BCS Rankings Week 2: Top 20 Matchups for the National Championship Game

Sam WestmorelandFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2010

BCS Rankings Week 2: Top 20 Matchups for the National Championship Game

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    AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers throws a practice pass before the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    As the week progresses, we've been able to take a closer look at the newly released BCS standings. More specifically, we can take a look at the BCS standings, and begin to get a good idea of just who is going to be in the BCS title game. 

    Surprisingly, we've got 8 teams who still have a real shot at making it to the battle for the crystal football in February. We'll break down the top 20 most likely matchups for the big game, tell you how each team can get there, and how likely it is that the game in question will happen. 

20. Utah Utes Vs. Boise State Broncos

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    BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos looks for a receiver against the Oregon State Beaversat Bronco Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    How They Got There: For Boise State, a loss from either Auburn or Oregon would put them in the title game. Utah, on the other hand would need a minor miracle to advance to the BCS championship. 

    Who'd Be Favored: The Broncos have been as dominant as anyone in college football. If they werent favored in this one, I'd be shocked. 

    Odds of It Happening: The odds of one non-BCS school getting into the national title game aren't great. But two? That's almost impossible. 200-1. 

19. Michigan State Spartans Vs. Boise State Broncos

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    ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 09:  Kirk Cousins #8 of the Michigan State Spartans rolls out to pass as Ryan Van Bergen #53 of the Michigan Wolverines attempts to make the sack during the game on October 9, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Mi
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    How They Got There: Michigan State needs to win out while having Auburn, Oregon, and TCU all lose to non-BCS contenders. Boise State would settle for a loss from Auburn or Oregon. 

    Who'd Be Favored: Hard to say for sure. Boise has looked dominant on both sides of the ball, but the Spartans have proven to be legitimate BCS contenders in the Big 10. We'll give it to Boise State based on their dominance over their opponents thus far. 

    Odds of it Happening: Not great. Michigan State has a relatively easy schedule left, not good for climbing the polls, and Boise's is even worse. We'll put the odds at 50-1. 

18. Missouri Tigers Vs. TCU Horned Frogs

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    FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the TCU Horned Frogs passes the ball against the Air Force Falcons at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: For TCU, their big game comes in two weeks, against eighth ranked Utah. Win that, and get a bit of help from the pollsters, and the Horned Frogs could find themselves in this one. Mizzou needs to win out, including the Big 12 title game, to have a chance, and they'll need at least one team in front of them to lose. 

    Who's the Favorite: TCU has looked dominant against all comers in 2010. Their defense is formidable, the offense is high-powered, and they should be the favorites, despite Missouri's explosive offensive capabilities. Don't expect it to be a high line, though.

    Odds of it Happening: Slim. Mizzou has to beat Nebraska on the road this week, and will likely get Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. TCU has to survive Utah, and hope a couple teams lose ahead of them. 50-1. 

17. Missouri Tigers Vs. Michigan State Spartans

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    COLUMBIA, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 23: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the Missouri Tigers passes against the Oklahoma Sooners at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Columbia, Missouri.  The Tigers beat the Sooners 36-27.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    How They Got There: Mizzou runs the table, blowing out Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. Michigan State runs the table as well, and gets some help as Boise State, Auburn and Oregon all lose. 

    Who's the Favorite: Tough to say. Michigan State's offense is balanced and dangerous, while Mizzou's aerial attack is tough to stop. Still, Sparty's looked a little shaky on the road, nearly losing to Northwestern last week. The Tigers are the favorite in this one. 

    Odds of it Happening: 45-1. Both of these teams are potentially the best in their respective conferences, but both have some serious tests coming down the pipe. 

16. Utah Utes Vs. Oregon Ducks

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    FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 14:  Quarterback Jordan Wynn #3 of the Utah Utes looks to pass the ball in the second quarter of the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 14, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martine
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Utah knocked off TCU in their clash, and got big help from teams at the top of the charts to leapfrog their way into the title game. Oregon controls their own destiny, and simply needs to win out to make it to Glendale. 

    Who's the Favorite: Oregon's high-octane offense has to make them heavy favorites in this matchup. 

    Odds of it Happening: 45-1. It's a long shot, but Utah can go a long way towards punching their BCS ticket with a win over TCU on November 4. Oregon's schedule down the stretch is tricky, but not impossible. If they win out, they're in like Flynn. 

15. Utah Utes Vs. Auburn Tigers

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Michael Dyer #5 of the Auburn Tigers against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: We've already extensively addressed what Utah needs to do to get into this game. For Auburn, they need to run the table in the regular season, and win the SEC championship game, to get a shot at the title.

