In the most anticipated BCS standings release of the season (before the one that will come out next week), it seems Ohio State have the inside track to the second berth in the BCS national championship game, leaving Auburn and Missouri on the outside and hoping for either the Buckeyes or Florida State to slip up in order to keep the SEC in the final of College Football.
The rest of the top 25 matters less and less when the big prize is still undetermined. Ohio State have the pollsters and most of the computers on their side. Even if their next rival – Michigan State, won’t bring them the kind of points Auburn or Missouri will get for a win in the SEC championship game, it seems like the voting is going their way, and it’ll be the determining factor.
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The computers will supply enough of a jump for either Auburn or Missouri, and especially for Auburn. But will it be enough to convince the voters? Both Missouri and Auburn didn’t impress the polls too much during the season, so will a win over one another be that significant on the final day? It all depends on how hard it is for Ohio State when they play Michigan State, who are probably the best team they’ve faced all season.
How about the other bowls? It’s less about the rankings and more about winning conferences. Assuming Ohio State win and go to the national championship game, Michigan State will find itself playing in the Rose Bowl. Even if they do beat the Buckeyes, they won’t find themselves rising to one of the top two, and settle for their first Rose Bowl appearance in the BCS era and since 1988, when they beat USC.
The Big 12 doesn’t have a conference championship game, but it’s still quite open. Oklahoma State have all the cards in their hands (#6 in the standings), and need to beat Oklahoma in order to make it to the Fiesta Bowl. Why not the national championship game? Too far behind, and the numbers don’t add up. It just goes to show why Auburn and Missouri shouldn’t make the national championship game if Ohio State still win. The Big Ten, like it or not, is a AQ conference, and deserves to be treated like that, no matter how much campaigning the SEC does. Texas need to beat Baylor and hope Oklahoma win in Bedlam to win the conference.
The Sugar Bowl will have Alabama, who have a shot at the national title game if both Ohio State and Florida State lose their conference championship games. Although then the voices will be made about Oklahoma State and Michigan State, but unfortunately, it’ll create an All-SEC final for the second time in three years. The Orange Bowl, unless Duke upset Florida State, will call Clemson to its gates, hoping it doesn’t end in an embarrassment like two years ago against West Virginia.