Thinking through National Championship scenarios

(without involving anything too farfetched, such as Jacksonville upsetting Florida the same week that Georgia Southern beats Georgia)

First of all, I’m making three very important presumptions here:

If a team experiences two losses, they will not be in the game if there is a undefeated team available because the BCS does not want to deal with the fallout a mere year before they introduce a flawed playoff system.

One loss teams outside of the SEC are likely to get jumped except those already ranked ahead of us.

SEC teams must have two losses for us to advance.


In the SEC there are 3 teams left standing according to my rules:

Alabama (undefeated): upcoming games:

16 Texas A+M (7-2)

Auburn (rivalry) (2-7)

W Carolina (FCS)

SEC championship (more likely than not)

Georgia (1 loss):

Auburn (2-7)

Georgia Southern (FCS)

GA Tech (rivalry) (4-5)

SEC championship (more likely than not)

Florida (1 loss):

LA-Lafayette (5-3)

Jacksonville (FCS)

9 Florida State (8-1)

It is unlikely, but possible, that all teams in the SEC could obtain two loss status.

The most likely way for that to happen is Alabama would lose to Texas A+M and still make it to the SEC championship game.

Georgia would lose to GA Tech, go to SEC championship game.

Florida would lose to Florida State, obtaining second loss.

Georgia, with two losses, gives Alabama second loss.

More likely:

Alabama wins out, Georgia goes to SEC championship game with 11-1 record and loses to ‘Bama resulting in a 2 loss record.

Alabama plays for national championship.

Florida loses to Florida State.

Florida and Georgia must lose one more game each, or Alabama must lose 2 and either Florida and Georgia must lose one.

7 = Rank of Louisville according to the more likely scenario of Alabama losing less than 2 games and assuming my rules are correct.

6 = Alabama obtains two losses to match Georgia and Florida. We will use option 1 going forward.

ACC playout:

FSU and Clemson have already played each other this season and are in same division.

Remaining games:


Virginia Tech (4-5)

Maryland (4-5)

7 Florida (8-1)


Maryland (4-5)

NC State (5-4)

12 South Carolina (8-2)

We need FSU to beat Florida for the most likely SEC scenario to play out. It’s unlikely that Maryland beats anyone the rest of the season due to their deplorable QB situation, and I don’t think NC State will pull out the upset again this season.

Most likely scenario in our favor: FSU wins out, Clemson loses to South Carolina. At this point, FSU is in ACC title game against either North Carolina(6-3) or Miami (5-4). We prefer the Tar Heels because it’ll help our strength of schedule, but it doesn’t really matter as long as FSU loses.

5 = our rank at this point.

The remaining undefeated teams =


Cal (3-7)

14 Stanford (7-2)

11 Oregon State (rivalry) (7-1)

(possible PAC 12 championship game against UCLA or USC)

Notre Dame:

Boston College (2-7)

Wake Forest (5-4)

17 USC (rivalry) (6-3)

Kansas State:

TCU (6-3)

Baylor (4-4)

23 Texas (7-2)

Honestly, if all three of these teams lose, we’re good.

However, I’m guessing maybe a 50% chance each for Oregon and Notre Dame to lose one of their final three (they’ve got rivalry games coming up and some of their flaws are starting to be exposed). Notre Dame can’t score, and USC can. Oregon can score fast – but as long as you score once every time Oregon does and get one more stop than they do, you can win. USC almost pulled that one off last week; after Oregon’s first two scores, USC got itself together and paced Oregon in scoring for the rest of the game.

I don’t know if anyone will get lucky and beat Kansas.

So – it’s a possibility. There is a way that doesn't involve insane upsets.

I just don’t know how likely it is.

Oh yeah, and we have to win out.

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