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Travis's Blog

Path to Miami Volume 2

In the second edition of the BCS Standings, the Ducks get passed by Kansas State and Oregon State moves up a spot to 7.  No reason to be concerned Duck fans, still a lot of football to be played, and I still find it hard to believe K State will be ahead of Oregon at the end of the season, even if both are unbeaten.  I will explain what it will take for each team to get to the BCS Title Game, with predictions at the end.

1 - ALABAMA -BCS AVG: .9625 (7-0) Remaining Schedule: Miss St, @LSU, Texas A&M, Western Carolina, Auburn, SEC Title Game @ Atlanta

Aalabama has three tough games back to back, and then a game against either Florida or Georgia in the conference title game.  Can they do it? Well, if anyone can, it's the tide.  Their passing game is the best it's been in a long time, I'm still not sold on their run game, and their defense is outstanding.  They face a Mississippi State team Saturday that has the best offense in school history, but it's hard to know what to make of the Bulldogs, their best win is over Tennessee.  Then, it's off to Baton Rouge to see LSU who isn't last year's team, but still very good, and Zach Mettenberger is starting to play up to what was expected. Once that's done... they host Texas A&M.  Say what you will about Bama's schedule up to this point, but it's about to get real. 

2 - FLORIDA - BCS Avg: .9310 (7-0) Sked: Georgia, Missouri, ULL, Jacksonville State, @ Florida State, SEC Title Game @ Atlanta (Likely vs Alabama)
Florida crushed South Carolina 44-11 on Saturday, but they were helped out from some really bad self inflicted turnovers. Florida's offense was awful in the first half of that game. They had 2 first downs in the first half.  All 3 of their scoring drives in the first half were less than 30 yards.  Florida is very good, not great, and still has some glaring issues passing the football.  Brent Pease was extremely creative with his play calling, and this team is still trying to adjust to the spread from a more pro style offense, and they just aren't cohesive yet. I'm not sitting here telling you Florida isn't deserving of being #2 because I'm a Pac-12 homer.  Florida IS deserving of being #2 right now...3 at worst.  But they won't be there at the end of the year.  If they beat Georgia Saturday, they clinch a spot in the SEC title game.

3 - KANSAS STATE - BCS Avg: .9111 (7-0) Sked: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, @TCU, @ Baylor, Texas

K State fans are rooting for Oklahoma this week.  Why? Oklahoma is their best win, especially after seeing how badly West Virginia has been exposed the last couple of weeks.  If the Sooners lose, it drops their strength of schedule, if they win, they stay right up there in the top 10, and it knocks Notre Dame from the ranks of the unbeaten.  Kansas State really should go undefeated. They don't have a ton of defense, nobody in the Big 12 does, but these are all very winnable games, and Collin Klein is establishing himself as a Heisman favorite.  Even if the Wildcats run the table, Duck fans, and Beaver fans for that matter, shouldn't be too concerned. I'll explain below.

4 - OREGON - BCS Avg: .8966 (7-0) Sked: Colorado, @USC, @CAL, Stanford, @ Oregon State, Pac 12 Title Game

Oregon obviously has to win all of their games, if they do there is a great chance they get to Miami if they do that, regardless of what everyone else does.  Here's why for each team: Bama/Florida - if they run the table they face each other in the SEC title game, one will lose. Kansas State - Oregon's strength of schedule raises up quite a few notches after Colorado. Outside of Cal on the road, everyone else on their schedule is likely to be ranked, and fairly highly.  Factor in they do play a conference title game, and would have beaten USC twice most likely, and Kansas State does not have a conference title game, they would get the extra boost.  Notre Dame: See below. 

5 - NOTRE DAME - BCS Avg: .8512 (7-0) Sked: @Oklahoma, Pitt, @ BC, Wake Forest, @USC

3 wins here easily.... or at least should be. 3 AWFUL teams.  Oklahoma should be interesting.  The Sooners can score at will, but don't play much defense. The Irish can't score, and have an outstanding defense.  I just find it very hard to believe they will beat Oklahoma AND USC on the road, and I think most people will agree.  They can't compete offensively with either school, and BYU was able to put up 2 touchdowns after Notre Dame hadn't allowed an offensive TD in over a month.  I have to think they will allow 1 or 2 sustained drives and 1 or 2 big plays in each game.  They won't be able to overcome that.  IF they do, their schedule isn't easy, but it doesn't match up with Oregon. 

