BCS Standings 2012: One-Loss Teams That Still Have a Shot at National Title

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IOctober 15, 2012

NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 8: Running back Damien Williams #26 and quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrate a touchdown in the first half against the Florida A&M Rattlers on September 8, 2012 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
Brett Deering/Getty Images

A loss in college football is more often than not a death sentence for any team with National Championship aspirations, but this season is still wide open.

At this point, it appears to be a race to play Alabama in the season's finale game, albeit the Crimson Tide have a tough three-week stretch that involves Mississippi State, Texas A&M and a trip to Death Valley.

The other undefeated teams are far from safe.

Florida still has to host South Carolina and Georgia before traveling to Florida State to end the regular season. If it manages to get through that, Alabama will likely be waiting in the SEC Championship.

Oregon, in addition to a suddenly dangerous Civil War in Corvallis, will likely have to beat USC twice. Oregon State, which is currently operating without its starting quarterback, is in a similar situation.

Kansas State still has four ranked opponents left on the schedule. Notre Dame has to travel to Oklahoma and USC.

Essentially, if the season ends with two undefeated teams, you can just go ahead and color me surprised. That means that schools with one loss already under their belts are still in the mix for college football glory. Let's take a look at the ones with the best shot. 

Note: A complete look at the BCS standings can be found below.

LSU Tigers (No. 6)

LSU's rough remaining schedule (at Texas A&M, Alabama and Mississippi State) works both ways. It makes it seriously tough to finish the season with just one loss, but it also gives the Tigers a good chance to climb the rankings should they get through the gauntlet.

Of course, if they're going to do that, the offense is going to have to be better. 

The rushing attack has been superb, and the defense is as elite as ever, but at some point, Zach Mettenberger, who leads the 51st best passing attack (in terms of yards per attempt) in the country, is going to have to make some plays. 

South Carolina Gamecocks (No. 7)

Much like LSU, the Gamecocks have a few tough games left on their slate (at Florida and at Clemson), but should they get through those, their National Title hopes will be high.

The Gamecocks' only win over a ranked opponent is against No. 5—at the time—Georgia, so they may need a few teams above them to drop two games, but don't underestimate the power of the computers.

South Carolina proved to be a friend to the robots in the early rankings (.700 computer rating, which is better than LSU and just behind Oregon), and if they can move up in the Harris Poll and USA Today rankings, they will be in good shape. 

Moreover, a win in the SEC championship usually does wonders, no matter the rest of your schedule.

Oklahoma Sooners (No. 9)

The Big 12 is getting a lot of respect from the BCS right now, and Oklahoma, despite a home loss to Kansas State, stands to benefit.

The Sooners still have to host Notre Dame and travel to Iowa State, West Virginia and TCU. That's four ranked opponents in their final seven games, with three of them coming on the road. 

Should Oklahoma get past that daunting schedule and get a little help from Kansas State's opponents to win the suddenly stacked Big 12 (70 percent of the conference is currently ranked in the Top 25), they are going to earn a lot of respect. 

Here are the season's first BCS standings after seven weeks of college football. 

 1. Alabama
 2. Florida
 3. Oregon
 4. Kansas State
 5. Notre Dame
 6. LSU
 7. South Carolina
 8. Oregon State
 9. Oklahoma 
 10. USC
 11. Georgia
 12. Mississippi State
 13. West Virginia
 14. Florida State
 15. Rutgers 
 16. Louisville
 17. Texas Tech
 18. Texas A&M
 19. Clemson
 20. Stanford
 21. Cincinnati 
 22. Boise State
 23. TCU
 24. Iowa State
 25. Texas


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