas and No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Oklahoma State with Arkansas at LSU on Friday and Alabama at Auburn next weekend.
Here are the scenarios for the BCS Championship Game:
• LSU beats Arkansas, Alabama beats Auburn: The simplest and most likely scenario. LSU and Alabama play for the national title no matter what happens in the SEC Championship Game between LSU and Georgia (unless LSU loses by an outrageous number) because conferences are allowed to have three teams in the BCS only if two teams finish 1-2 in the final BCS standings and a third team wins the automatic berth.
• LSU beats Arkansas, Auburn beats Alabama: LSU and Stanford or Oklahoma State play for the national title, assuming the Cardinal and Cowboys don’t lose again.
• Arkansas beats LSU, Auburn beats Alabama: Arkansas goes the SEC Championship Game and LSU and Arkansas play again for the national title unless the Hogs lose to Georgia. Then LSU would play Stanford or Oklahoma State, assuming those two don’t lose.
• Arkansas beats LSU, Alabama beats Auburn: This is where things get crazy.
Here is the eighth SEC tie-breaker, which would be invoked if the Hogs win in Baton Rouge:
“The tied team with the highest ranking in the BCS standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of that highest ranked team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative.”
That means that if Arkansas beats LSU, they would go to Atlanta as long as LSU was still ranked ahead of Alabama in the BCS because the Hogs would hold the tiebreaker over the Tigers. If Alabama is ranked ahead of LSU or Arkansas, then the Tide would go to the SEC Championship Game because of their tiebreaker over the Razorbacks.
The voters and BCS could rank the teams:
#1: 1. Alabama, 2. Arkansas, 3. LSU
#2: 1. Arkansas, 2. Alabama, 3. LSU
#3: 1. Arkansas, 2. LSU, 3. Alabama
#4: As pointed out by Clay Travis - actually stay as 1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Arkansas
It all depends on how the LSU-Arkansas and Alabama-Auburn games shake out.
In Scenario #1 and #2, Alabama would play in the SEC title game.
In Scenario #3, Arkansas would head to Atlanta.
If Arkansas or Alabama won there, they would play the other in New Orleans. However, if Arkansas or Alabama fell to Georgia, the team that didn’t get the trip to Atlanta would play LSU in New Orleans.
And in Scenario #4, the Tigers would go to Atlanta and likely set up an LSU-Alabama rematch in the national title game. That is, unless the Tigers lost to Georgia, in which case Arkansas would play Alabama for it all.
Got all that?
Good luck explaining it to Les Miles.