BCS Rankings Reaction: Are Ducks in Position for National Championship?


There weren’t many surprises in the BCS rankings again today after projections were released earlier today that the Oregon Ducks would move to third ahead of Notre Dame.

Nov 3, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Kenjon Barner (24) receives congratulations from offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu (55) and receiver Will Murphy (89) after Barner scored a touchdown against the Southern California Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Oregon defeated USC, 62-51. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

After Alabama was able to survive in the final minutes against LSU in Death Valley, the top four teams in order are: Alabama, Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame. With the difference between the Irish and Georgia Bulldogs at a large 8.79 percent, the race to the national title is clearly these four teams.

For people that said a playoff would ruin the rest of the regular season, they would point to this immediately. But as these four schools have been narrowed down for weeks now, that didn’t stop the fun on Saturday night with all these teams trying to survive.

The biggest surprise was likely Alabama’s continued dominance at the top. In the human polls, Alabama remained as the unanimous number one team. They remain 6.39 percent ahead of Kansas State. To put that margin in perspective, even if the Crimson Tide gave up as many points as Oregon did against USC the rest of the way, they would still be a lock for the national championship.

A trend in ranking teams has always been, “what have you done for me lately?” Notre Dame’s narrow win against Pittsburgh clearly shows that if they don’t dominate these awful teams down the stretch before USC, they will be shut of the title game. As of right now, that triple-overtime win might as well count as a loss – they can’t get into a title game unless one of the trio at the top lose.

The Big 12 overall is a stronger conference in the computers’ eyes than the Pac-12, but if Stanford and Oregon State don’t lose before meeting Oregon, there’s enough SOS that the computers will match the humans’ vote if the Ducks run the table. All Oregon needs to do is avoid the proverbial trap game at California this Saturday.

Every single game in November is huge for Oregon. Win the month, and they’ll likely be playing for a national title for the second time in three years.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Iowa State blog, Clones Confidential, and Lacrosse the Web.