Posted 11/12/2008 at 03:22 PM
We warned that the three top teams were all serious upset risks last week and Penn State, the biggest favorite of the three went down on a last second field goal. Alabama needed OT to hang onto the top spot but the biggest surprise was the complete domination from Texas Tech as the Red Raiders had no letdown at all. The game in Norman in two weeks between Texas Tech and Oklahoma will be a huge game and essentially a conference championship game elimination game.
The BCS rankings will be the tiebreaker (should head-to-head results still leave a tie) in the Big 12 South standings. A tie-breaker is a strong possibility with the most likely scenario being that Oklahoma beats Texas Tech and then beats Oklahoma State, Texas Tech then beats Baylor, and Texas beats Kansas and Texas A&M leaving all three teams at 7-1. Oklahoma would have the edge in that scenario as a win over Tech would give them the ranking jump they need.
Missouri appears to be in a good spot in the North standings though the Tigers still must play Kansas at the end of the year. Keep in mind the title game will be in Kansas City, so Missouri will have a dramatic location advantage over any possible opponent. Texas Tech can eliminate and controversy by winning out but the Red Raiders could create a great deal of controversy should they lose the Big 12 title game after an undefeated regular season.
The SEC is a much simpler equation as Alabama and Florida should meet in the title game with the winner earning a slot in the BCS championship game. USC, Texas, and Penn State appear destined to be one-loss teams on the outside looking in for the championship game. Alabama will have to play two more SEC games and Florida has two tough games with South Carolina and Florida State remaining so either team could open the door for one of the other contenders.
The likelihood of an undefeated non-BCS team is very strong so that will mean just three open positions for teams that do not win the automatic bids. The SEC title game loser will likely get a spot, but determining the Big 12 team to make it will be the big challenge, particularly if Missouri pulls off the upset for the automatic bid leaving just one spot between Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. Ohio State will be a big Missouri fan in the Big 12 title game as they likely stand to be the next team in line as no conference can have more than two bids, that is assuming that Michigan State does not knock off Penn State, which could change the Big Ten picture quite a bit.