Ohio State Football and BCS Championship Berth: Teams Buckeyes Need To Lose
Crazier things have happened in the world of college football. The Buckeyes aren't necessarily out of the BCS Championship hunt.
Without question, Ohio State needs to win out. If the Buckeyes do that, they'll need some teams ahead of them to fall to get a spot in the title game.
The following lists the teams that need to go down, with the team's record, current BCS ranking, Harris Poll, USA Today and average Computer ranking (three items that make up the BCS ranking), remaining schedule and that team's best chance to trip up.
Wisconsin and Stanford are not on the list because if the Buckeyes win out they might gain enough ground in the polls to jump both schools. The Badgers don't play a top 25 opponent the rest of the way and neither does the Cardinal. Their resumes are as good as they're going to get.
Surely if both lose it will help matters, but the two don't necessarily need to get beat.
Starting with a look at Ohio State's resume, here are the schools that stand in between the Buckeyes and a BCS National Championship berth. All but one has to lose if Ohio State will be playing in Glendale.
Ohio State Buckeyes
BCS Ranking: 9
Harris Poll: 7
USA Today: 7
Computer Avg.: 15
Vs. Penn State (Nov. 13)
@ No. 13 Iowa (Nov. 20)
Vs. Michigan (Nov. 27)
Best Chance to Lose: Iowa
It’s no secret, Iowa is the game the Buckeyes have circled, and they’ve had it that way since their loss to Wisconsin.
If Ohio State goes into Iowa and knocks off the Hawkeyes, it should gain the points it’s lacking in the computer polls. The computer hates the Buckeyes because they haven’t beaten anybody. Ohio State is the only team in the top 13 that has not beaten a current BCS ranked team.
Last week, Stanford was in sort of the same boat. Ranked 13th in the BCS, the Cardinal were ranked No. 12 by the computers, but had not beaten a team ranked in the BCS. With the win over Arizona, then No. 15 in BCS, Stanford catapulted up the BCS standings to No. 6. The computers have them at the same spot.
That was a home win for the Cardinal, if the Buckeyes defeat Iowa on the road, they should garner similar point boosts in the standings and maybe more.
BCS Ranking: 1
Harris Poll: 1
USA Today: 1
Computer Avg.: 3
@ California (Nov. 13)
Vs. No. 18 Arizona (Nov.26)
@ Oregon State (Dec. 4)
Best Chance to Lose: Oregon State
Arizona may be the only ranked team Oregon has left on its schedule, but its toughest game may be the Civil War against Oregon State.
Although, the Ducks annihilated the Beavers the last time the two played in Corvallis, 65-38, Oregon State had won the previous five games against Oregon at home. In fact, from 1997-2006 the home team won every game.
This year, the Beavers are battle tested having already played TCU, Boise State and Arizona. Oregon State lost to TCU by only nine, and lost to Boise State by only 13 on the “Blue Turf.” It beat Arizona, 29-27, on the road back in October.
BCS Ranking: 2
Harris Poll: 2
USA Today: 2
Computer Avg.: 1
Vs. Georgia (Nov.13)
@ No. 12 Alabama (Nov. 26)
SEC Championship Game (Dec. 4, win one of last two games)
Best Chance to Lose: Alabama
It’s a no-brainer here, the Tigers toughest game remaining on their schedule is the matchup with No. 12 Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The Crimson Tide lost all hope of playing for a national title when they lost last week to LSU. Now all they can do is play spoiler, and what better team to do it to than their archrival Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
TCU Horned Frogs
BCS Ranking: 3
Harris Poll: 3
USA Today: 3
Computer Avg.: 2
Vs. San Diego State (Nov. 13)
@ New Mexico (Nov. 27)
Best Chance to Lose: San Diego State
In all honesty, if the Horned Frogs get beat by either team in their last two games it will be a travesty. TCU just dismantled Utah, in Utah, 47-7. The Horned Frogs have allowed only 23 points in their last six games and have held their opponents to seven points or less in seven of 10 games.
