Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Alabama Football: Crimson Tide Strength Of Schedule And BCS Standings


In the aftermath of one of the craziest weekends in college football in recent memory, the BCS standings have been shaken up, and, like an episode of Lost, we are left with more questions than answers. At this point of the season for teams in the top five of the BCS, every detail on their resume matters, especially schedule strength.

Here is the TeamRankings.com College Football Strength of Schedule Power Ratings for every SEC team:

  • Texas A&M: 1st
  • LSU: 3rd
  • Alabama: 5th
  • Florida: 10th
  • Ole Miss: 13th
  • South Carolina: 17th
  • Mississippi State: 20th
  • Kentucky 25th
  • Missouri: 29th
  • Georgia: 32nd
  • Tennessee: 34th
  • Arkansas: 35th
  • Vanderbilt: 41st
  • Auburn: 45th

Alabama continues to hold firm in the top ten. Their strength of schedule will take a ding after playing Auburn this weekend, but will improve again once the Tide plays Georgia in the SEC championship game. Alabama is all but assured to finish in the top ten of the strength of schedule ratings.

Texas A&M holds the top spot for the moment, as they have played 3 top seven teams. Don’t be surprised if the Florida Gators take their place in the final standing though. Florida will have played four teams ranked in the top 12 after this weekend. This is very interesting because if Notre Dame would to lose, we could have another all-SEC BCS Championship game.

In looking at who has a legitimate shot at the BCS Championship game, I have excluded the three one-loss teams. Clemson is excluded because of their loss with Florida State. Kansas State got boat-raced by Baylor this weekend. They would need the top five in the BCS to lose this weekend.  Florida State is technically still in the hunt, but needs way too much help. Their average ranking in the BCS is 17th.

Here are the current BCS standings, including rankings from the Harris and Coaches Polls, as well as the six computer rankings:

 

Notre Dame Alabama Georgia  Florida Oregon
BCS Rank

1

2

3

4

5

Harris Poll

1

2

3

5

4

USA Today

1

2

3

6

4

Anderson Hester

1

5

4

2

7

Richard Billingsley 

1

2

5

2

4

Colley Matrix

1

4

7

6

6

Kenneth Massey

1

3

7

2

6

Jeff Sagarin

1

3

6

2

5

Peter Wolfe

1

3

4

2

8

 

Notre Dame

BCS Ranking: 1st. Strength of Schedule: 40th. Final Game: At Southern Cal 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

The Fighting Irish have but one task: Beat the Trojans on Saturday. Their path to the BCS Championship is the most simple to explain, but as we all know, heavy lies the BCS crown that comes with a No. 1 ranking. In the past two weeks we have seen two number one teams and a number two team stumble.

Notre Dame has an outstanding defense that yields only 10.1 points per game, which is the best in the country. But given their mediocre S.O.S ranking of 40th, it is entirely possible their success is a bit of a mirage. They were just a few plays away this season from being 10-1 or 9-2. But we must give credit where it’s due: Notre Dame has had a spectacular season, they are undefeated, and they’re in control of their own destiny.

Alabama

BCS Ranking: 2nd. Strength of Schedule: 5th. Final Games: Auburn, SEC Championship v. Georgia.

Alabama lost to Texas A&M two weeks ago, and was on the outside looking in. Now, with Oregon and Kansas State suffering losses, they are back in the driver’s seat. They have a strong number two ranking, as well as a strong overall S.O.S ranking. With No. 2 rankings in the Harris and Coaches Polls, we see that Alabama still has the voters’ confidence. The Tide’s computer rankings are solid enough to ensure that if it wins out, they will play for their third national championship in four years.

Georgia

BCS Ranking: 3rd. Strength of Schedule: 32nd. Final Games: Georgia Tech, SEC Championship v. Alabama.

When Georgia got beat down by the South Carolina Gamecocks 35-7 on October 6th, any reasonable college football fan outside of Athens would have thought the Bulldogs were completely out of the BCS picture. Now, like Alabama, they control their own destiny. Georgia’s 32nd S.O.S. ranking is not as good as Oregon’s, but unlike the Ducks, they will be playing against the No. 2 team in the country in two weeks.

This is important because Georgia and Oregon are in the same boat in terms of the BCS computer rankings: They are ranked 6th and 7th respectively. But since Oregon is no longer playing in their conference championship game, they now have one less opportunity to impress the computers. Advantage: Georgia.

Florida

BCS Ranking: 4th. Strength of Schedule: 10th. Final Game: At Florida State 3:30 p.m. on ABC.

The Florida Gators have a lot going for them. They are ranked 3rd in the BCS ahead of the Oregon Ducks, they have a very strong S.O.S. which will only improve, and the computers absolutely love them. They have a solid No. 2 ranking in every computer except one (remember, the lowest computer score for each team is dropped). If Notre Dame were to lose, Florida would have a definite advantage in the computer rankings over Oregon. Florida has a tough task this weekend against the Seminoles, and they definitely need help from Southern Cal.

Oregon

BCS Ranking: 5th. Strength of Schedule: 9th. Final Game: At Oregon State, 3:00 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

If Notre Dame loses on Saturday, the biggest question for the BCS standings will be where to rank the Oregon Ducks. They have a strong S.O.S. and are stronger than Florida in the human polls. They are ranked fourth in both, while the Gators are ranked 5th and 6th. Unfortunately for the Ducks, the computers continue to look unfavorably upon them. They have an average computer ranking of 7, while the Gator’s average is 2. Their game against No. 15 Oregon State this weekend will certainly help, but it they will not overtake Florida in the computers.

Oregon’s hope, along with Notre Dame losing of course, is that the voters still have faith in their ability to knock off an SEC team. If Notre Dame loses, and Florida wins, voters will have to decide if they want another all-SEC BCS championship game again, and things could get interesting.

Neither team is playing in their respective championship games. Both were beaten in close games by top ten teams. Oregon may go to the old “We’ve never lost a game in regulation” argument that got LSU into the championship game in 2007. Oregon must impress voters this weekend, and sit back and hope for chaos in the top four.

One thing is certain: If Notre Dame wins, a one loss SEC champion will play in the BCS title game.

Follow Jeff on Twitter.

 

Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Football