Time for this week’s edition of the BCS Watch. The fourth BCS standings come out Sunday night and the BCS watch continues. Each week TheClemsonInsider.com will take a look at the battle for the Bowl Championship Series.
The Tigers were ranked No. 13 in last week’s BCS rankings as they were once again hurt by the computer rankings. Clemson is up to No. 8 this week in the USA Today Coaches Poll which is one third of the BCS. Last week the Tigers were No. 9 in the Harris Poll. Clemson continues to be hurt by the computer rankings, but made some progress on that front last week.
Heading into the final three weeks of the season Clemson has positioned itself to where if they can win out they will will almost certainly be headed to the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl.
The easiest path for Clemson to make the BCS is for the Tigers to once again win the Atlantic Coast Conference. For that to happen Florida State must lose another conference game and the Tigers must win their remaining conference games.
Florida State has two ACC road games remaining. On Nov. 8 the ‘Noles play at Virginia Tech on Thursday night. They finish the ACC schedule at Maryland on Nov. 17. The best shot for a Florida State loss is the Thursday night game at Virginia Tech. If the ‘Noles win that one they likely will head to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. We will likely know Thursday night if Clemson will have a shot to win another ACC Title and go back to the Orange Bowl.
The path to an at-large BCS bid for the Tigers improved again this weekend. With Boise State’s loss Saturday night they are now out of the picture.
If the Tigers don’t win the ACC they could still make the BCS if they get an at-large bid. In order to do that Clemson will need to win its remaining regular season games. If the Tigers win out there is no doubt they would be ranked high enough in the BCS rankings to be eligible for an at-large bid.
There could be two or possibly three BCS at-large bids depending on which teams go to the BCS Championship game. If Oregon were to win out and go to the BCS Championship game there possibly could be three at-large bids. If the Pac-12 or Big Ten champion is picked for the BCS National Championship Game, then the Rose Bowl must choose the highest-ranked school from a non-AQ conference instead of the respective conference’s No. 2 team if there is a non-AQ school ranked at least No. 4 in the final BCS standings.
One thing to remember is that only two teams from any AQ conference can make the BCS.
Notre Dame appears to be on its way to being eligible for the BCS. Even a two loss Notre Dame team would get strong consideration for a BCS bid and would likely get selected over Clemson. If Oregon makes the Championship game look for Notre Dame to play in the Rose Bowl.
Should the SEC or Big 12 have a team quailfy for the BCS Chammpionship game, then it will have two teams qualify for the BCS, which will still leave two at large bids.
The road for the Tigers to get an at-large BCS bid, if there are only two bids has improved. If there end up being three at-large positions an 11-1 Clemson team is almost a lock. Even if there are only at-large spots in the Fiesta and Sugar Notre Dame and Clemson appear to be the leaders for those two spots.
With Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible for the BCS we can already predict that the Big Ten will only have one BCS team this year.
Go to this link to see the BCS selection procedures.
TCI breaks down the BCS contenders and long shots from each conference:
Alabama 9-0 (Nov. 10 hosts Texas A&M)
Florida 7-2 (Nov. 24 at Florida State)
LSU 7-2 (Nov. 10 hosts Mississippi State)
Georgia 8-1 (Nov. 24 hosts Georgia Tech)
Kansas State 9-0 (Dec. 1 hosts Texas)
Oklahoma 6-2 (Nov. 17 at West Virginia, Nov. 24 hosts Oklahoma State)
Oregon 9-0 (Nov. 17 hosts Stanford, Nov. 24 at Oregon State)
Oregon State 7-1 (Nov. 10 at Stanford, Nov. 24 at Oregon)
Notre Dame 9-0 (Nov. 24 at USC)
No Serious Contenders for at-large bids.