The BCS rankings that matter are (1) Alabama (2) Kansas State (3) Oregon and (4) Notre Dame. Oregon passed Notre Dame this week. With popular support and a tougher schedule remaining, they should surpass Kansas State to face Alabama if both teams remain undefeated.
Here are the schedules the rest of the way. Current BCS rankings are in parentheses.
Alabama: Texas A&M (15), W. Carolina, Auburn + Title Game (Georgia – 5)
Alabama has a strong advantage in the computer and human polls. They play two top 15 teams from here forward. If they win, they are in. They should win. SEC. SEC.
Kansas State: at TCU, at Baylor, Texas (17)
Kansas State’s schedule won’t help them in the computer rankings. It won’t help them in the human rankings either. The public is not high on Texas. Whether Kansas State can go undefeated may be contingent on whether Collin Klein can play. The Big 12’s nine conference games help its schedule strength, though the lack of a title game may negate that advantage here.
Oregon: at Cal, Stanford (14), Oregon State (11), + Title Game (UCLA – 18, USC – 19)
Oregon has the consensus on No. 2 vote in both relevant human polls. The Ducks have the toughest schedule remaining, which will cement their human advantage and push them up the computer polls. It would be nice if said computer polls recognized beating a team by 40 is different than beating a team by three, but we digress. If Oregon wins out, they probably reach the title game. Vegas lists them as the only team within a touchdown of Alabama.
Notre Dame: at Boston College, Wake Forest, at USC (19)
Notre Dame has the most ground to make up and the softest schedule remaining. Even beating USC on the road, they will need two of the top three to lose. It was inconceivable their schedule would be a liability in August, though those same letdown seasons from opponents contributed to their thus far undefeated season.
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