Would a 1-Loss Alabama Team Still Have a Shot at BCS Title This Year?

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIOctober 17, 2013

Jan 8, 2013; Fort Lauderdale FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban addresses the media during the winning coach press conference at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa following Alabama's 42-14 win over Notre Dame last night in the 2013 BCS National Championship game. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

No team has ever won three straight college football national championships, something Alabama has a chance to do this season. 

Potentially, the Crimson Tide could do so with one loss in all three of its championship seasons. They fell to Texas A&M last year and LSU the year prior, but they still won the national title both years.

Could they pull off a third straight national title even if they lose a game?

It isn't likely.

Two different scenarios played out to allow Alabama its first two one-loss titles. In the 2011-12 season, Alabama lost a squeaker to LSU, which went on to go 13-0 and win the Southeastern Conference. Meanwhile, Oklahoma Statewhich was ranked No. 2 late in the yearblew its shot at the title when it lost to Iowa State in Week 11.

With clearly the best resume of any one-loss team, Alabama had a shot at redemption and dominated LSU 21-0 in the national title game.

In 2012, Alabama lost in Week 10 to Texas A&M. However, they benefited from losses by Oregon and Kansas State in Week 11 to bounce them from the top two spots in the polls. The Tide went on to win the SEC title game over Georgia and then stomp Notre Dame 42-14 for their second straight national title.

The most likely loss would be against LSU. The Tigers are the toughest team left on the Tide schedule, which creates the first roadblock: LSU.

With that win, the Tigers would have a leg up in the SEC West Division title race and would have to notch another loss for Alabama to have a better resume. 

The second potential roadblock for Alabama is its resume. With that loss, Alabama would have just two wins over ranked opponents, with the possibility of a third if Auburn remains ranked. However, with several tough opponents on its schedule between now and its Nov. 30 date with UA, AU is a likely candidate to drop from the rankings.

Even if LSU does notch a second loss, the Tide would then have to stack that resume up against foes outside of the SEC. 

At this point in the season, a number of teams look poised to run the table. It will be a shock if Ohio Statewhich will be favored in every game remaining on its scheduledoesn't finish the regular season undefeated.

Oregon has been far and away the best team in the Pac-12 and is more than capable of going undefeated.

Meanwhile, the winner of this weekend's Clemson-Florida State matchup will also be on the fast track to an undefeated regular season.

Finally, though the two are currently outside the Top Five, Baylor of the Big 12 and Louisville American Athletic Conference have both been the strongest teams in their leagues and could be on their way to 12-0 seasons.

BCS Guru's Projected BCS Rankings (After Week 7)
4Florida State5-0.8565
5Ohio State6-0.8347
7Texas A&M5-1.7013

While the season is barely at its halfway point and anything could still happen, there is an excellent chance that multiple teams finish the season undefeated.

In the projected BCS standings from BCSGuru.com, the top one-loss teamLSU at No. 6is nearly a full tenth of a point behind undefeated Ohio State at No. 5. This is despite the Tigers blowing the Buckeyes out in strength of schedule rankings. 

In the most recent Sagarin Ratings, LSU's schedule ranked 12th, while OSU's was No. 87.

Schedule is definitely important, but winning is still king. 

So rather than hope that the BCS saves them once again, the Crimson Tide should just win if they want to take home their third crystal football in a row.