A tense and dramatic Saturday in college football is expected to shake up the BCS standings to be released Sunday night, and for the first time this season, there a strong possibility that neither of the top two teams are from the Southeastern Conference.
Auburn’s mind-blowing triumph over Alabama — won on a field-length missed field-goal return on the game’s final play — will knock the Crimson Tide from the top position.
It also leaves two undefeated teams in major BCS conferences, and look for Florida State and Ohio State to move into the first and second spots.
Both teams defeated rivals on the road Saturday in different fashions. The Seminoles blew out Florida 37-7 and should rise to No. 1.
The Buckeyes survived Michigan 42-41 when the Wolverines’ late two-point conversation pass was knocked down, preserving Ohio State’s 24th straight victory.
Missouri capped the night with a 28-21 victory over Texas A&M, winning the SEC East and clinching a spot against Auburn in the conference championship game.
Here’s a BCS standing projection: 1. Florida State, 2. Ohio State. 3. Auburn, 4. Alabama. 5. Missouri.
All but Alabama play next week, which still gives Missouri a chance to jump the Tide by beating Auburn. Also, Florida State meets Duke for the ACC title and Ohio State faces Michigan State for the Big Ten championship.
If Florida State and Ohio State win, they could meet for the BCS title in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 6, 2014, and end a run of seven straight championships by SEC schools.
But the lobbying for an SEC team in the final has already started.
“An SEC team can’t get left out of the (BCS championship game) with one loss,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs told USA Today. “We just beat the No. 1 team in the nation, and a team ahead of us struggled today, I understand.”
Ohio State, he means.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel also suggested that schedule strength needs to be considered when looking at BCS title game consideration.
Expect the lobbying to ramp up this week.