annoying amusing to hear college football fans across the country screaming about the atrocities of the BCS before the season’s even close to complete.
This week, undefeated Kansas State passed undefeated Oregon for No. 3 in the BCS, and that of course turned into the biggest college football talking point of the week.
“How could you put K-State ahead of Oregon?” “Do they deserve it?” “What happens if they both finish undefeated?” “Who will be ahead then?” “What happens if Notre Dame goes undefeated, too?” “OMG WHAT HAPPENS IF EVERYONE GOES UNDEFEATED!”
Never mind that there’s still a lot of football left to be played.
Never mind that we go through this every year.
And never mind that there’s still only one team (Alabama) that has even better than a 50-50 chance of running the table in the regular season.
Right now, there are still 10 teams remaining with perfect records. If that seems like a lot, it is (kind of). Here’s how many undefeated teams were left at this point in the season in each of the past 10 years (in parentheses, it’s how many BCS-level teams actually entered bowl season still unbeaten).
2011: 8 (1)
2010: 7 (2)
2009: 7 (3)*
2008: 9 (0)
2007: 5 (0)
2006: 6 (1)
2005: 6 (2)
2004: 7 (3)**
2003: 5 (1)
2002: 10 (2)
*In 2009, Cincinnati of the Big East was left out.
**In 2004, Auburn was left out for a USC-Oklahoma championship game.
As you can see, this year is a little out of the ordinary, but not really. There are always quite a few undefeated teams remaining at this point in the year, and more often than not it all sorts itself out (with 2004 and Auburn being the lone exception).
So let’s all take a deep breath, relax, enjoy watching the rest of the regular season, and worry about which undefeateds go ahead of other undefeateds when there’s actually a point to worrying about it.
And, also, let’s all dream about how great the four-team playoff is going to be in a couple years.
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A few items of note:
- Despite winning, top-ranked Alabama actually went down from last week’s odds (73% to 66%) because the Crimson Tide dropped from 8.5- to 6.5-point favorites at LSU next weekend.
- Florida is now up to 25% following a convincing win against South Carolina. The Gators trail only Alabama and Oregon (33%), which will be favored in all five of its remaining games.
- Kansas State received a bump after its blowout on the road at West Virginia, but the Wildcats still have five relative toss-ups left and are at only 15%.
- Win odds say that any favorite of 20 or more points has a 100% chance of winning the game (even though there are a few upsets of that magnitude each year), so Mississippi State falls to 0% immediately given that the Bulldogs are 23.5-point underdogs at Alabama this weekend.
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1. CC = Conference Championship
2. The percentage indicates the likelihood of that team being unbeaten AFTER the week at the top.
3. An asterisk indicates a bye week.
4. Futures odds were taken from 5Dimes.
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