The first BCS rankings came out a couple a few weeks ago, but they mean very little to this point. There is so much football left to be played.
That said, every week team emerge from the pack, set themselves apart, and start making statements. We all know every team's goal is to make a BCS bowl game, and every big conference is to make the BCS championship game. We know that unless every other team in the nation gets 3 losses, a small conference team won't be in the big game, so with that in mind, there are 11 team at this point that still have a shot at playing for the crystal football. Me being a college football dork, I have come up with my list of teams, in order of how likely they are to play for the big game, and here they are.
The Teams that control their own destiny.
Big Wins: Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State.
Remaining Schedule: @tech, Baylor, @Kansas, Texas A&M. Big 12 Championship game.
Breakdown: If they win out, they will be in, but its no lock. You never know what Tech is going to throw at them this week, and watch out for traveling to Kansas, they can still play. They would have to lose twice to not make the Big 12 champ game(unless its only once to Tech, and they go undefeated or lose only once), and More than likely they will get Missouri in the Big 12 champ game again. All of these things make it clear that if Texas can survive, they are in the big game.
Big Wins: Clemson, @Georgia, @Tennessee,
Remaining Schedule: Arkansas State, @LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, SEC Championship Game.
Breakdown: 3 games left that they could lose, @LSU, Auburn, and the SEC Championship game vs. either Florida or a rematch with Georgia. In the SEC, you never really know what team is going to come bite you in the ass, so causes optimism is the feeling for Bamma right now. If they do it, you can't keep out a 12-0 SEC team. One loss to LSU or Auburn will still have them playing for the SEC title, and if other teams lose, they could still sneak in, but its doubtful.
Texas Tech 8-0
Big Wins: Kansas.
Remaining schedule: - Texas, Oklahoma State, @Oklahoma, Baylor. B12CC
Breakdown: While they hold all the cards in their hands, they are now entering the meat of their schedule. The win over Kansas showed they can play with good teams, but Kansas is no Texas, or Oklahoma. They are a long shot, but if they go the distance, they will be in the BCS game with out help from anybody.
Teams that need a little help.
Penn State 9-0
Big Wins: @Wisconsin, @Ohio State,
Remaining Schedule: @Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State
Breakdown: So far, Penn State has done everything in its power to prove its a legit contender, but the failings of Ohio State the past two BCS Championship games will hurt them. The Big 10 isn't nearly as competitive as the Big 12 or SEC, but still they can only play who is on their Schedule, and so far, they have beaten them all. The only real "tuff" game left is home to Michigan State the last game of season. To get in, they need a loss from two of these teams, Texas, Alabama, Texas Tech, and they may also need a loss from the winner of Florida and Georgia. The reason for that is alot of people will put in a one loss SEC team over an undefeated Big 10 team. Whether its right or wrong, it might happen.
Big Wins: @Tennessee, LSU,
Key loss: Mississippi
Remaining Schedule: @Georgia, @Vanderbilt, south Carolina, citadel, @Florida State, SEC Champ.
Breakdown: If they win the next two weeks, they are in the SEC Champ game, and could get a shot at number 2 Bamma. If they win out, they will have wins over 3 top ten teams and Florida State, which is a much more impressive resume than the Penn State, and could jump in front of them if that happens. To be on the safe side, they will need Penn State to lose one of their finial 3 games, and then win out, and they should be in.
Big Wins: @Arizona State, Vanderbilt, @lsu,
Key loss: Alabama
Remaining Schedule: Florida, @Kentucky, @auburn, Georgia tech, SEC Champ.
Break Down: Same thing, to a T, as Florida. They win out, including a win in the rematch over Bamma in the SEC Champ game, coupled with a Penn State loss, they are in fo sho.
Big Wins: Ohio State, Oregon, @Arizona
Key Loss: Oregon State
Remaining Schedule: Washington, California, @Stanford, Notre Dame, @UCLA
Breakdown: For the Trojans to get in, they need to win out, and then one of the following needs to happen: Texas Losses to someone in the Big 12 Champ game and Penn State drops one, Bamma drops losses to a 2 loss team in the SEC champ game, and Penn State drops one. There could be a few more, but those are two most likely scenarios.
Lots of help
Big Wins: TCU, Kansas
Key loss: Texas
Remaing Schedule: Nebraska, @Texas a&m, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Big 12 Champ.
Breakdown: They still have small shot at the Big 12 Championship game, but Texas would have to lose twice. If they did, that's really the only shot Oklahoma has to get back to the BCS championship game.
Oklahoma state 7-1
Big Wins: @Missouri
Key loss: Texas
Remaining Schedule: Iowa State, @Texas Tech, @Colorado, Oklahoma, Big 12 Champ.
Breakdown: Same as Oklahoma. They still have a shot, but they need Texas to lose twice, and then win out to have any shot at the BCS Champ Game.
Dark Horse long shot.
Florida State 6-1
Big Wins: @Miami, Virginia Tech
Key loss: Wake Forest
Remaining Schedule: @Georgia Tech, Clemson, Boston college, @Maryland, Florida, ACC Champ.
Breakdown: The only reason this team has a shot, is they play Florida at the end of the year. For them to get to the game, they would have to win out, have USC, and Penn State lose, and have Florida win out except for the game against them, beat Bamma in the SEC champ game, and probably have Texas lose in the Big 12 champ game. Its a long shot, but that's why they are the dark horse.
Lots of things are going to happen between now and when we find out who will be playing a week after the first. My best guess right now is its going to be Texas vs. Florida, with Penn State pissed off with an undefeated season. But then again, i had West Virginia vs. Oregon in the BCS game at this point last year. Gonna be a good weekend.