Odd Man Out: USC Left Out of BCS Title Game?

Take my word for it, this will be the year that the BCS comes crashing down. Do you want to know why?  The USC Trojans, the top ranked and most talented team in the country, could fail to make the BCS Championship Game despite an undefeated record. Imagine what implications that would have on the BCS. A result like this would have to lead to a major overhaul in the system because no right minded person could argue that an undefeated USC team doesn’t deserve to play in the National Championship Game. But let me tell you how this will happen.

The SEC is the toughest conference in that nation with six teams in the top twenty-five. If any team comes out of the SEC undefeated or maybe even with one loss, they without a doubt deserve to play in the National Championship Game due to their strength of schedule. I think there is a good possibility that Florida can run the table. They have three ranked teams remaining on their schedule. I think they will beat 5th ranked LSU at home and 21st ranked Vanderbilt on the road; what their season will come down to is their match up with the 3rd ranked Georgia Bulldogs at a neutral site. I think this game could go either way, but if Florida is able to win they will secure one of the spots in the title game. USC fans better hope that these SEC teams beat each other up or you will be in for a rude awakening. There is even a possibility that a one loss Georgia or Florida team has the possibility of securing a spot in the National Championship Game over an undefeated USC team.

As for the other spot in the BCS National Championship Game, fill in the Oklahoma Sooners. It won’t be easy for the Sooners to run the table as they play 4 teams ranked in the top 25 including Texas and Texas Tech. However, these four games are at Oklahoma and this is the reason the Sooners will run the table. It would be impossible to leave the Oklahoma Sooners out of the BCS National Championship Game after surviving the talented Big 12 unscathed. What does this all mean? USC is the odd man out.

The USC Trojans do not play another ranked team for the remainder of the season. They should be favored by double digits in the remainder of their games against their Pac 10 foes. The Pac 10 is so abysmal this year that an undefeated USC team may be left out of the BCS national Championship Game because of their poor strength of schedule. Imagine that; clearly the most talented team in the country, coming off an impressive win over the Ohio State Buckeyes, could go undefeated yet not play in the National Championship Game. I think this is the only thing that will result in an overhaul of the BCS system. Only time will tell but this may be the only way we see a playoff system in college football.

9 replies on “Odd Man Out: USC Left Out of BCS Title Game?”

While possible, it would be unlikely. One minor caveat I noted – USC does play a ranked opponent, at least currently ranked, when they face Oregon.

I agree either the SEC or Big 12 is going to produce at least one of the participants, if not both. But if USC runs the table, which they should, their No. 1 ranking in both polls would almost guarantee them a spot in the BCS title game.

Very interesting post. I definitely see your overall point that the BCS system needs to be revamped. However, if they didn’t change the BCS format after 2001 when Oregon got screwed over for a much less deserving Nebraska team, it doesn’t looking promising that this year show any new BCS flaws that weren’t already revealed. A playoff system seems like an ideal situation, however, the tradition and the money that comes with the bowl format will continue to make this a difficult decision for the NCAA.

In regards to USC getting screwed, I personally feel that as long as they run the table, they’ll be playing in the Orange Bowl. USC as too many convincing wins, too much talent, and a QB in a Heisman race, making them the sexy” team to pick (and watch). Also, I think the more exposure Joe McKnight gets, the more people will realize how special he is, which will help USC’s “BCS Popularity.” The last major reason that USC will have an edge is fact that they’re currently ranked #1 in both polls, and have almost every first-place vote. Unless one of the teams directly under them goes off against another high-ranked team, USC will continue to put up W’s by over 20 points and continue to grab the majoirty of the top votes.

When the dust settles in the SEC, as long as one team comes away with no more than one loss, the SEC will have a lock on one spot for the national championship game. The top dog of the top conference always deserves to represent one of the teams competing for the national championship.

That leaves Oklahoma out of the mix in my opinion. Their pre-Big 12 schedule did not help them, unless you consider Cinncinnati a formitable opponent. However, they didn’t have the balls to go out and play a high-ranked team like Ohio State. It doesn’t matter how overrated a Benie-less OSU team is, they were (and maybe still are) one of the elite teams coming into this season. Also, you shouldn’t sell Missouri short just yet. Their offense is as good as it gets, and they are anything but a walk-over for OU.