    Who's the Favorite: Auburn. Their offensive balance, defensive strength and fantastic quarterback play make them heavy favorites over the Utes. 

    Odds of it Happening: 45-1. Auburn has an excellent chance to make it to the big one, with a relatively easy schedule until Alabama comes calling on November 26. They'll have to win the SEC title game, too, no easy task for anyone. Utah, on the other hand, is a long shot. They have to win out and dominate to get in, or get some serious help above them, 

14. Michigan State Spartans Vs. TCU Horned Frogs

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    ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 09:  Edwin Baker #4 of the Michigan State Spartans scores on a 61 yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Michigan Wolverines during the game on October 9, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Michigan Stat
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Road tests at Iowa and Penn State loom large for the Spartans, while the Horned Frogs have to win out, and do so convincingly, to get into the title game.

    Who's the Favorite: Given the way Michigan State has been beating top-tier teams, they'd have to be the favorite here.

    Odds of it Happening: 40-1, and improving each week. With each win both of these teams pick up, the likelihood of them making the title game gets better and better. The Spartans need to be wary of their season ending clash with Penn State, a classic trap game. 

13. Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. Boise State Broncos

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    KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 23:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball during the SEC game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Alabama can jump start it's title defense by beating Auburn in the season finale, and winning the SEC championship. Boise State has to win out convincingly, and probably get help from Oregon if they want to make this game with Alabama.

    Who's the Favorite: The Crimson Tide. Despite losing a game, Alabama is widely viewed as one of the most talented teams in the nation, and the Broncos are still being brushed aside and not taken as seriously as they should be. 

    Odds of it Happening: 40-1. Alabama would make the BCS title tilt with an SEC title, while Boise would, in all likelihood, be a long shot to meet them there. 

12. Michigan State Spartans Vs. Oregon Ducks

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 2: Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks is greeted by 'Puddles', the mascot of the Oregon Ducks, before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 52-31. (Ph
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Both the Ducks and Spartans would have to win their respective conference titles to get a shot at this game, and Michigan State would likely need for Auburn to lose to Alabama, who in turn doesn't win the SEC crown. 

    Who's the Favorite: Oregon. The Ducks have looked unbeatable in 2010, while Michigan State has struggled away from the state of Michigan.

    Odds of it Happening: 35-1. Oregon's got a tough road ahead of them, and the odds of Alabama beating Auburn and not winning the SEC title are slim. Michigan State is going to need some luck to pull this one out. 

11. Auburn Tigers Vs. Michigan State Spartans

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    EVANSTON, IL - OCTOBER 23: Head coach Mark Dantonio of the Michigan State Spartans returned to the sidelines for a game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field on October 23, 2010 in Evanston, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Northwestern 35-27.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: For the Spartans, they'd need to win out, and see Oregon and either Boise State or TCU stumble to get to this point. Auburn just needs to win the SEC title, which means beating Alabama.

    Who's the Favorite: Auburn. The Tigers are balanced and focused, and would be considered the slight favorite in this one. 

    Odds of it Happening: 20-1. As the current favorites in their conferences, both teams have a real shot at squaring off in this one. However, with the Spartans' needing a bit of help above them, the odds take a hit. 

10. Missouri Tigers @ Oregon Ducks

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    BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 31:  Head coach Gary Pinkel of the Missouri Tigers leads his team against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on October 31, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: The Tigers would have to get some help on top of running the table, and they'd have to beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 title tilt. The Ducks would just have to maintain the current status quo to clinch their berth in the final. After all, their high-octane offense is running teams out of the stadium. 

    Who's the Favorite: This one would be FUN. Lots of offense, as both Mizzou and Oregon have high-powered attacks. Oregon's balance makes them slight favorites, though.

    Odds of it Happening: 20-1. Mizzou would need help to make this happen, and their schedule does them no favors down the stretch. Oregon's remaining games are no cake walk either, but both teams have proven up to the task at hand. 

9. Auburn Tigers Vs. Missouri Tigers

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach Gene Chizik of the Auburn Tigers against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Auburn is currently the BCS leader, and an SEC crown all but secures their berth in the game. For Mizzou to get here, Oregon has to lose down the stretch, and they have to win the Big 12 title in convincing fashion. 

    Who's the Favorite: Auburn. Their balance and defensive acumen have to make them the favorite over the pass-first offense of Missouri. 

