Friday, November 18, 2011

Oklahoma State lost, now what?

I wrote up a bunch of scenarios several days ago about what happens if Oklahoma State and LSU both were to lose.  Well, I didn't think OSU's loss would be to Iowa State, but it is 1 down and 1 to go.  So now what?

Much of my earlier analysis still applies, but because Oklahoma State lost the "wrong" game, things do change a bit.

For one, should OU beat OSU, they won't get quite as much credit in the computers and polls as OSU won't be perceived to be as good a team.  How much less credit?  My BCS algorithm had OSU #1 coming in to this week and will drop them only to #2 based on the strength of the Big-12 and their season to date.  OU will be close behind at #3 so they would still get a good bump in the computers if they win.

However where OU will hurt in the polls.  OSU, not being a traditional championship contender will fall farther in the polls than they perhaps should so OU beating them wouldn't be considered quite as strong with the voters.

So I still think OU can get to #2 in the computers winning out like I wrote before, but they may not be able to get to #2 in the BCS without a little help.  Who stands in their way?

Likely Alabama, as they are #3 now, a nearly consensus #3 in the computers, and #3 in the polls.  They will move to #2 in most computers next week and even with an Oregon win over USC, will be no worse than a virtual tie with Oregon for #2 in the polls.  Oregon would get a boost in the computers with the win but not enough to pass Alabama so Alabama should stay ahead.  And with Oregon having to play a weak Oregon State and a so-so ASU or worse bad UCLA team in the title game, while Alabama gets to finish their season against Auburn and still potential for the SEC title game, they could boost their credentials a bit more than Oregon.

Now, I say the above but for the same reason that Oregon could get hurt a bit in the computers, Alabama could this week playing Georgia Southern.  Now, the problem is that some of the computers treat games against FCS teams differently, I believe a few don't count it and others don't rate all teams so who knows what it will do.  So potentially they could get hurt a bit this week but again, I think they have a better chance to rebound than Oregon does.

Arkansas could also play spoiler and get ahead of OU, although I think it is a tougher case to make.

The way this season has gone though, this analysis could be moot after tomorrow as some other upset could take place and a whole new analysis will be required.