Every Game Counts…Week 13

In my neverending quest to rail against the BCS, I am calculating week-by-week how many games this college football season really “count” (as in, influence the national title picture).

After 12 weeks, 110 of the 120 FBS teams cannot make the BCS championship (a refresher on my criteria), including, finally, Virginia Tech.

Now that we’re in the final full week of the regular season, we can see the math really cutting away at some teams that were alive last week. This is because TCU cannot finish with more than one loss, and either Alabama will finish as the best-ranked team with two losses, or Auburn will not lose two games. So, that gets rid of Virginia Tech, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. By the same logic, Michigan State, which is just marginally ahead of Alabama in the BCS, would almost certainly be passed by the Crimson Tide were it to knock off the No. 2 team in the country.

Here’s what needs to happen for the 10 remaining teams to make the title game:

1. Oregon

  • Win out

This is obviously the simplest way to get there. Oregon, unlike Auburn in my opinion, would have a hard time getting to the title game with one loss.

2. Auburn

  • Win out

AU can probably lose to Alabama and still have a shot if Oregon were to lose.

3. TCU

  • Beat New Mexico
  • Oregon or Auburn lose
  • Probably Boise State lose, as well.

It doesn’t look good for TCU’s chances to hold off Boise for the coveted third slot, which would come into play with an Oregon or Auburn loss.

4. Boise State

  • Win out
  • Oregon or Auburn lose

Boise can be No. 2 by week’s end if Alabama takes out Auburn.

5. LSU

  • Beat Arkansas
  • Oregon lose
  • Auburn lose twice
  • Voters become scared of BSU-TCU title game (or one of those teams loses)

It’s probably more likely that voters are scared of BSU and TCU in the title game than that either of those teams loses.

6. Stanford

  • Beat Oregon State
  • Oregon lose twice
  • Auburn lose to South Carolina
  • LSU lose to Arkansas
  • TCU or Boise State lose
  • Oklahoma State lose

The Cardinal basically need everyone ahead of them to lose (including Oregon twice and Auburn to USC, which might slip them behind Stanford), as well as Oklahoma State behind them. OSU would probably pass Stanford with wins over Oklahoma and Nebraska.

7. Wisconsin

  • Beat Northwestern
  • Oregon lose twice
  • Auburn lose twice
  • LSU lose to Arkansas
  • TCU or Boise State lose
  • Stanford lose to Oregon State
  • Oklahoma State lose

The Badgers just need five of the six teams ahead of them—who have combined for two losses all year—to lose seven games in the next 10 days.

8. Ohio State

  • Beat Michigan
  • Oregon lose twice
  • Auburn lose twice
  • LSU lose to Arkansas
  • TCU or Boise State lose
  • Stanford lose to Oregon State
  • Wisconsin lose to Northwestern
  • Oklahoma State lose

The Buckeyes need what Wisconsin needs, plus a Badgers’ loss to Northwestern.

9. Oklahoma State

  • Beat Oklahoma and Nebraska
  • Oregon lose twice
  • Auburn lose twice
  • LSU lose to Arkansas
  • TCU or Boise State lose

This is the OSU with a  better shot at the title game, but the Pokes still need two losses from Oregon and Auburn each.

10. Alabama

  • Beat Auburn
  • Auburn lose to South Carolina
  • Oregon lose twice
  • TCU lose to New Mexico
  • Boise State win out
  • LSU lose to Arkansas
  • Oklahoma State lose
  • Stanford lose to Oregon State
  • Wisconsin lose to Northwestern
  • Ohio State lose to Michigan

Now this takes some finagling. Alabama’s best chance is probably with Boise State at No. 1 and TCU and Michigan State as the only one-loss teams. Those are the only one-loss teams the Tide could catch.

So, The Games That Mean Something This Week:

Auburn at Alabama

Arizona at Oregon

Boise State at Nevada

Michigan at Ohio State

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

Northwestern at Wisconsin

LSU at Arkansas

Oregon State at Stanford

TCU at New Mexico

***

And so the math for this week:

54 Week 13 Games Involving FBS Teams

45 Games Between Teams with No Chance to Make Title Game

9 Week 13 Games Count

16.7% of Week 13 Games Count

***

After 12 weeks:

699 Games Played

353 Counted

50.5% of Games in 2010 Have Counted

***

74 Games Involving FBS Teams Left in 2010 Season (including conference championships)

13 Games Left in 2010 Season Count

17.6% of Games Left in 2010 Season Count

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One response to this post.

  1. […] might notice that the first question is the same line of argument that Tim used to critique the NCAA’s “Every Game Counts” slogan last season. As Wolken, and so many others argue see it, the hype surrounding Alabama-LSU comes at […]

    Reply

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