6 - LSU - BCS Avg: .7862 (7-1) - Sked: Alabama, Miss St, Ole Miss, @ Arkansas, SEC Title Game

LSU still has a shot. If they beat Alabama, and run the table, get revenge against Florida in the conference championship, and get some help.... 2 of the 3... Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame lose, they will be the best 1 loss team, and get in.  

7 - OREGON STATE - BCS Avg: .7421 (6-0) - Sked: @ Washington, Arizona State, @ Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Oregon, Nicholls State/Pac 12 Title Game
The Beavers are finding ways to win.  Saturday was ugly, but what when they have 4 takeaways, and don't turn the ball over, they can beat anyone, even Oregon.  Where Oregon State gets in trouble on the field is when they match up with teams with a lot of speed, Oregon and USC. Arizona was able to go toe to toe with the Beavers on offense, I think Oregon and USC can do that farily easily, as long as they don't turn the ball over.  They don't have USC on the schedule so that would be in the conference championship, at home.  As far as the math is concerned, they get into trouble. Because USC isn't scheduled, they only have the chance to beat them once.  This is of course assuming OSU runs the table.  The ranked teams they would have beaten would be Oregon, Stanford,  USC, and now Wisconsin who has crept back in at #24.  Great wins, but not enough to pass Alabama/FloridaKansas State, or Notre Dame.  If the Beavs are 1 of 2 unbeatens, that's the only way they get to Miami, they have to get some help.

8 - OKLAHOMA - BCS Avg: .7142 (5-1) - Sked: Notre Dame, @ Iowa State, Baylor, @ WVU, Oklahoma State, @ TCU

No chance at playing for the title.  IF there aren't 2 unbeatens, any SEC school would get in over the Sooners, so would Oregon, USC or Notre Dame. Again, no conference title game really hurts if it comes down to that.  

9 - USC - BCS Avg: .5767 (6-1) - Sked: @ Arizona, Oregon, Arizona State, @ UCLA, Notre Dame, Pac 12 Title Game

If they beat Oregon twice, and Notre Dame, they may have a chance with some help. And by some, I mean a LOT.  There would have to be no unbeaten teams, then they could get in over Kansas State, Oklahoma, Notre Dame (who could have 2 losses).  

10 - GEORGIA - BCS Avg: .5379 (6-1) - Sked: Florida, Ole Miss, @ Auburn, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech

Running the table for the Dawgs means a win over #2 Florida, and likely a win over #1 Alabama in the SEC title game.  The rest of their schedule is very weak.. No Bama or LSU in the regular season.  There really is no chance.  

OTHER UNBEATEN TEAMS IN BCS TOP 25 - 11 Mississippi State (7-0), 15 Rutgers (6-0), 16 Louisville (6-0), Ohio (7-0)
Mississippi State still has Bama and LSU on the road, and Texas A&M at home. The Rutgers and Louisville play each other at the end of the season, and have as much of a chance at playing in the title game as Ohio does. 

Once again, it's simple.  Wait and see.  It's easy to say Alabama is the best team, and will be unbeaten, but that schedule is so difficult. I think they do, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if they lose.  Florida will lose to Alabama.  Kansas State will probably go undefeated, I really think so. I also think Oregon does as well.  I see Notre Dame losing twice.  I think Oregon State makes it through with 1 loss, to Oregon, but if they have an overall offensive effort like they did against Utah, they could lose any of their remaining games.  Especially Stanford on the road.  So what do I think happens?

Title game: Oregon vs Alabama; Kansas State goes to Fiesta Bowl; Florida in Sugar Bowl; Oregon State vs Wisconsin rematch in the Rose Bowl; I don't care what happens in the Big East and the ACC, and neither does anyone else. 
For more, tune in to Travis & Wilcox weekdays Noon-3 pacific on ESPN Sports Radio 1080 The FAN, and the 1080 The FAN app.

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10/21/2012 11:53PM
Path to Miami Volume 2
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