ESPN's Herbstreit: The Tide Are the Early Favorites in the BCS Title Race

James WilliamsAnalyst IIIOctober 13, 2012

Another BCS Title for coach Nick Saban and Alabama seems very possible
Another BCS Title for coach Nick Saban and Alabama seems very possibleKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The first BCS standings come out Sunday and that means ESPN will be on hand each week to announce and analyze it. "BCS Countdown" with host Rece Davis will air Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET beginning this week and again on ESPNU at 9 p.m. ET.

ESPN lead college football game analyst Kirk Herbstreit will join the show each week to offer his insight on the BCS standings. This week via conference call he talked about some of the teams in the national title picture -- none of which will come from the ACC.

JW: It is early, but who do you think has a legitimate chance at a BCS title?

Herbstreit: A safe bet would be that an SEC team should be back in the BCS Championship Game again this year. Right now Alabama seems ready to defend to their BCS National Championship, there is a lot of football left to be played. But the Tide have to be the early favorites to win another title. As for the other SEC teams I see a few minor flaws in South Carolina and Florida, but you can't rule either team out of a possible national title game. The Pac-12 has shown some depth with Oregon and Oregon State. Both have great talent and are worthy of consideration in the BCS conversation.

The emergence of West Virginia as a force in the Big 12 in their first year is a great story. I love their offense, but to be a true contender they are going to have to play defense. As for Notre Dame, it really comes down to how they do against Stanford this week. Then later in the season they go on the road to play Oklahoma and USC. If they are undefeated after that run, then they could be in the BCS picture."

JW: How about the ACC and the Big East?

Herbstreit: [Florida State's] loss to North Carolina State most likely took the ACC out of the BCS title conversation for yet another year. FSU has the talent to be an elite team, but they have not yet found a way to get mentally ready each week to beat the teams they should. Then you have both Clemson and Virginia Tech having off years, so you have to look at the ACC as trailing the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten right now as a BCS conference.

I know that the Big East has been given a bad rap, but they have Louisville, Cincinnati and Rutgers in the top 25, and the Bearcats beat Virginia Tech, so the distance between the ACC and the Big East may not be that far at least at the top after FSU.

*All quotes for this story were obtained firsthand via a press call held this week by ESPN.