Last Saturday’s matchup between Texas A&M and Alabama presented me with a slight conundrum as an LSU fan. Of course, like most fans of SEC teams, I love to gloat over the conference’s five consecutive BCS National Championships. Furthermore, I understand the benefit that each SEC team receives from such a streak.
However, knowing that LSU’s most hated foe was the SEC’s best, if not only, shot at a national title this year, I was forced to choose between SEC supremacy and my hatred for Alabama. Ultimately, I chose SEC supremacy but to no avail. “Johnny Football” and the Aggies pulled off a great win over the Tide and left them on the outside of the national title picture… for now.
So what are the SEC’s chances of a sixth straight national title?
I don’t believe a one loss SEC champion, whether it is Alabama, Florida or Georgia, has chance to edge out any of these top three teams should they remain undefeated. Thus, the only chance for an SEC national title is that two of the top three teams lose.
#1 Kansas State seems like the least likely to stumble. The Wildcats have passed some significant tests with flying colors and really only have one more left. This week they play a bad Baylor team. Then they will have two weeks to prepare for #15 Texas at home. Texas has the offense to give themselves a chance in that game, but with a lackluster defense, odds are slim that Texas could go into Bill Snyder Stadium and actually beat Snyder himself. Chance of losing – 20%
#2 Oregon seems most likely to stumble. The Ducks have rolled over pretty much everybody with that Lamborghini offense including three ranked opponents. However, their last two games might be their two biggest tests with #16 Stanford in Eugene this weekend and then #16 Oregon State in Corvallis on November 24th, where the in-state rivals will get a chance to shoot down the Duck’s title hopes. Don’t forget that Oregon will also have to play a PAC 12 championship game against either UCLA or USC. Chance of losing – 55%
#3 Notre Dame, as I have said all year, could fall to anyone. Their two remaining games include a less than mediocre Wake Forest at home and a west coast trip to Los Angeles to play USC. Wake Forest should be a none threat, but Notre Dame is more than capable of shooting themselves in the foot. The USC game seems like a dream dasher waiting to happen. Matt Barkley’s senior year has not been anything it was supposed to be, but a game against Notre Dame at home on prime time national television is a great chance to redeem some of that. Notre Dame should be very wary of this game. Chance of losing – 35%
Should two of these three teams lose, the one loss SEC champion will almost assuredly slide into the #2 ranking. Chance of an SEC team making the title game – 30%