    Odds of it Happening: 15-1. Both of these teams aren't out of the woods yet, but they're swaying more doubters with each win they rack up. Auburn is more likely to be here, but don't rule out Gary Pinkel and Mizzou yet. 

8. Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. Missouri Tigers

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 16:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide against the Ole Miss Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 16, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: If Alabama wins the SEC and beats Auburn, they're probably going to make the title game. Mizzou has to hang tough this week against Nebraska, and beat the Huskers in Omaha. 

    Who's the Favorite: Alabama. They've been here before, and their defense is still terrifying. The Tigers could be a bit overmatched in this one. 

    Odds of it Happening: 15-1. Alabama has a real shot to win out, and they could be in this game if they do. Mizzou would need all the help it could get from the remaining opponents of Boise State, TCU, Michigan State, Auburn and Oregon to get into this one, although a re-match with the Sooners in the Big 12 championship could help a lot. 

7. Oregon Ducks @ TCU Horned Frogs

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    FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 23:  Tailback Ed Wesley #34 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against the Air Force Falcons at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: TCU routs Utah, and sees Boise and Auburn fall to teams not named Alabama. Oregon runs the table and locks up the Pac-10 title. 

    Who's the Favorite: Oregon. The Horned Frogs are good, but they just don't have the horsepower to keep up with the Ducks.

    Odds of it Happening: 12-1. TCU could easily run roughshod over Utah, while Oregon has showed no signs of slowing down. Still there's a lot that needs to happen above TCU for this matchup to become reality. 

6. Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. TCU Horned Frogs

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    FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 23:  Head coach Gary Patterson of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates on the field after TCU beat the Air Force Falcons 38-7 at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: The Crimson Tide wrap up the SEC title, and TCU wins out, with Oregon and Boise State both folding down the stretch.

    Who's the Favorite: Alabama. Although, given the Horned Frogs' balance in 2010, it won't be by as much as you think. 

    Odds of it Happening: 12-1. If 'Bama can knock off Auburn, anything is possible. 

5. Auburn Tigers Vs. TCU Horned Frogs

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    AUBURN - OCTOBER 16:  CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson (center) interviews Auburn University head coach Gene Chizik (right) while Auburn Tigers quarterback Cam Newton #2 looks on after the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on
    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Auburn wins the SEC title, while TCU benefits from both Boise State and Oregon falling victim to the upset bug. 

    Who's the Favorite: Auburn. If Auburn's here, it means they're undefeated. TCU can't contain quarterback Cam Newton. 

    Odds of it Happening: 7-1. TCU needs help, but anything's possible late in the college football season.

4. Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. Oregon Ducks

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    KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 23: Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide throws a pass during the SEC game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Alabama upsets Auburn, Oregon wins out. One of the simpler scenarios thus far.

    Who's the Favorite: The Crimson Tide would probably get the nod based on big game experience, which Oregon lacks. 

    Odds of it Happening: 6-1. Alabama could easily beat Auburn and take the SEC crown, while no one's been able to touch Oregon this season. 

3. Auburn Tigers Vs. Boise State Broncos

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    BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos looks for a receiver against the Oregon State Beaversat Bronco Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: The Broncos get convincing wins, by 20 points or more from here on out. Auburn wins the SEC title. Oregon trips against Arizona.

    Who's the Favorite: Auburn. Cam Newton might look unstoppable, but Boise will keep it close. 

    Odds of it Happening: 5-1. Oregon has to lose, so it's not all that likely. 

2. Boise State Broncos Vs. Oregon Ducks

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 21:  Darron Thomas #1 of the Oregon Ducks runs against  the UCLA Bruins  on October 21, 2010 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: Both teams would come into this one undefeated. Auburn would have to lose either to Alabama, or to the SEC East champ. Alabama cannot win the SEC. 

    Who's the Favorite: Oregon. Why? Because they play in the Pac-10, and will have had more experience against elite competition.

    Odds of it Happening: 4-1. A little tricky with the SEC, but imagine the riot if an undefeated team is kept out of the national title game by a one-loss team. 

1. Auburn Tigers Vs. Oregon Ducks

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 2: Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks breaks in to the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. James ran for 257
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    How They Got Here: These two are currently the top teams in the BCS standings. All they have to do is win out. 

    Who's the Favorite: Oregon by a hair. Teams have played Auburn close for a good portion of the season, but no one's come close to touching the Ducks. 

    Odds of it Happening: 2-1. Because both teams control their own destinies, this is the most probable scenario right now. By next week? Everything could be completely different.