BCS Standings: Teams with Outside Chance at National Championship Game

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2012

It takes one shocking upset to turn the BCS standings on their head, and that's exactly what the Texas A&M Aggies gave us on Saturday with their win over No. 1 Alabama.

The landscape has changed. Kansas State has risen to No. 1, followed by two more undefeated teams—Oregon and Notre Dame. Beyond that lie several teams waiting to pounce on the slightest mistake.

If history has taught us anything, things aren't over just yet. The BCS National Championship picture may look clear right now, but it takes one mistake to make that all go away.

Let's look at three teams still clinging to its outside chance of making the BCS National Championship game.


No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs

Don't sleep on this team. Georgia is very hot and cold, but this team has more than enough talent to upend Alabama in the SEC Championship game.

Prior to Saturday's loss to Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide were considered invincible by most. However, Johnny Manziel exploited the defense's weaknesses, and the Tide fell in Tuscaloosa. If Manziel can do it, don't think Aaron Murray can't.

If Georgia wants to get into the national title game, a few things will obviously have to happen. Finishing the regular season strong is the first priority and beating Alabama is No. 2.

The Bulldogs also need Notre Dame to fall to Southern California, Oregon to fall to Stanford, Oregon State or its Pac-12 Championship opponent, or Kansas State to lose to Texas or Baylor.

Yes, it's a lot, but much crazier things have happened in BCS land. The season isn't over until it's over, and Georgia will be waiting to pounce on any slip-ups.


No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide

Just like Georgia, the Crimson Tide need some help. But it's there and it's possible.

Don't expect Alabama to lose to either Western Carolina or Georgia Southern to close out the season, making Georgia the final hurdle remaining on its schedule. Beating the Bulldogs will be difficult, but the Tide have a few weeks to rest up for their next major test.

Granted, Alabama has faced a weak schedule. The SEC is rigorous, but Nick Saban's group was tested by both LSU and Texas A&M—who happened to be their two toughest opponents.

It's hard to imagine Alabama losing two games in one season. Georgia is going to bring it, because they will feel like they have something to prove, but Saban's group will come prepared.

Alabama needs the same things that Georgia does to make their BCS dreams come true, but, like the Bulldogs, those ideas aren't inconceivable.

Some anti-SEC fans may hate to see this, but the Tide aren't out of it just yet.


No. 6 Florida Gators

I know, I know, change the SEC-tuned record, but I don't make the rankings. The BCS does, and we all know how much they love the schools in the southeastern sector of the country.

Honestly, I almost slotted LSU in here after Florida barely defeated Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday, but the Gators' win over the Tigers still provides them with a decisive margin in the end.

Florida needs some really weird stuff to happen here. It's highly unlikely, but Georgia must lose to Georgia Tech. That wouldn't impact their SEC standing, but it would effect their placement in the BCS standings. That would allow Florida to move up one slot as they hope for the scenarios mentioned around Georgia and Alabama to ideally unfold.

This is more than a long shot, but the BCS is known for its madness. One loss can derail the entire thing, causing chaos when people least expect it.

Florida must get past Florida State to end the season. That's far from easy, but a win over the 10th-ranked team would give the Gators leverage with the pollsters and computers should Georgia lose.


*Standings courtesy of ESPN.com

 1. Kansas State
 2. Oregon
 3. Notre Dame
 4. Alabama
 5. Georgia
 6. Florida
 7. LSU
 8. Texas A&M
 9. South Carolina
 10. Florida State
 11. Clemson
 12. Oklahoma
 13. Stanford
 14. Nebraska
 15. Texas
 16. Oregon State
 17. UCLA
 18. USC
 19. Louisville
 20. Louisiana Tech
 21. Michigan
 22. Rutgers
 23. Texas Tech
 24. Oklahoma State
 25. Washington


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