Starting 11: SEC Set to Defend Title

Published on: November 19, 2012 | Written by: Clay Travis

Last week I told you there were still six teams alive for the BCS title, three of whom were SEC teams. Then chaos reigned on Saturday night.

Now there are just five teams alive for the title: Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, or Oregon will win the BCS title.

We'll break down exactly what needs to happen for each of these teams in the Starting 11.

So let's get rolling.

1. Notre Dame just has to beat USC.

What's more, USC is playing a back-up quarterback since Matt Barkley is out. This would be a mega choke job if Notre Dame loses.

Which means it wouldn't be a surprise at all.

2. Alabama needs to beat Auburn and then beat Georgia.

Do that and the Tide will be defending their title in Miami. 

A Notre Dame-Alabama BCS title game would feature two of the dumbest fan bases in America. So this is basically proof that God loves OKTC.  

3. Georgia has to beat Georgia Tech and then beat Alabama.

Mark Richt in a BCS title game just over two months after his team was down 35-0 to South Carolina would be the most Mark Richt thing ever.

Even Georgia fans are kind of blown away this is a possibility.

4. Florida has to beat Florida State and hope Notre Dame loses to USC.

If the Gators beat Florida State they'd have the best one-loss resume in the country. I know the offense has been awful down the stretch, but no other team would be able to boast four top 15 BCS wins, two of which would have come on the road. The Gators would have notches on the BCS belt for LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Florida State.

No other title game contender has more than two.

Oregon and Notre Dame would have two top 15 BCS wins between them. Georgia and Alabama just have two combined top 15 BCS wins. 

So if Florida beats Florida State it would have the same number of top 15 BCS wins as Oregon, Notre Dame, Georgia, and Alabama combined.

As if that wasn't enough, Florida's only loss is a neutral site single-digit loss to a top five team.

If the purpose of the BCS is to reward the entirety of the season, I don't see any way that Florida gets left out at 11-1 if Notre Dame loses. The Gators could also get into the title game with a Notre Dame win if both Bama and Georgia found a way to end up with two losses each. 

Even still, can you imagine the outrage if this year's BCS title is an SEC east rematch between Georgia and Florida, this time at a neutral site in Miami, as opposed to a neutral site in Jacksonville?

The World's Largest Cocktail Party twice.

Oh. My. Goodness.   

5. Oregon has to beat Oregon State, hope that Notre Dame loses to USC, and hope that Florida loses to Florida State. 

If all this happens I believe that voters would decide, rightly, that even though Oregon might not win the Pac12, it would be the second best team in America. 

Then Oregon would play the winner of the SEC championship game. 

I assume that the entire nation will gripe and moan for an entire month about the illegitimacy of an non-Pac12 title winning team being able to play for the title.

Basically there are five teams with a title shot. 

I'd rank the likelihood of match-ups thusly:

1. Alabama vs Notre Dame 45%

2. Georgia vs. Notre Dame 25%

3. Alabama vs. Florida 10% 

4. Alabama/Georgia vs. Oregon 5%

5. Georgia vs. Florida 5%

6. All other match-ups, less than 5%

6. There is no longer a Heisman argument for any player other than Johnny Manziel.

Collin Klein's team was dominated on Saturday night by a sub .500 team.

Since the only real argument for Klein was that he was the quarterback of an undefeated team, his candidacy died on Saturday night.

It also raises this interesting question, has the number one BCS team ever given up more than 50 points to a team with a losing record?

Regardless, break out the Heismanziel.

7. Les Miles won our hearts anew with this gloriously incomprehensible press conference. 

I don't have time right now, but can someone please diagram this for us.

It would give my 7th grade English teacher a heart attack.

8. Vanderbilt's James Franklin is going to win eight football games this year.

That's the first time Vandy will have done this in thirty years.

What's more, if he wins a bowl game, the Commodores could win nine for the first time in a season since 1915.

1915!

If I had to vote for SEC coach of the year, I'd still go Kevin Sumlin first, but if Franklin wins eight and Muschamp wins 11, how impressive of a trio of performances is that? I think you can make a strong argument that eight wins at Vanderbilt is more impressive than ten at A&M.

9. Alabama fans celebrated the Stanford field goal by being Alabama fans.

Which means you have to watch this video.

The megaphone and the dog are my two favorite parts.  

10. Maryland really is leaving for the Big Ten.

Which means conference realignment is back in play.

I mention this here because it's infinitely more important than any football game played in the ACC all season.

Will Florida State leave for the Big 12, which school will the ACC grab to replace them, I dive into all the possibilities here. You need to read this is you're as obsessed with conference realignment as I am.

11. Here's my SEC power rankings -- plus Notre Dame.

1. Alabama

2. Georgia

3. LSU 

4. Texas A&M

5. Florida 

6. Notre Dame

7. South Carolina

8. Mississippi State 

9. Vandy

10. Ole Miss

11. Mizzou

12. Arkansas

13. Tennessee

14. Auburn

15. Kentucky