Sunday, November 11, 2012

Will we have a BCS title game between undefeated teams? Or can the SEC find their way back in?

With Alabama's loss, we are down to 3 undefeated teams vying for participating in the BCS title game; Oregon, Kansas State, and Notre Dame.  There are only a few games left, so there is a good chance 2 will stay that way, but what are the exact chances of that occurring?

The 3 teams in question have the following chances of finishing perfect:
  • Oregon - 81.7%
  • Kansas State - 78.7%
  • Notre Dame - 37.8%
It is safe to assume that any 2 undefeated results in them facing each other.  It is also probably safe to assume that if Oregon and K-State do it, Notre Dame gets left out.

So, there is a 64.3% chance of Oregon and Kansas meeting as undefeated teams.  But if one of them falters, Notre Dame could fill in.  Running the different permutations results in a 75.7% chance of some combination of these teams facing each other as undefeated teams.

If you look at that number, there is a good gap between it and 100%.  So what happens then?  It is probable that should the SEC champ finish with 1-loss, they would be the choice if 2 of the aforementioned teams have a loss.  So what are the chances of a 1-loss SEC champ?

Alabama has the best chance at 70.4%, but Georgia has a 27.5% chance too, and should Georgia falter and let Florida in the title game, they have a 20% chance.  If we put these permutations together, we have a 99.2% chance of a 1-loss SEC champ.

That means that there is still a 24.1% chance of an SEC team making it to the BCS title game.  Trust me, stranger things have happened.