For now, the upset means we’re likely headed towards an SEC-free national championship game. This will anger some in the South, so I’ll take this time to remind you that the SEC’s record this year against the other BCS conferences is an incredibly dominant 4-5. Yes, the SEC has a losing record against the other top conferences in college football in 2011.
The bottom of the SEC has struggled considerably both in and out of conference — Auburn lost to Clemson, Vanderbilt to Northwestern, Kentucky to Louisville (and also to Western Kentucky), Ole Miss to Texas, and Arkansas to Rutgers (and also Louisiana-Lafayette). The positive side of the ledger isn’t all that impressive, unfortunately. Sure, Tennessee beat N.C. State, which would be impressive if not for the fact that the Wolfpack are 68th in the SRS. Yes, LSU beat Washington at home, but it’s LSU against the 8th best team in the Pac-12. Missouri over Arizona State and Alabama over Michigan are basically the two nonconference games the SEC can hang its hat on.
If Oregon wins out, they seem assured of getting one of the two golden tickets to Miami. Who will get the other? Obviously an undefeated Kansas State or Notre Dame would take one of the other spots. For now, K-State is ahead in the polls and the BCS standings, and gets the benefit of playing a streaking Texas team after the Fighting Irish have hung up their cleats for the year. According to the BCS Guru, Notre Dame is the clear third wheel.
But what if both Kansas State and Notre Dame lose? At that point, a one-loss SEC Champ — presumably Alabama — likely rises to number two. To that end, Alabama’s biggest friend right now is Lane Kiffin, who could knock off both Oregon and Notre Dame if USC wins out, setting up a Kansas State-Alabama title game.
And with that, a look college football’s SRS ratings after 11 weeks:
The top 5 remained the same this week, although Oregon is now less than one point away from passing Alabama. Notre Dame, with another style points-free victory remains at 7 in the SRS ratings. Kansas State, despite not being a “sexy” team, is legit and remains at #3 in the SRS.
The table below shows this week’s results:
[table id=261 /]
- In the Big 10 race that nobody cares about, Wisconsin and Nebraska secured key victories this weekend. With the win over Purdue, the Badgers clinched the Leaders Division title with Ohio State and Penn State both ineligible. Meanwhile, Nebraska controversially defeated Penn State, and now just needs to handle Minnesota and Iowa to win the Legends Division. The Cornhuskers could even have room for error if Ohio State defeats Michigan in two weeks.
- No surprise to see A&M with the top score of of the week. Elsewhere in the SEC, Georgia and LSU took care of business against Auburn and Mississippi State. Gene Chizik’s Tigers somehow manage to look worse every week, and they haven’t even played Alabama yet. Meanwhile, Tennessee lost again, this time in overtime to Missouri. The Vols are still winless in SEC play.
- In the key Pac-12 North matchup of the day, Stanford defeated Oregon State, 27-23. Next week, the Cardinal head to Eugene with a chance to win the Pac-12 and spoil their rivals’ season. In the late game of the evening, UCLA held off Washington State and now will host USC next week with the Pac-12 South title on the line.
- Texas has quietly turned in back-to-back strong efforts, and now rates as the third best team in the Big 12. Assuming the Longhorns take care of business against TCU next week, their trip to Manhattan, Kansas on December 1st will be one of the most watched games of the season.
- Congrats to Massachusetts, which defeated Akron to get its first win of the season. That leaves just Southern Miss as the lone winless team in the FBS, and the Golden Eagles didn’t look anywhere close to breaking that streak in an embarassing performance against SMU. Only games against Texas El-Paso and Memphis remain, although neither are particularly tall hurdles.