Maybe I can't count, but I can relay simple information and make wild prognostications based on them...
First, the SEC rankings:
Texas A&M 90.8
South Carolina 87
Mississippi State 79.68
Ole Miss 78.82
Which will give us the following projected season...
* - Georgia 7-1 (wins tie-breaker over Florida)
South Carolina 6-2
* - Alabama 8-0
Texas A&M 5-3
Mississippi State 5-3
Ole Miss 4-4
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: Alabama (-17) over Georgia
And now, for news around the country...
ACC CHAMPION: Florida State (11-2, losing a close one at home to Florida, and in doing so losing any backdoor path to the Big Dance)
BIG EAST CHAMPION: Rutgers (11-1 with a close win over Louisville at home, that loss to Kent State this week will be huge, as it will keep Rutgers below either the MAC or MWC champ, meaning the Big East loses it automatic bid)
BIG TEN CHAMPION: Nebraska (11-2, knocking Wisconsin from the "someone has to win this" division down to 9-4)
BIG 12 CHAMPION: Kansas State (12-0, no one is left on the schedule that can beat this team; unfortunately, now their strength of schedule is going to suffer in comparison to Oregon's, especially with the Ducks having a championship game)
PAC 12 CHAMPION: Oregon (13-0, with wins against #11 Oregon State, #14 Stanford, #17 USC, and the Pac-12 South champ upcoming; with the Ducks .0264 points behind Kansas State despite being ranked #2 in both the Harris and USA Today polls, Oregon's going to have to sweet talk the computers to punch their ticket)
NON-AQ: Notre Dame (12-0, with a tough game at USC as their last chance to sway the humans into giving them the #2 spot), UCF (9-4, splitting two games with Tulsa, no showcase win to go BCS busting with), Northern Illinois (12-1, a one-point loss to Iowa was all that kept this from being a pretty magical season for everyone's favorite MACtion film stars), Boise State (11-1, likely to steal the Big East's AQ bid by default), Louisiana-Monroe (10-2, what could have been...), Utah State (10-2, can only spoil Louisiana Tech's Cinderella story at this point)
So, what about the BCS? The standings so far are pretty close:
BCS Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings RK TEAM AVG PVS RK PTS % RK PTS % AVG A&H RB CM KM JS PW % 1 Alabama .9759 1 1 2868 .9976 1 1475 1.0000 3 3 1 2 3 7 3 .930 2 Kansas State .9400 3 3 2656 .9238 3 1366 .9261 1 1 3 3 2 1 1 .970 3 Notre Dame .9147 5 4 2553 .8880 4 1307 .8861 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 .970 4 Oregon .9136 4 2 2725 .9478 2 1391 .9431 5 4 4 5 5 8 5 .850 5 LSU .8163 6 5 2382 .8285 5 1225 .8305 6 8 5 8 6 4 6 .790
Meaning, to project further, you have to project how the chips (and the humans) will respond to coming events. Right now, the human polls by consensus have the Top 4 ranked Alabama - Oregon - Kansas State - Notre Dame, where as the computers have them ranked Kansas State/Notre Dame (tie) - Alabama - Florida(!) - Oregon. The model is predicting the top 4 to win out and win out handily (closest games: Alabama over LSU by 13, Oregon over Oregon State by 3, Kansas State over TCU by 11, Notre Dame over USC by 7). Unless one of those games gets ugly, I highly doubt the humans will change their minds (as that would require them to both (a) punish a team for not running up the score and (b) admit they were wrong), so I'd wager all 4 stay the same, Alabama - Oregon - Kansas State - Notre Dame.
The humans are 2/3's of the BCS vote, so that's probably all she wrote. But just in case K-State makes a late surge in the Harris or USA Today polls, the Ducks have the advantage of the Pac-12 championship game. Also, the backend of Oregon's schedule is much tougher than K-State's; while K-State has played the 15th toughest schedule so far (compared to Oregon's 102nd), the Ducks will play the 7th toughest schedule going forward (compared to K-State's 22nd). The gap between Oregon and the top two in the chips is 0.12; if the Ducks can narrow that to 0.04 (which, with a 13th game and their superior SoS on the backend, seems to me quite likely), they could wrest away the #2 spot.
The fly in this green and yellow ointment, however, is Notre Dame; they too have a backloaded schedule (although not as much as Oregon's: #59 so far, #12 moving forward). They also have the advantage of a healthy lead in the chips, although Oregon is likely to eat into that as they are eating into K-State's lead. They do have the possibility of a head-to-head comparison: if they can beat USC more convincingly than Oregon does, I think the humans will give the edge to the Irish. Then again, Oregon is likely to get two bites at the Trojan thanks to the Pac-12 Championship Game.
So, how the heck do I expect this knot to get untangled?
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP: Alabama (-8) over Oregon
FIESTA BOWL: Notre Dame (-1) over Kansas State
SUGAR BOWL: Florida (-11) over Boise State
ORANGE BOWL: Florida State (-12) over Rutgers
ROSE BOWL: Stanford (-4) over Nebraska
Update 10/30: OH BOY DID I GET THIS WRONG THE FIRST TIME AROUND. No, AQ conference champions cannot lose their AQ bid, even if another conference champ is ranked higher. Let's try this again.
#1 Bama vs #2 Oregon. K-State to the Fiesta, FSU to the Orange, Nebraska to the Rose. Sugar goes first, and probably does the math: Rutgers, Boise State, and Notre Dame all have to get bids, so with only two at-large bids they cannot be too cute by half. They take Florida and hope for the best. Rose Bowl goes next, but their lineup is set, so they still take Stanford. Fiesta snatches Notre Dame, and Sugar is left with an ugly choice: Boise State or Rutgers. They take the better football product (Boise State), and leave Orange with another disappointing ACC vs BIg East snooze fest.
OK, *now* what did I get wrong?
Roscoe, your biggest miss was...
K-State missing the BCSNCG (1 vote)
Notre Dame missing the BCSNCG (7 votes)
Georgia getting snubbed by the Sugar Bowl (3 votes)
LSU getting snubbed by the Sugar Bowl (1 vote)
Rutgers winning (and, in doing so, screwing) the Big East (2 votes)
FSU losing at home to the Gators (0 votes)
Oregon winning out (2 votes)
K-State winning out (0 votes)
Notre Dame winning out (3 votes)
Nebraska squeaking through a depleted Big Ten (2 votes)
Stanford stumbling its way into a BCS bowl (0 votes)
Boise State stumbling its way into a BCS bowl (1 vote)
continuing to do this every week (3 votes)
nada, you got everything right (unlikely...) (0 votes)
other, please specify (1 vote)
26 total votes