If it's late November, it must be that time of the year. 'Tis the season of tiebreakers.
With three weeks remaining in the regular season (two in conferences not holding title games), only one BCS conference team—Florida State—has clinched its division. In the Big 12 and American Athletic, two conferences that do not have title games, the races for a BCS bowl berth are nowhere close to being settled.
So if you're not a lawyer and/or math is not your thing, you've come to the right place. We're going to break down the championship scenarios for each of the six BCS conferences right here.
There is no conference championship game, but since each team plays only eight games within the 10-team league, potential gnarly scenarios can arise. And the worst part: It might come down to the placements in the BCS standings. Three teams are still in the hunt:
Central Florida (6-0)
The Knights have the simplest path. They'll claim the school's first BCS berth if they win their remaining two games or end up in a two-way tie with Louisville.
Having lost to UCF, the Cardinals need the Knights to lose both of their remaining games to have any shot at winning the AAC. Most likely, they'll need to get into a three-way tie with UCF and Cincinnati and prevail by being the highest-ranked team in the BCS standings.
The Bearcats will have to win their remaining games and hope either: 1) UCF loses both games; or 2) UCF loses once and fall behind them in the BCS standings in case of a two-way tie.
|Central Florida (6-0)||South Florida (2-3), @ SMU (3-2)|
|Louisville (5-1)||Memphis (1-4), @ Cincinnati (5-1)|
|Cincinnati (5-1)||@ Houston (4-2), Louisville (5-1)|
The Big 12 also doesn't feature a conference championship game, though Saturday's Baylor-Oklahoma State game likely will serve as one. Three teams are still alive for the conference title:
The Bears will need to win out to have any shot at playing for the BCS championship, and most likely even just to claim the conference title. Baylor can still win the Big 12 with one loss, as long as it doesn't lose out in a head-to-head scenario with either Oklahoma State or Texas.
Oklahoma State (6-1)
The Cowboys also control their own destiny, though they must win their final two games.
The Longhorns can win the Big 12 by taking their final two games and have OSU lose once in its final two games.
|Baylor (6-0)||@ Oklahoma State (6-1), @ TCU (2-6), Texas (6-1)|
|Oklahoma State (6-1)||Baylor (6-0), Oklahoma (5-2)|
|Texas (6-1)||Texas Tech (4-4), @ Baylor (6-0)|
Florida State has already clinched the Atlantic Division, so all the drama is in the Coastal Division, where there's a remote possibility of a five-way tie. But since it's improbable for either Miami or North Carolina to win the division, let's focus on the three that can:
The Blue Devils are the only ones controlling their own destiny. If they win their final two games, they'll be appearing in their first ACC title game. Duke can still win the title if it loses to Wake Forest but ends up in a three-way or four-way tie involving Miami.
Virginia Tech (4-3)
The Hokies will need to win their final game and hope Duke loses at least once, and that they're in a three-way tie not involving Miami or in a two-way tie with Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech (5-3)
The Yellow Jackets have already finished their ACC schedule and can only hope for at least one Duke loss and a loss by Virginia Tech to Virginia.
|Duke (4-2)||@ Wake Forest (2-5), @ North Carolina (4-3)|
|Virginia Tech (4-3)||@ Virginia (0-6)|
|Georgia Tech (5-3)||Conference schedule complete|
Ohio State (6-0) has not yet clinched the Leaders Division but just needs one win in its final two games. If the Buckeyes lose twice, then Wisconsin (5-1) can steal the division by winning both of its remaining games.
Michigan State (6-0) is also a win away from clinching the Legends Division. But if the Spartans lose to Northwestern and Minnesota (4-2) beats Wisconsin on Saturday, it'll set up a winner-take-all game at East Lansing.
|Ohio State (6-0)||Indiana (2-4), @ Michigan (3-3)|
|Wisconsin (5-1)||@ Minnesota (4-2), Penn State (3-3)|
|Michigan State (6-0)||@ Northwestern (0-6), Minnesota (4-2)|
|Minnesota (4-2)||Wisconsin (5-1), @ Michigan State (6-0)|
Oregon (6-1) is back in the driver's seat to win the North after Stanford (6-2) was upset by USC last week. The Cardinal will need to win the Big Game and hope the Ducks lose once to reclaim their spot in the Pac-12 title game.
Three teams are still in the running in the South, with one of them having a shot to host the conference title game:
Arizona State (6-1)
The Sun Devils will win the division by beating UCLA. They can even host the conference title game if they win both remaining games and Stanford is the opponent.
The Bruins, who also control their own destiny, can claim the South for a third straight time by winning their two remaining games.
The Trojans need a lot of help. Besides having to win their final two games, they'll also need Arizona State to drop both of its final two games.
|Oregon (6-1)||@ Arizona (3-4), Oregon State (4-3)|
|Stanford (6-2)||California (0-8)|
|Arizona State (6-1)||@ UCLA (5-2), Arizona (3-4)|
|UCLA (5-2)||Arizona State (6-1), @ USC (5-2)|
|USC (5-2)||@ Colorado (1-6), UCLA (5-2)|
With most of the conference schedule already complete, the divisional titles will be decided by three games. The Iron Bowl on The Plains between Alabama (7-0) and Auburn (6-1) will determine the West winner. Missouri (5-1) can take the East by winning their final two games, otherwise, the division title will go to South Carolina (6-2).
|Missouri (5-1)||@ Ole Miss (3-3), Texas A&M (4-2)|
|South Carolina (6-2)||Conference schedule complete|
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