A wild Week 12 in college football has turned the national championship picture on its axis. With the nation's top two teams (Kansas State and Oregon) losing, the quest for one of the two coveted spots in the national championship game now feels more up for grabs than it did prior to the week, even though we are a step closer to the end of the season.
So, to try and get a grasp on the new landscape, I'm going to power rank the teams with the best chance at playing for the national title.
*Please note that the number next to the team is to measure their chances of getting into the title game and not the actual BCS ranking. The BCS rankings can be found below.
No. 4 Florida
Plain and simple, Florida needs Notre Dame to lose. It is unlikely that either Alabama or Georgia will lose this week and Florida won't be in front of the winner of an SEC title game between those two.
So, they need the Irish to lose to USC (more on that below). And even with that, Florida has its work cut out. They have to travel to play Florida State to close the regular season, and that is going to be a low-scoring slugfest.
I like Florida in that one, but I wouldn't run out and bet my house on it.
No. 3 Georgia
The Bulldogs have only Georgia Tech remaining on their regular season schedule. They will be playing that game at home and their defense should be able to handle the run-heavy attack of Tech.
That will leave them with the SEC championship game, likely against Alabama, and for all intents and purposes, that game will be for a spot in the championship game. If Georgia wins that game, they will not be denied a trip to the title game. However, that is far easier said than done.
Georgia has a balanced and physical offense, but they will still struggle against that 'Bama defense. As it is now, I'd make Alabama a six-point favorite in that game, which is why Georgia sits at No. 3 in these rankings.
No. 2 Notre Dame
With a spotless undefeated record, Notre Dame is in the driver's seat, and they don't even have to worry about a conference championship game. However, they do have the little matter of travelling to USC to take on the Trojans. However, this game may not be as difficult as it once appeared.
Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News explains with this tweet.
I'm hearing Matt Barkley seperated his shoulder— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) November 18, 2012
USC does not have an experienced quarterback behind Barkley. Still, they have playmakers all over the field and they will be at home. They can put up points in a hurry no matter who the quarterback is.
In the end, the Irish are No. 2 on this list because I think there is a better chance of Notre Dame losing that game than Alabama losing either if its last two.
No. 1 Alabama
As mentioned, Alabama will take on Auburn this week, and while the two schools have a fierce rivalry, Auburn does not belong on the same field as Alabama this year.
That leaves them with just the SEC title game to really worry about.
Georgia is a worthy adversary for that game and Aaron Murray has the talent to lead the Bulldogs to victory, but they don't have the playmakers on the outside to do any real damage, and the Crimson Tide will eliminate their run game.
Week 13 BCS Standings Projections—via ESPN
- Notre Dame
- Kansas State
- Texas A&M
- Florida State
- South Carolina
- Oregon State
- Oklahoma State
- Boise State
- Kent State
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