State of the BCS Conferences Part 1 - ACC, Big 12, Big East
In the Atlantic Division it looks like it is going to be a two horse race between Boston College and Wake Forest. The Eagles hold the tie breaker since they beat the Demon Deacons in the first game of the season, so Wake needs a lot of help if they want to represent the Atlantic. Boston College has games remaining at Virginia Tech, Florida State, at Maryland, at Clemson, and Miami (Fla), not an easy stretch by any means.
Wake has an easier road ahead as their toughest games remaining are at Clemson, at Virginia, and North Carolina at home. They must win them all and hope that Boston College loses at least two. Maryland still has a shot, but they did lose to Wake. The Terps need a win this weekend against Virginia to keep in the hunt. The make or break game for them will be November 10th against Boston College.
Atlantic Winner: Wake has a much easier road in the second half of the season. There is a good chance that Boston College could slip up twice in their final five game, but unlikely. Both Wake Forest and Boston College finish with one conference loss and the Eagles win the tiebreaker.
Barring a huge collapse, the Coastal Division winner will either be Virginia Tech or Virginia. The Cavs have not been tested all year, and barely squeaked out a victory last week against an overrated Connecticut team. The Hokies have bounced back from their early season thrashing by LSU, and are starting to look like the team many thought they would be in the beginning of the season.
Even if they lose to Boston College next Thursday, the Hokies can still win the conference by beating Virginia in the last game. Miami and North Carolina are mathematically still in the picture, but with 2 losses they have to run the table in the conference and hope for some help.
Coastal Winner: The Hokies will beat up on the Cavs at the end of the season to win a chance to play in the ACC Title game.
Big 12 North
The only team that is not in the race for the Big 12 North title is Iowa State with 3 losses. I am also going to eliminate Nebraska, based on how they have looked to date. Close wins against Ball State and getting blown out by Missouri and Oklahoma State will not get them consideration from me for the conference title.
Kansas leads the North right now, but still has to play at Colorado, at Texas A&M, Nebraska, at Oklahoma State, and Missouri. I hope the Jayhawks enjoyed their early season schedule because it is going to become much harder from here on out. Their in-state rival Kansas State has a less difficult road with Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Nebraska remaining. Of Colorado’s remaining 5 games, Iowa State is their only sure win and Missouri is in the same boat.
Big 12 North Winner: The winner of the Big 12 North will have at least two conference losses, and their will be a tie at the top of the standings. After all of the tiebreakers are broken, Missouri led by Chase Daniel will be the ones playing in the championship game.
Big 12 South
Like their brethren up North, the only team out of the picture in the South is Baylor. Texas is on the outside looking in with losses to Oklahoma and Kansas State (HT: Patrick). That leaves us with Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State. The Aggies have difficult games with the Sooners, Longhorns, and Tigers remaining while the Cowboys’ only easy win could come from Baylor.
Texas Tech has shown that they can play with the big boys and needs an upset here or there to increase their chances. While Oklahoma has to make sure it doesn’t lose to their instate rivals or the Red Raiders if they want to represent the South.
Big 12 North Winner: It would not be a stretch to say that Oklahoma could lose another game, and I think Texas could run the table. For the Red Raiders, I believe they will not be able to outscore everyone and will fall back to the pack. I still think the Sooners are one of the top 2 one loss teams and will run the table to represent the South.
The Big East could give their fans one of the most interesting finishes in years. Only Syracuse and Pitt are out of the race as far as the way their respective teams have played, but don’t be surprised if they pull off an upset against one of the contenders.
Another team that should fall by the wayside is UConn, their only conference win is against Pitt. The Huskies will get a few more when they continue Big East play. Louisville has a huge liability on the defensive side of the ball and teams like West Virginia, Rutgers, and USF will exploit it.
So we are left with a four team race between South Florida, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Rutgers. Right now
In most conferences (except the Big East) the teams are 3 or more games into their conference schedule. Each game becomes more and more important for schools wanting to win the BCS bid, or represent their half of the division in the conference championship game. Here are teams who still have a chance to win their conference.
Rutgers has beaten Cincinnati and USF beat WVU, so there still is a lot of football to be played in this conference.
Big East Winner: It is hard to predict a winner right now since most teams have played either 1 or 2 conference games, so I am going to go with West Virginia. South Florida is a good team, but I think the fact that they have the bulls eye of not only the conference, but the nation right now, will be a little too much for them to handle. Like Rutgers last season, I believe that once they lose their first game, their second won’t be far behind. The Mountaineers are a little more experienced when handling week after week big games.