One-Loss SEC Team Should Ultimately Jump Ohio State Buckeyes in BCS

By Tim Letcher

The Bowl Championship Series, which is in its final season, has always created a lot of discussion about the game of college football. While the “powers that be” behind the scenes will not admit such, they are thrilled when people are talking about the college game, whether it’s good or bad. The BCS Standings have always provided plenty of ammunition for those wanting to argue for or against a certain team.

So, in the final year of the BCS, why not give fans something else to argue about. It says here that a one-loss Southeastern Conference team should play in the BCS National Championship ahead of the undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes. That’s right, a team with a flaw should play in the game before a flawless team.

Having said that, there are some qualifiers that go with that statement. First and foremost, a one-loss Alabama Crimson Tide will not make the BCS National Championship. It simply won’t happen because of when the Tide’s loss would occur (either this weekend to the Auburn Tigers or in the SEC Championship Game to the Missouri Tigers or the South Carolina Gamecocks), there would be no time for ‘Bama to bounce back. So they are out. Unless they go undefeated, of course, then they are most definitely in.

That leaves just Auburn and Missouri as one-loss SEC possibilities. Auburn, which is currently fourth in the BCS Standings, would need to add a win over the BCS Number One (Alabama), and over the BCS Number Five (Missouri) to make the title game. It seems like a tall task, but if they can pull it off, they would have more quality wins in two weeks than Ohio State has had all season.

For Missouri, the scenario plays out as follows. The Tigers hope that Alabama beats Auburn on Saturday, while Mizzou is beating the Texas A&M Aggies, thus moving Missouri to the fourth place slot in the BCS Standings. The following weekend, Missouri upsets top-ranked Alabama, giving them another quality win and, from a Missouri perspective, hopefully enough to jump Ohio State.

Ohio State fans do not want to hear this argument. They say that if their team is one of two unbeatens at the end of the season, they should be playing for a national championship. And, in a vacuum, that is a legitimate argument. However, let’s see how Ohio State would fare against the schedules of Auburn and Missouri, and vice versa.

The Buckeyes, against Auburn’s schedule, would likely have three losses at the end of the regular season: at the LSU Tigers, at Texas A&M and to Alabama at home. It just doesn’t seem likely that Ohio State would win in any of those games, with two tough road venues as well as facing the nation’s best team.

Against the Missouri schedule, Ohio State would have a little more luck. Giving them wins at the Ole Miss Rebels and at home against A&M (neither of which would be easy), the Buckeyes would lose two games: at the Georgia Bulldogs and to South Carolina. Remember, Georgia was much healthier when the Buckeyes would have faced them, and South Carolina is a Top 10 team in the BCS that won at Missouri.

Looking at the Ohio State schedule, both Auburn and Missouri would likely be undefeated against that slate. The only challenging game, in reality, is the home contest against the Wisconsin Badgers. Both Auburn and Missouri would beat Wisconsin.

Since this scenario only includes the regular season, the Big Ten Championship game against the Michigan State Spartans is not included. However, it says here that Auburn and Missouri would both beat the Spartans on a neutral field.

Taking all of this into account, it makes sense that, if the BCS wants the two best teams to play for the national championship, and if Alabama loses, that a one-loss Auburn or Missouri should play for the title ahead of an undefeated Ohio State. Fire away, Buckeye fans.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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