BCS Standings 2012: Could the SEC Play Itself out of the National Title Game?

T.J. Mcaloon@@tjmcaloonContributorOctober 29, 2012

BCS Standings 2012: Could the SEC Play Itself out of the National Title Game?

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    By taking one look at the latest BCS Standings, you'll see that the SEC has an impressive five teams in the Top 10. However, with having that many teams in the top portion, it means that down the road these teams will end up having to play each other. 

    With these games upcoming in the regular season and the SEC championship game, could it mean that the conference that has won the last six BCS championships misses out on this year's title game and a chance at having the first team to repeat as BCS champions?

    There are four games upcoming in the next five weeks that could kick the SEC out of the BCS title picture all together. 

Nov. 3, No. 5 LSU vs. No. 1 Alabama

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    Last year, these two teams were at No. 1 and 2 in the BCS standings when they met in their annual regular season game. The outcome: No. 1 LSU survived on the road to keep its perfect season intact. 

    This year, the roles are reversed as Alabama goes on the road as the No. 1 team in the BCS trying to preserve its perfect season. 

    When the Crimson Tide took down the Tigers in the BCS championship game, it was because they eliminated LSU's rushing attack. If Alabama can do this again on Saturday, they will have no problem leaving Death Valley still the No. 1 team in the country. 

    However, LSU has had a week off to prepare for Alabama. 

    I expect Alabama to win on Saturday, but in a game that resembles their overtime regular season thriller, more so than the BCS title game. 

Nov. 10, No. 5 LSU vs. No. 15 Mississippi State

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    So let's say that LSU upsets Alabama the week prior to this game. Then LSU would be back in the Top Three of the BCS with a shot at playing for the SEC and BCS title. 

    However, the week prior to this game, Mississippi State could have beaten a very good Texas A&M Aggies squad, led by freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel.

    If this is the case, then we'd more than likely have two teams in the Top 10 playing with the SEC west division title on the line. 

    Mississippi State has built a solid 7-1 record behind a punishing defense that has only given up 17.4 points per game. The Bulldogs boast a rock-solid passing defense that has only given up eight touchdowns while picking off 12 passes. 

    In fact, three of those eight touchdown passes came in a loss last week to Alabama. 

    Mississippi State could catch a tired LSU team coming off of an emotional high from the victory the week prior against Alabama. 

Nov. 10, No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 16 Texas A&M

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    Just like I said at the end of the previous slide, the same could happen here in this game. 

    Win or lose, Alabama will be coming into this one after a draining game on the road against LSU. In fact, the game against Texas A&M will be the third game for the Crimson Tide against a ranked opponent.

    And if the Aggies can knock off Mississippi State before they head to Tuscaloosa, then it could be Alabama's third-straight game against a team that's in the Top 10 or 15 of the BCS standings.

    It's asking a lot of a team to defeat three teams in the top half of the BCS standings in a season. But for a team to do it three-straight weeks in a row, it's almost impossible. 

    Plus, it will be interesting to see how these tired Alabama legs do against the young, mobile Texas A&M quarterback, Johnny Manziel. 

SEC Championship Game: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 6 Georgia

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    So let's say that Alabama is able to get past LSU and Texas A&M. Then we would have the No. 1 Crimson Tide going up against what should be a one-loss Georgia Bulldogs. 

    Georgia has been in this situation before, as last year they tried to play spoiler to LSU. Georgia held a 10-7 halftime lead before LSU broke the game open in the third quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points. 

    If the Bulldogs do in fact make it back to the SEC championship game, then I'd expect to see a Bulldogs defense that would be able to hold onto a halftime lead, should they be in the same situation. Plus, quarterback Aaron Murray is a year older and has 19 touchdowns to eight interceptions against the SEC West.

    With undefeated teams like Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame waiting for an Alabama loss, it would be hard to keep them in the BCS championship game if Georgia upsets them.