The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance…

Posted by disappointmentzone on 16 November 2007

Tonight I wrote a post about this year’s OSU-Michigan game and about how without a national title berth on the line the game would finally return to its former purity, a knock-down fight between two hated rivals for Big Ten supremacy and the right to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.

Then Oregon went out and lost to Arizona.

Now I’m playing the What If game.

There is no easy path for the Buckeyes back into the BCS Championship Game, but it’s still fun to ask: What would have to happen in order for OSU to jump back up into one of the top two spots?

Well, a bunch of teams would have to lose. Probably five of them. Any chance of that happening? Let’s take a look….

#1 LSU

Could lose at home to Arkansas, but are far more likely to lose in SEC Championship Game, a game played in Atlanta and likely against #8 Georgia. Chances of a loss: 25%

#2 Oregon

Lost to Arizona. Chances of a loss: 100%

#3 Kansas, #4 Oklahoma, #5 Missouri

One of these teams is going to go undefeated over their last few games. It’s probably in OSU’s best interest for that to be the team that’s already undefeated, Kansas. If Oklahoma and Missouri both lose to Kansas in the last few weeks of the season there is no way either Oklahoma or Missouri is going to be ranked in the BCS top two. Kansas and Missouri play in two weeks, so one of those teams is going to lose. The winner of that game will likely play Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game, who could still stumble to Oklahoma State. Chances of both OK and Missouri losing: 40%

#6 West Virginia

WVU still has to play at Cincinnati and home against Connecticut. Those are both teams WVU can beat. These are both teams WVU should beat. Chances of a loss: 10%

Overall chance of OSU sneaking back into the mix: 15%

So the outlook is a tad grim, but it’s certainly brighter than it was two days ago.

Of course, with Oregon losing a whole bunch of programs are probably turning to the rankings to see what their chances are, so it’s worth looking backwards as well: Could anyone sneak past the Buckeyes?

I doubt it.

The only team with any hope is Georgia. Knocking off LSU would be a huge win — far bigger than any win on OSU’s resume — but it’s hard to imagine the voters putting a two-loss team in the BCS Championship game ahead of a one-loss BCS conference champion. Right now Arizona State only has one loss, but they were killed by Oregon and still have to play USC. Neither of those things bode well for their chances. Virginia Tech (two losses), USC (two losses), and Florida (three losses) round off the BCS top 12. None of these team has any shot whatsoever.

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2 Responses to “So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance…”

  1. Ryan A said

    I don’t usually get into these conversations because I honestly could care less as long as we beat the bad guys from up north. But, don’t rule out the possibility of OSU passing WVA IF they both win out. The margin was close this week in the BCS and we’re two spots behind them in the polls. If the other teams lose we’d move up (say #3 to their #2) and we’d have the ammunition to jump them in the BCS.

    I could see a scenario where LSU loses (to UGA), two of the three Big 12 teams lose (say Kansas stays undefeated and beats the other two) and OSU beats michigan and jumps ahead of WVA (and I really think UC has a chance against WVA anyway).

    That would leave, 1. Kansas, 2. WVA and 3. OSU in the polls, with OSU looking like a legit threat to jump the Mountaneers in the BCS.

    I really think the Oregon loss was huge.

    But honestly, who cares?

    Go Bucks! Beat michigan!!

  2. OSU does have a good lead over WVU in the BCS computer rankings. I didn’t really look at the AP (because I’m an idiot) but if OSU is two spots behind them and can make up one spot…yeah, that could be enough for OSU to leapfrog WVU. I just worry that the computers are going to love WVU beating two ranked teams and that’s going to close the computer gap too much. Michigan really needed to beat Wisconsin last week.

    We want Kansas to go undefeated, right? That’s what I was thinking last night.

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