Does a one-loss SEC team deserve a shot?
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
The idea of a BCS National Championship Game without a Southeastern Conference team seems unfathomable with the SEC claiming the last six trophies.
But with three undefeated teams in Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame, the best an SEC team can do at the moment is No. 4 in the BCS standings, and thats two spots away from a shot at the title.
Should that be the case? Some SEC coaches stood up for their conference during the weekly teleconference and suggested that perhaps a one-loss SEC team should be part of the title equation over an undefeated team.
I think that given the fact there might be an undefeated team, or there might be two teams, they dont measure up with a strength of schedule that the SEC champ (will) have, LSU coach Les Miles said. If thats the case, I think it would be fair to make that argument for our champion.
With two losses, LSU wouldnt be one of those teams. If Alabama and Georgia win out, theyll meet in the SEC championship game, and the loser will have one loss. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban and Georgias Mark Richt stayed away from the subject of promoting a one-loss SEC team into a BCS title game over an undefeated team.
South Carolinas Steve Spurrier said whomever plays in the SEC game has a chance to win it all.
But many voters would have to change their ballots for Alabama or Georgia to leap an undefeated team. Currently, the Tide is fourth in the BCS standings and the Bulldogs are fifth. The gap between the third-ranked team in the Harris and USA Today Coaches poll, Notre Dame, and second-ranked Kansas State, is as wide or wider than the gap between the Irish and fourth-ranked Alabama.
The Tide or Georgia wont be interested in jumping to third. They want second, and the voting is such that the Wildcats and Ducks, who stand 1-2 in the BCS, are getting most first- and second-place votes in those polls.
The third component of the BCS, the computer poll average, favors the top three teams over Alabama and Georgia.
Last year, Oklahoma State just missed finishing second in the BCS despite having a better computer ranking and having defeated more ranked teams than second-place Alabama.
This year, the three undefeated teams are on course to have played five ranked teams by the regular seasons end, and if it gets there, Oregon likely will play a sixth in the Pac-12 title game.
But Alabama and Georgia, at the top of undoubtedly the nations best conference, didnt play as many. The Tide is 2-1 against ranked teams. Georgia is 1-1. In the SEC scheduling formula, Alabama missed the Bulldogs, Florida and South Carolina during the regular season. The Bulldogs missed the Tide, LSU and Texas A&M.
Missing those gauntlets undoubtedly impacted the schedule strength of the SEC contenders.
Each week in this conference is like a Super Bowl.
| Vanderbilt coach James Franklin
Its not about who were playing, but how we need to play.
| Alabama coach Nick Saban, whose team is preparing to meet 1-9 Western Carolina
Ranking the SEC
1. Alabama vs. Western Carolina: Still SECs best
2. Georgia vs. Georgia Southern: Playing best ball of season
3. Texas A&M vs. Sam Houston State: Aggies greatest victory?
4. LSU vs. Mississippi: Could be BCS bowl bound
5. Florida vs. Jacksonville St.: Back to Brissett at QB it appears
6. South Carolina vs. Wofford: Terriers have completed 32 passes this year
7. Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee: Vandy feels like it owes Vols
8. Mississippi State vs. Arkansas: Will Bulldogs slide stop?
9. Mississippi at LSU: Rebels bowl chances getting shaky
10. Missouri vs. Syracuse: Toughest of SEC non-conference foes
11. Arkansas at Mississippi State: Season cant end soon enough
12. Tennessee at Vanderbilt: Vols celebrated this victory last year
13. Auburn vs. Alabama A&M: Tigers seniors should go out with victory
14. Kentucky vs. Samford: So should Wildcats seniors