With Notre Dame handling USC yesterday, they have locked up their spot in the title game, but after Notre Dame, there were six other schools that had realistic hopes to make it to the big stage.
The article above, written by Andy Staples over at Sports Illustrated, laid out all that needed to happen for the six, single loss teams that trailed behind Notre Dame to get a chance at reaching the #2 BCS ranking that would earn them their shot at the title.
These teams, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Oregon, Florida State, and Kansas State, all have at least been ranked #4 or high during the course of this season. Now since Florida has beaten Florida State, FSU's hopes of making it to the title of are pretty much gone with the wind.
Florida could have been in a promising situation if the Irish blew it against USC, as Staples laid down what needed to happen for things to go Florida's way when he said that they need to, "Beat Florida State on Saturday. Hope for a Notre Dame loss. Failing that, hope Alabama or Georgia loses Saturday and then wins the SEC Championship."
With that being said, even though the Gators got the W over the Noles, nothing else went their way, as all three of the teams that needed lose, all won.
With Florida and Florida State out of contention for the #2 spot, that left Alabama and Georgia as the two likely candidates, which would be decided next weekend when they meet in the SEC title game to cap of the regular season.
However, the previous #1 and #2 teams, Kansas State and Oregon, who I personally was hoping to see in the BCS Champion game, both blew their shot at the title game during the same week, may still have something to hope for as Staples writes:
Oregon (10-1): Beat Oregon State. Hope UCLA beats Stanford, giving the Ducks the Pac-12 North title. Hope Notre Dame loses to USC. Hope Florida loses to Florida State. Hope Georgia loses Saturday to Georgia Tech. (Or hope Alabama loses to Auburn, likely making LSU the SEC West champ.) Beat UCLA in the Pac-12 title game. Hope Georgia wins the SEC title on Dec. 1. (Or hope two-loss LSU is in the game and beats Georgia.) If Florida did not lose to Florida State, hope human voters engage in massive anti-SEC conspiracy.
Staples continues on to describe an even less likely turn of events that Kansas State requires as he writes:
Kansas State (10-1): Hope Oregon loses to Oregon State. Hope Notre Dame loses to USC. Hope Florida State beats Florida and then loses the ACC title game. Hope Alabama and Georgia lose Saturday and the SEC produces a two-loss champion. Hope the Men In Black Neuralizer is an actual thing. Attempt to erase the memory of the Baylor game from as many minds as possible. Beat Texas.
Except for Notre Dame, the three SEC teams have the clearest paths to the title game. So cheer hard for the Irish, SEC haters. They're probably the only hope you have left.