Monday, October 29, 2012

Could two undefeated teams get left out of the BCS Championship?

Via the New York times, of course this could happen. Undefeated teams have been left out before.

At this point in the season, though, Palm said he could not recall a major undefeated team leapfrogging another major undefeated team. Not in the B.C.S. era, anyway.

He pointed to Auburn in 2004. That season, Southern California and Oklahoma finished 1-2 in the polls, same as they finished the regular season. The Trojans ultimately beat the Sooners to win a championship, much to the chagrin of Auburn, which also finished the year undefeated. That was the only time Palm could recall a season that ended with two major undefeated teams since the birth of the B.C.S.

“That sort of jumping doesn’t occur,” Palm said. “No matter how bad Auburn fans wanted it. Anyway, if this wasn’t Notre Dame, we wouldn’t even be discussing it. If this was Ohio State, or U.S.C., we wouldn’t be talking about it.”

My bet is that there won’t be four BCS automatic qualifiers without a blemish on the record. Alabama has its epic showdown Saturday night with LSU in Baton Rouge. Kansas State has dangerous games ahead vs. Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor. Notre Dame still has USC, as does Oregon. Oregon is a good shot to have to face USC a second time in the Pac-12 championship game. The keys seem to be whether a one-deep but otherwise talented and well-coached Trojans team can stay healthy enough to win one of those games and whether Alabama can survive Death Valley.

The teams with the best defenses are the ones most likely to survive unscathed. Notre Dame has a real one. Alabama has the best one in the country. Kansas State and Oregon also field good defenses but please don’t kid yourself—neither one of these is even on the same level as Alabama, Florida or LSU.

With rare exception, the BCS selection system for the Championship Game has done a good job of picking the top two teams in the country, regardless of record. It will probably do so again. While I don’t see it likely that two teams get left in the cold, it could still happen.

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