If TCU were to trip up, it would be against San Diego State. The Aztecs are 7-2, and can still win the Mountain West Conference if they win out, and it all starts with the Horned Frogs. They play the Utes the week after they play TCU, and end the season versus UNLV.
San Diego State played at Missouri earlier in the season and held its own. Leading for much of the fourth quarter, the Aztecs surrendered a late touchdown, losing 27-24.
Boise State Broncos
BCS Ranking: 4
Harris Poll: 4
USA Today 4
Computer Avg.: 5
@ Idaho (Nov. 12)
Vs. Fresno State (Nov. 19)
@ Nevada (Nov.26)
Vs. Utah State (Dec. 4)
Best Chance to Lose: Nevada
Kellen Moore, Chris Peterson and company had better look out for the Wolf Pack.
Nevada is, without a doubt, Boise State’s toughest remaining test. Led by senior quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the Wolf Pack are the No. 2 rushing team in the nation, rushing for 317.8 yards per game and average 44.2 points per game, good enough for fourth best in the country.
Nevada likely knows that it is the last step between the Broncos and a perfect season, and expect the Wolf Pack to come ready to play. It’s in Nevada, and with the nation watching, this is Kaepernick and the Wolf Pack’s chance to show college football they’re no longer pushovers.
BCS Ranking: 5
Harris Poll: 6
USA Today Poll: 6
Computer Avg.: 4
Vs. Louisiana-Monroe (Nov. 13)
Vs. Mississippi (Nov. 20)
@ No. 15 Arkansas (Nov. 27)
SEC Championship Game??? (Dec. 4, would need to beat Ole Miss and Arkansas PLUS two Auburn losses)
Best Chance to Lose: Arkansas
Ryan Mallet and the Razorbacks host the Tigers the last game of the season.
Arkansas’ only two losses of the season were to then No. 1 Alabama, 24-20 and at Auburn, 65-43. The Razorbacks dominated South Carolina last week, 41-20 and also beat Texas A&M in September (the Aggies beat Oklahoma last week).
Who’s going to win the “Air Battle?” Arkansas is the second best passing team in the country, but LSU has the eighth best passing defense, something has got to give.
It should be a good game, and Mallet has the arm and the receivers around him to upset the Tigers.
BCS Ranking: 8
Harris Poll: 9
USA Today: 8
Computer Avg.: 6
Vs. Kansas (Nov. 13)
@ No. 25 Texas A&M (Nov. 20)
Vs. Colorado (Nov. 26)
Big 12 Championship Game (Dec 4, win out)
Best Chance to Lose: Texas A&M
Just last weekend, the then ranked No.8 Oklahoma Sooners were reminded the power of the “12th Man” at Kyle Field, home of Aggies. The Sooners went to College Station last Saturday with National Championship aspirations riding high, and Texas A&M stunned them 33-19.
On Nov.20, the Cornhuskers get the opportunity to visit College Station and see the “12th man” for themselves. It will be no easy task coming out of that one with a “W.”
How sweet would it be for Texas A&M if they not only ruined Oklahoma’s title hopes, but Nebraska’s as well? Combine that with a victory against Texas at the end of the year, and the Aggie faithful could be singing a different tune toward Mike Sherman.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
BCS Ranking: 10
Harris Poll: 13
USA Today: 11
Computer Avg.: 6
@ Texas (Nov. 13)
@ Kansas (Nov. 20)
Vs. No. 16 Oklahoma (Nov. 27)
Big 12 Championship Game (Dec. 4, win out)
Best Chance to Lose: Oklahoma
The game in Austin against the Longhorns should be interesting, but it all depends on if Texas shows up. The Longhorns come into the game riding a three game losing streak, and have lost their last four at home.
There’s a good chance Texas could come out flat and be completely destroyed, which is why Oklahoma State’s best chance to lose is against Oklahoma, even though the game is at home.