Any of those can be used to describe Alabama’s 2009 football season.
The Crimson Tide enjoyed a 14-0 record en-route to winning the BCS Championship. Take a closer look at Alabama’s dream season and you can see there were week’s when Nick Saban’s team could have easily slipped from the ranks of undefeated.
So as we get a little closer to the start of the 2010 season, what are the odds we have an undefeated champion?
I’m here to tell you the BCS Champion will not be perfect this year. Why?
That’s right, history tells us it’s time for a team with at least one loss will claim the championship at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 10, 2011.
The first five BCS Champs (Tennessee, Florida State, Oklahoma, Miami and Ohio State) were all perfect and it appeared the system was working—But since then four of the next seven had at least one loss.
History also works against the non-BCS schools.
Utah and Boise State have both gone undefeated twice during the BCS era, while Marshall and Tulane have each done it once.
None of them were ever legitimate contenders for the title game, nor did they get serious consideration from the AP poll.
So even if there are a few undefeated teams this season there’s no guarantee any of them will get a shot at the title.
There’s pretty much universal agreement that the SEC is the best conference, so even as talented as Florida and Alabama maybe it’s not easy to survive the challenge of each week.
Remember, Alabama could have easily lost to Tennessee, LSU or Auburn last year.
This season most of the serious contenders have challenging schedules. Here are a few random examples:
- Alabama: vs. Penn State (Sept. 11), at Arkansas (Sept. 25), vs. Florida (Oct. 2), at South Carolina (Oct. 9), at LSU (Nov. 9) and vs. Auburn (Nov. 26).
- Virginia Tech: vs. Boise State (Sept. 6), vs. Georgia Tech (Nov. 4), at North Carolina (Nov. 13), and at Miami (Nov. 20).
- Oklahoma: vs. Florida State (Sept. 11), at Cincinnati (Sept. 25), vs. Texas (Oct. 2), at Texas A&M (Nov. 6), and at Oklahoma State (Nov. 27).
- Ohio State: vs. Miami, Fla. (Sept. 11), at Wisconsin (Oct. 16), vs. Penn State (Nov. 13), at Iowa (Nov. 20), and vs. Michigan (Nov. 27).
Did anyone notice what happened to Oklahoma last year?
TE Jermaine Gresham didn’t step on the field in 2009, yet was still drafted in the first round by the NFL.
Then Heisman Trophy QB Sam Bradford injured his throwing shoulder in the first half of the first game and never returned to form.
Instead of playing for a championship, the Sooners played Stanford in the Brut Sun Bowl.
While some teams have better depth than others, key injuries can easily end championship dreams.
Does anyone think Boise is the same team without QB Kellen Moore?
Conference championship games
The Big Ten added Nebraska so it could make even more millions by adding a season-ending conference title tilt—But that game can easily become a trap.
Texas was walking toward the BCS Championship Game last year when a hot and motivated Nebraska team almost stole the dream.
It didn’t happen, but it has before and it could easily happen this year to a tough, but tired team.
And even if an undefeated team reaches the championship from say the ACC, Big East or Pac-10 and they will likely face a one-loss SEC team.
Who do you think would win that one?
If you’re thinking like me, the 2010 champ will probably have a loss.