Who Still Has a Chance to Play in the BCS National Championship Game?
In college football, every week truly is like a playoff game. Lose and you are done. At least that is the case for all but a select few schools.
With two of the top five teams losing over this weekend, the hunt for a spot in the BCS National Championship is murkier still. LSU and OSU remain undefeated and are probably in control of their destiny.
But what if they lose? Here are the teams in order of their chance at playing in the big game.
1. LSU Tigers: Control Their Destiny
The LSU Tigers played a great game against the rival Tide, and deserve their spot at the top of the BCS rankings. Most people thought of the 'Bama versus LSU game as the defacto national championship. It may have been.
This much is clear. With wins over the third- and fourth-ranked teams in the country, LSU controls their destiny. Win and they are in. Lose and nothing will be clear.
Remaining Games: Ole Miss, No. 8 Arkansas, SEC Championship Game (No. 13 Georgia or No. 14 South Carolina)
2: Oklahoma State Cowboys: The Biggest Test Remaining
At the beginning of the season, we knew that Oklahoma State had a chance at doing great things. They haven't disappointed at all. The offense has scored at least 30 points in each game this season, and has reached 50-plus in six of their 10 games so far.
It has been an exciting year in Oklahoma City as the Cowboys have put themselves in position for very big things. They probably control their own destiny, but we all know the only game that really matters is still awaiting.
Remaining Games: Iowa State, No. 5 Oklahoma
3. Alabama Crimson Tide: Almost the Best
Nobody doubts that Alabama is one of the best teams in the country. However, they had the unfortunate luck of meeting the LSU in the regular season. So goes life in the SEC.
Despite their loss, Alabama is still in the thick of everything. If OSU loses to OU, there just might be a rematch against LSU, but it isn't guaranteed. They still have a meeting against their biggest rivals at the end of the season, and it doesn't look like they'll benefit from playing in a championship game.
They are in a tight spot. Even if LSU loses, who would you put ahead, LSU or 'Bama?
Remaining Games: Georgia Southern, Auburn
4. Oregon Ducks: Back in the Race
Just a week ago, the Ducks didn't look like they'd be making much noise. Then they ran wild on the Cardinal, Boise State lost and look who is sitting very pretty with only a few weeks left.
Their only loss is to LSU in the first week, so both the pollsters and the computers will think highly of Oregon, and a rematch of the first game of the season is still a very real possibility.
The bonus: The new Pac-12 Championship game may give the Ducks just enough exposure to slip past the Crimson Tide and the Sooners (neither will play in a championship game) if they all sit with only one loss in the end.
Remaining Games: No. 18 USC, Oregon State, Pac-12 Championship (UCLA, ASU, Utah)
5. Oklahoma Sooners: Upset Special
Oklahoma lost a big game a few weeks back to Texas Tech. This would have pretty much taken them out of the national picture, except they face their rival OSU in the final week of the season.
Beat the No. 2 ranked team, and the pollsters bump you up. I am not sure the computers will do the same as their only loss was to an unranked team while all the other teams on this list lost to a team in the top five.
Remaining Games: No. 25 Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State
6. Arkansas Razorbacks: Last Ditch Effort
To be honest, I forgot about these guys until I looked at the rankings today. But, they should not be forgotten about. They lost only to Alabama and still have a chance to beat the LSU Tigers. If they win, where does that leave them? I don't know. Will they jump four spots in the polls? I don't know.
Logic says if you have only one loss and it's to the No. 3 team, and then you beat the No. 1 team, then you should be in the middle of the discussion. That much I do know. If Arkansas pulls off the upset, they will be in the middle of the discussion. Nobody knows how it would end up.
Remaining Games: Mississippi State, No. LSU, *SEC Championship Game (Georgia, South Carolina)
*with a win over LSU
7. The Last Remaining One Lossers
Clemson, Stanford, Boise State, Virginia Tech all still remain with only one loss, but let's be honest, they really don't have much of a chance to make it to the title game. It's too deep in the season to climb back up the polls. They still have opportunities to get into a BCS game, but a shot at the national championship is just not in their future. If a playoff were to be held, they'd all have a chance, but fair this is not.