There will be 124 college football teams vying for the last chapter of the BCS and its National Championship Game—and just two will make it.
After the first weekend of games in late August, the next 16 weeks will send the circus there and back as teams jockey for position in the polls. But even the system has its faults.
Not since 2004 has there been an undefeated team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference fail to make an appearance in the championship game, generating plenty of controversy that Auburn knows all too well. To make matters worse, the USC team that punked Oklahoma 55-19 has since vacated that title.
The Texas Longhorns have been primed for a Big 12 Title run, a push that could have National Championship game implications if the right cards fall into place.
But if the 'Horns wish to realize their goals without any controversy, a doughnut in the loss column may be as clean a case as can be.
Having said that...will Texas be a shoe-in for the final BCS Championship Game if it runs the table? The answer is no.
It's good to be king.
The 2004 Auburn debacle left a pretty ugly stain on a relatively strong BCS run since its inception in 1998. But we have seen flaws both big and small occur nearly every season, especially when computers maintain a significant say. So a goof-up is unequivocally possible.
Back to the present, in what world would an undefeated SEC team and an undefeated Oregon team not earn bids to the title game? If Texas joined them as the lone undefeated teams, it would take a huge display from the Longhorns to gain better leverage than the Ducks.
An undefeated SEC team is a shoe-in, let's get that out of the way.
But in the manner that Oregon plays, operates and—most importantly—wins games, it has become a model that other programs have adopted. If you want offense, you go to Oregon. It is that simple.
Once upon a time, Texas was there. Now, it belongs to Alabama and, in some respects, Oregon.
It is good, to be king.
We will play this game.
It is simply too hard to ignore the allure of a title game that sounds like Texas-Alabama, pitting two of the country's most storied college football programs at the Rose Bowl in what would be their second meeting in four years.
A clean sweep in 2013 for Texas means wins over three preseason AP Top 25 teams in Oklahoma, TCU and Oklahoma State. Baylor and Kansas State barely missed the cut at No. 26 and No. 29, respectively. Combined with non-conference wins against BYU and Ole Miss, Texas has a very respectable resume for the BCS to digest.
The Longhorns have nearly come full circle since falling far from the wagon in 2010, and in the third year of Mack Brown's rebuild, an undefeated mark would certainly reinstate Texas as a top program.
The Bottom Line
If the Longhorns manage to post a 12-0 mark on the season, then they would have done their due diligence in earning all that they receive. Whether that means a BCS National Championship Game appearance or not, it would be mostly out of their hands if it comes down to a legitimate decision.
But if the 'Horns do attain that elusive undefeated season, they have to like their chances at a national title.