MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Baylor and Stanford shook up the Bowl Championship Series Saturday, but the biggest winner may have been the Southeastern Conference.
Last week, the SEC looked like its long hold on having at least one team play for the BCS national championship may have finally been broken. Texas A&M upset Alabama and with the Crimson Tide being the last unbeaten SEC team, the BCS title looked to be moving out of the south.
But then Baylor destroyed number one Kansas State and Stanford beat Oregon on Saturday to knock off two of the last three major undefeated teams. The only team left standing with one game left in its season is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Notre Dame took over the number one ranking in the BCS, but still has one major challenge ahead of it this Saturday. The Fighting Irish has to travel to Los Angeles to play the USC Trojans and if Notre Dame wins, it clinches one spot in the BCS title game.
The other spot will likely go to an SEC team, again.
Alabama has to play Auburn this weekend, and the Crimson Tide will be heavily favored to knock out the reeling Tigers. Georgia has to play Georgia Tech and will likely be able to easily dispatch of the Rambling Wreck.
After that, Alabama and Georgia will play each other in the SEC Championship game. Assuming both teams head into the SEC title game with one loss, the winner of the SEC Championship will likely earn a berth in the BCS title game.
But things could get really interesting if Notre Dame loses to USC.
That would put the SEC winner into the BCS title game, but could also open things up for another SEC team to make it to the title game. Florida is ranked fourth and if Notre Dame lost and the Gators beat Florida State in the final game of the season, could be in line to play Alabama for the national title.
It would lead to howls of controversy as Florida could get into the national championship game again without playing in its own conference’s championship game.
But if Florida State beats Florida, and Notre Dame loses to USC, what about the Seminoles’ shot at a place in the national championship game?
FSU would likely not have a shot at getting into the BCS title game due to the computers hammering the Noles in its rankings. Computers have FSU ranked 17th overall due to its schedule, which included two Football Championship Subdivision teams, and its one loss to a bad NC State team.
It’s sad, but West Virginia’s move to ditch the Seminoles on the schedule could ultimately keep the Noles out of the National Championship game.
And the University of Oregon and Kansas State, which are both also one loss teams, would have something to say about the BCS title if Notre Dame lost.
The BCS’ best hopes are for Notre Dame to win and then one of the SEC teams to finish with just one loss to avoid controversy. If Notre Dame loses, a bevy of teams with just one loss will be making their claim to a spot in the title game, and BCS chaos will ensue.