UPDATE:: Changed projected to real BCS standings and corrected analysis after talking heads on ESPN clarified the 3 SEC possibility... it is as most people have written in the comments, a conference can only get 3 if BCS1 and BCS2 are not conference champs... aka the LSU v Ala even though one of the two lost to Georgia in the SEC championship game scenario...
So when last I left you (two weeks ago), LSU had just defeated Alabama in the most underwhelming 1 v 2 matchup in modern times, Boise St was crusing towards a BCS at-large again but likely to get snubbed out of the national championship game, and the B1G was a muddled mess.....
Flash forward to today, and we have utter complete and no-shenanigans chaos erupting in BCS land. Only one more step friends until we have SEC on SEC violence due to one of their beloved conference teams being shut out from a chance at the national championship... or will there be?
First, the official BCS standings as of tonight, via ESPN:
Official BCS Standings: 1. LSU, 2. Alabama, 3. Arkansas, 4. Oklahoma State, 5. Va Tech, 6. Stanford, 7. Boise St, 8. Houston, 9. Oklahoma, 10. Oregon, 11. Kansas St, 12. So Carolina, 13. Georgia, 14. MSU, 15. Michigan, 16. Wisconsin, 17. Clemson, 18. Baylor, 19. Penn St, 20. TCU, 21. Nebraska, 22. Notre Dame, 23. Georgia Tech, 24. Auburn, 25. Texas.
Note:: No Big East teams in Top 25, meaning Houston will be a mandatory pick should they win their conference and stay in the Top 16. The BCS selection rules say that a non-AQ gets a mandatory BCS at-large slot if they win their conference and:
A) are in the top 12
B) Are in the top 16 and are higher than a AQ conference champion (i.e. the Big East sucks rule)
Houston's good anyway since they're in the Top 12-- non-AQ's in the top 12 don't have the "we're better than the Big East" clause. If Houston should stumble, TCU is going to have some work to do since they'll have to get in the Top 16 to get a mandatory non-AQ slot.
- The SEC is poised to blow the 2 teams in the BCS from a single conference rule out the window... the BCS bylaws state:
"No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large selections, unless two non-champions from the same conference are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS Standings ."
This means that should the SEC get two teams in the NCG, they wuold have the possibility of getting a third in the BCS games as an at-large. As we'll see, this is possible.
- Michigan is poised well to get in a BCS game as an at-large.
- The Big12 and ACC crapped their pants and liklely lost their shot at both conferences getting a 2nd team in.
- The biggest benficiaries of the two weeks of chaos are Michigan & Houston.
- The Big East still sucks.
Now the projections.. we'll use the projected standings as our basis. The teams that are GUARANTEED a slot per the BCS rules are LSU (BCS1), Alabama (BCS2), Ok St (B12 chmp), MSU/PSU/Wis (B1G chmp), VaTech (ACC chmp), Louisville (BE chmp per ESPN standings), Houston (non-AQ in top 12 & conf chmp-- Boise is NOT MWC chmp so even though they're higher than Houston, Houston qualifies) :
NCG: LSU v. Alabama
Fiesta: Ok St (B12 champ) v. Stanford (at-large)
Sugar: Houston (non-AQ mandatory) v. Michigan (at-large)
Orange: Va Tech (ACC champ) vs. Lousiville (BE chmp)
Rose: Mich St / Wiscy / Penn St (B1G champ) v. Oregon (Pac12 chmp)
- LSU v. Alabama... I'm going say for simplicity sake, they both win out meaning LSU is the SEC champ, and 'Bama is the #2 team in the BCS.
- The Sugar gets one pick to replace LSU.... they take Houston who as commenter Mat points out, is a 40k member school just hours away from New Orleans.
- Then the regular slotting for 2012 takes over (fiesta, Sugar, Orange).. Fiesta takes a 1-loss Stanford with potential Heisman winner Andrew Luck in a regional play, the Sugar goes again and takes a 10-win Michigan team with three quality wins in a row and a fan base itching to get back to the big time. Orange takes the last at-large and gets Lousiville by default.
Who got screwed:
- Arkansas, a 2-loss SEC team who only lost to the #1 & #2 teams and is in the top 5 of the BCS can't go to a BCS game b/c of LSU & Alabama.
- Oklahoma, Boise St, Clemson... these teams were poised to take an at-large from Michigan.
- 2nd B1G team not named Michigan... Sparty could be in the unenviable spot that even though they beat Michigan in the regular season and got to the conf championship game, if they get spanked by, say Wisconsin on a revenge tour game, they do not look good as an at-large Michigan on awin streak against high profile programs (no, I'm not talking about you, Zooker)
Remaining items for Chaos:
- LSU v Arkansas: this has the most potential for upsetting the NCG, but in reality if Ark does beat LSU, all that means is that the one that emerges from the Ark/LSU/Ala triumverate to the SEC champ game goes to the NCG if they win and the 2-nd team in that threesome likely gets the 2 seed in the BCS standings. The SEC tiebreakers are so screwy (go read http://www.sbnation.com/ncaa-football/2011/11/20/2574943/bcs-rankings-standings-projections-predictions-week-13 for detailed explanations), it's going to a lot of backroom talking between voters to see who gets that little bump in BCS standings.
- Iron Bowl: Auburn could throw an even bigger monkey wrench in this if they somehow take down their rivals.... Bama loses and Arkansas wins, its chaos.
- SEC championship: If Georgia somehow beats the SEC West champ, no matter who it is, the entire system crashes into the goddamn mountain- aka the other conference commissioners might band together to change the system so one conference doesn't get 3 slots. This is the 3 SEC team scenario... let's say:
** LSU wins over Arkansas huge and 'Bama mops the floor with Auburn. Going into the SEC championship game, LSU and 'Bama are the undisputed #1 & #2 BCS teams by a wide margin in human polls and computers.
** LSU loses a controversial game in the SEC championship game. Think Spartan Bob type screwing in the Georgia Dome to a Georgia team. Finebaum show is packed for weeks with "Louie from Natchodoches" claiming LSU is still the #1 team in the country and it was a conspiracy by the state of Georgia to screw LSU. Legend and Jim from Crestwood counter with calls taunting LSU fans for losing that game and jumping LSU in the polls because 'Bama has 47 national titles (35 awarded from the Montgomery Free Press & Girl Scout Newsletter).
** Ok St loses to Oklahoma in Bedlam, eliminating the only real 1-loss contender from jumping 'Bama or LSU.
** LSU and Bama in some order come out #1 & #2 in BCS standings after all this, with Georgia the SEC champ. This means the SEC champ gets the automatic Sugar Bowl bid (UGa), LSU & Bama are in the NCG, and like Emeril saying 'BAM' you have 3 SEC teams in BCS bowl games, all played in New Orleans.
** If this happens, the variation to the BCS slots from above would see either Michigan or Houston getting shipped to the Fiesta and the other in the Sugar with Stanford booted out. Since Fiesta goes first with no team that the Sugar has to replace in the NCG, Fiesta picks Michigan over Stanford, and Houston goes to NOLa to play Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Even without my maize & blue glasses, I think Michigan is more attractive than Stanford.
- Houston losing: If Houston drops a game, then it will be dogfight between Stanford, a 2nd B12 team, and maybe Va Tech if Clemson upsets Va Tech in the ACC championship for the open at-large slot vacated by Houston. TCU would need help to jump 4 BCS slots to get to #16 and clinch the BigEast sucks clause spot.
Per the sage words from Doc Saturday... rooting interest in the BCS? Chaos... always Chaos.