Alabama is Back in Driver's Seat for BCS Title Game

Donald FincherAnalyst IOctober 24, 2010

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 23:  Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball during the SEC game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Well, that didn't take long. 

I predicted two weeks ago, after the loss to South Carolina, that Alabama would play in the BCS title game—and I went further out on the proverbial limb and said that they wouldn't even need any help beyond the guarantee that they would get to take out the LSU/Auburn winner themselves and that either OU or Nebraska would lose because they would eventually play each other in the Big 12 championship game (if they didn't each drop a game before then).

I predicted that a 12-win 'Bama team, albeit with a loss, had a better body of work than a 12-win Ohio State or Oregon team that didn't.  'Bama would have 12 wins by virtue of the SEC championship game where neither Ohio State or Oregon would have that extra game, and this would put 'Bama over the top with equal wins and a much tougher schedule. 

Therefore, in the "don't need anyone to lose" scenario, I also predicted they would leapfrog Michigan State, Boise and TCU and meet Oregon.

Well, here we are, only two weeks later and a lot has happened.  Ohio State no longer stands in the way.  And neither does Nebraska OR Oklahoma.  As such, 'Bama should move up two spots tomorrow putting them at No. 6 in the BCS standings.  Oklahoma will drop below Alabama and so will LSU.

Remember, all Alabama needs to do is reach No. 2, not No. 1.  That would be four more spots.  Here is how that happens.

Auburn: For this scenario to happen, Alabama has to win out which means they would remove Auburn along the way.

Michigan State: If Alabama and Michigan State both win out, they will both have 12 wins (again because the SEC has a title game and the Big Ten doesn't).  But it won't take until the end of the season.  'Bama will jump them upon beating Auburn, if not before—and the odds of Michigan State going unbeaten are slim.

Boise and TCU: The computers are hating these teams' schedules more each week.  Consequently, 'Bama's schedule still includes Auburn, LSU and the SEC championship game and will keep improving.  If 'Bama wins 12 and so does Boise and TCU, 'Bama will jump these teams...even with a loss.

Two weeks ago, after the South Carolina loss, 'Bama was projected at No. 10 had the BCS standings come out the week earlier.  There's only been two teams to come from outside the initial BCS top six. 

Guess what!  They both came from the SEC...Florida in 2006 and LSU in 2007.  When Alabama was a projected No. 10, they needed to move up eight spots.  Now, two weeks later, they already have cut that in half. 

At this point, 'Bama now only needs to move up four spots.  If they move up two before the SEC championship game, are then sitting at No. 4 and win it convincingly, you can book them to Glendale.