Heading into championship week which will determine what the BCS national title game will look like, it seems we’re down to five choices to fill two spots: Florida State as the clear favorite, Ohio State who’ll probably get in if all goes well, Auburn or Missouri representing the SEC and even Alabama, waiting for a turn of events that suits them just fine.
But Alabama won’t even be in the conference championship, right? The BCS and voters don’t care, even though they should. As 2011 showed us, any excuse to put them in the national title game is enough, while champions from conferences like the Big 12, which can go three ways – Oklahoma State, Baylor or Texas won’t have anything but the Fiesta Bowl to dream about.
Florida State vs Ohio State
The most likely of options, if there are no surprises. It won’t really matter what happens in the SEC championship game, because voters won’t let Auburn and obviously not Missouri jump the Buckeyes as long as they win the Big Ten national championship game. Florida State find themselves for a second consecutive year heading into an ACC title game with a rival no one expected to be there, which should result in quite a lopsided win for them in Charlotte.
Florida State vs Auburn or Missouri
Auburn, based on the BCS standings and the team they just beat (Alabama, if you haven’t heard), are the favorites to win the SEC. If Ohio State lose to Michigan State it won’t help the Spartans go anywhere but to the Rose Bowl. Auburn, on the other hand, have a shot at jumping yet another place and fill in for the Buckeyes, while Florida State should take care of business. Missouri are currently ranked below Alabama, but they will get the needed boost in the computers and the polls in order to reach the title game if they beat Auburn in the Tiger derby. However…
Alabama vs Florida State
The 2011 season showed just how skewed the world view of coaches and voters in the Harris polls is. It seemed like they wanted to put Alabama in the national title game no matter what, which means that if both Ohio State and Auburn lose in the conference championship game, it won’t be a huge surprise to see Alabama win from the mess. Missouri will get the computers to help them, but not enough, and an Alabama team that won 15 consecutive games before their loss in the Iron Bowl will once again cause a huge uproar across the nation and make the title game.
Iron Bowl 2.0
Yes, that’s a possibility. If Auburn beat Missouri while Florida State and Ohio State both lose their games in the conference championships, Alabama will once again benefit from the mayhem that’s caused. The Seminoles and the Buckeyes, with one loss to their name, will take too big of a hit. Does Missouri get to play ‘Bama if they beat Auburn and the two State teams lose? That’s quite a long shot, and depends on how the voters judge the one-loss teams in terms of quality of loss.
Ohio State vs SEC
There’s also the option of Ohio State winning while Florida State lose their game. What happens then? Well, it’ll be Ohio State vs an SEC team – Auburn, Missouri or even Alabama, if Mizzou wins the game but not the hearts of the voters. The last couple of times the Buckeyes played in the NCG against SEC teams, it didn’t end well.