Auburn ran back an Alabama missed field goal 100+ yards as time expired to win the game. They now find themselves in the SEC Championship title game next week.
Earlier in the day, Florida State easily beat Florida and Ohio State squeaked by Michigan. As it stands right now, those two teams would be playing in the BCS Championship game in Pasadena, California.
The ACC and Big Ten are two of the weakest BCS conferences this year. So, are we really going to see a Florida State/Ohio State BCS Championship game?
If Auburn and Ohio State both win next week, could Auburn leapfrog Ohio State in the BCS Standings?
It’s no fluke that a team in the SEC has won the past seven BCS National Championships. The conference is filled with talent and was the best conference during that period. The conference isn’t as good as expected this year with Texas A&M and South Carolina not really in the title hunt for most of the season. It’s still a great conference, but not up to par with the past.
The Pac-12 and Big 12 could argue that they are just as good or even better than the SEC this season. Oregon, Baylor, USC, Texas, UCLA, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Arizona State are all top teams in those conferences. Oregon and Baylor both could taste a BCS Championship Game bid, but late-season losses eliminated them from the picture.
Florida State dominated all season. They demolished Clemson on the road and did the same to Miami (back when we thought they were contenders, not pretenders). Boston College was their closest game and they still won by two touchdowns. Their boxscores look like Bobby Bowden-coached teams of the 90’s. They play upstart Duke in the ACC Championship game.
Ohio State played one of the easiest schedules in the Big Ten. The only ranked teams they played were Wisconsin and Northwestern (who were ranked at the time, but lost a half dozen games after and failed to win enough games to be bowl eligible). They didn’t have to play Minnesota, Nebraska or Michigan State in the regular season. They’ve had the easiest road to a perfect record. They will face their first real test when they play Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game.
Florida State and Ohio State don’t have the kind of résumés we’re accustomed to for a possible BCS Champion. Auburn and Alabama have the kind of schedules and results you’d like to see.
Alabama has beaten Texas A&M, LSU and Virginia Tech. They also dominated every low-tier team they were supposed to beat. There was a stretch in the middle of the season when they only allowed 16 points total in five games. Alabama’s loss made the BCS system a lot harder to defend, since Alabama has been the best team, by far, for most of the season.
Auburn didn’t win a single SEC conference game in 2012. They went from a goose egg to playing in the SEC Championship game. That’s an amazing story. Also, the way they won their last two games (crazy catch against Georgia and missed field goal return against Alabama…videos below). Auburn plays Missouri in the SEC Championship game.
I know a good story doesn’t help you in the computer side of the BCS rankings, but the human side could be swayed just enough to leapfrog Auburn over Ohio State. It may not happen tomorrow, when the new rankings come out, but if both teams win their title games, it could happen. Missouri is ranked higher than Michigan State, so Auburn would get a slight bump with a victory.
Also, because crazier things have happened, if Florida State, Ohio State and Auburn all lose next week, Alabama and Missouri are back in the picture…and Florida State would probably still be in the BCS title game. Let’s hope it’s not THAT crazy after next week.
Could Auburn leapfrog Ohio State next week? What do you think?
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.