One more point: BYU and Boise State will be kicking and screaming if they end up running the table as well.

There is a lot of football still left to be played, but I would hate to see any team outside of Michigan (moot point now) end with a goose egg in the loss column and missing out on a chance for the college football crown.

Odds of this of happening are Slim and none and Slim just left the building.
The arguement that will happen at the end of the season is an SEC school will have 1 loss and a Big 12 school will have one loss and the debate will be who should play USC.

The system will never be changed. Too much guaranteed money for the major conferences.

– bobby

I believe another interesting discussion that should be included is what about if as Bobby says, USC runs the table and finishes undefeated, and SEC and Big 12 school each finish with 1 loss, and then you have another team not from the Big 12 or SEC go undefeated.

The teams I am looking at now that have the best opportunities at that are: BYU, USF, Wake Forest, or Boise State. All four of those teams are currently in the top 20 and have the ability to go into the rest of their games favored in every one.

BYU’s hardest opponent left with be their final game at currently No. 17 Utah. USF does not play another ranked team the rest of the year. Their hardest game may be weekend at unranked NC State or potentially their final game at WVU(depending on if WVU can turn it around). Wake Forest has the hardest remaining schedule of them all but is still a very good team. If they manage to beat Clemson(No. 20) at home a couple Thursdays from now and then run the table up until their final game home vs. Vandy(No. 21), they could also pose a threat. They would also have a hard matchup in the ACC championship game against whoever wins the coastal division. The final team is Boise State who has a very favorable schedule as always.

In my opinion, I feel that even if Boise State or BYU are to finish the season undefeated, they do not deserve a shot at the national title. If either Boise State or BYU were to run the table, I don’t see anyone on their schedules finishing the season ranked. And not being in a major conference means even the teams you played that weren’t ranked, weren’t really noteworthy victories. I feel the true discussion comes when you look at USF and Wake Forest. Both these schools are in major conferences and the purpose of the BCS system is to put the best teams from each division against each other at the end of the year, and for the two teams that performed the best throughout the year to go against each other to determine the national champion.

I will leave the decision up to you guys on USF but I have to argue that Wake Forest should be given the opportunity if they do run the table. That would mean they would have to finish the season potentially beating 4 ranked opponents(1 from the SEC) and a total of 4 OOC opponents, 1 from the Big 12 and 2 from the SEC. Every opponent of theirs was a BCS team and their probably one of the few schools to play 2 SEC teams out of conference.

I’m interested to see what everyone else thinks…But hey who knows, maybe a UF and Oklahoma run the table and then all people talk about is someone else getting screwed and OMG Playoff System!

Wow, that game last night shook up the BCS talk. Now who do you think makes it to the Championship in this scenerio: Georgia or Florida with one loss, Oklahoma or Missouri with one loss, and USC with one loss. I don’t see how you can give the sport to USC. The Big 12 and SEC are much more challenging then the Pac-10. But I guess it is a long season and anything can happen as proven by last night’s game.

I liked the post when I read it yesterday, but it was just a few hours too soon. A lot of critics looked past all of USC’s competition when talking about the BCS… and so did the Trojans. That’s the beauty of college football, the upsets come when you least expect them. Go Beavers! Even though I’m not a fan and loved to see them lose, if USC wins out, they should still be in contention for the championship.

I think the only way USC ever had a chance was by being the media sweetheart since the computer polls will definitely not be helping them. With them now having a loss and most likely dropping to 10 or 11, they just don’t have the competition in their schedule to make their way back up. I feel the national championship game will be between the winner of the SEC and winner of the Big 12, especially if they each only have one loss.

I honestly feel Ohio State, while still highly unlikely, would play in the national championship game ahead of USC if they were to both win out from here. Ohio State still has a fairly hard schedule remaining including at No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 12 Penn State, and at No. 22 Illinois. Winning out from here would be firstly impressive and I feel enough to put them into the national championship game if they are going up against teams with 2 losses.

But hey the cases for these potential undefeated teams was only made greater with the USC loss…

Wisconsin getting beat yesterday hurts anyone from the Big Ten. OSU in Madison next week, and then at home against PSU will be the games to watch from that standpoint.

At this point, it’s going to be the winner of Mizz/Okla. against the winner of the SEC (looking like ‘Bama at this point, but they can sure be upset given their schedule).

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