College Football: How Oregon Can Make the National Championship Game

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst INovember 11, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 03:  Darron Thomas #5 of the Oregon Ducks throws against the LSU Tigers at Cowboys Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

At the beginning of the year, LSU thrashed Oregon at the Cowboys Classic, 40-27, leading to speculation that the Ducks BCS National Championship hopes had ended after Week 1.

However, if they can get some help from the rest of the country and the voters, it is still possible for Oregon to play in New Orleans for the national championship.

First of all, Oregon needs to obviously win all three games (possibly four) in the rest of their schedule: at Stanford, vs. USC, vs. Oregon State, and the Pac-12 Championship Game.

To help their case, they should hope that Arizona State wins the Pac-12 South, as facing a weak UCLA team would not improve their stock when pitted against other one-loss teams.

In addition, I think Oregon needs to beat these opponents convincingly, therefore making a statement that this is not the same team that struggled against LSU's vicious and turnover-producing defense. If Oregon can beat Stanford by two to three touchdowns, they could easily jump to the Top Five of the BCS.

However, simply winning out convincingly will not get Oregon into the national championship game. This is where the rest of the country needs to help.

Oregon can jump both Stanford (if they beat them this week) and Boise State just by winning out, but they will struggle passing Oklahoma State and Oklahoma without a few losses from either team.

Oklahoma State likely needs to lose to Oklahoma and possibly to Texas Tech this weekend to lower the legitimacy of the Oklahoma State/Oklahoma game. This would allow Oregon to pass Oklahoma because their win at Stanford would be considered better than a hypothetical Sooners win in Stillwater, against a one-loss Oklahoma State.

Another possible situation includes Oklahoma losing to Baylor, but coming back to beat Oklahoma State, therefore allowing Oregon to jump to at least third in the BCS.

With the Sugar Bowl likely not wanting two SEC teams in the national championship, Oregon could take the second spot in the BCS and would get the nod over undefeated Boise State and one-loss Alabama.

An LSU loss in the SEC Championship Game would likely not help Oregon's case because Alabama would take the Tigers' spot as the SEC representative, a likely scenario this year.

Put simply, Oregon needs a lot of help to make a second straight appearance in the BCS National Championship Game.