So close, needed overtime
With 11 minutes left in the Game of the Century, Alabama had a 1st and 10 at the LSU 28 yard line with the game tied at 6. Receiver Marquis Maze lined up in the shotgun, with the usual quarterback AJ McCarron split wide left. Upon taking the snap, Maze lofts the ball towards an open tight end Michael Williams. However, the pass is under thrown, allowing safety Eric Reid to close on Williams. The big tight end catches the ball, but Reid comes away with it after both players land on the ground at the 2 yard line. While the referees ruled a 1st down for LSU, the call easily could have gone the other way, with replay helpless to overturn the call (see 1:07 of this clip for the best angle). It was a turning point, as neither team would score again in regulation. That’s the slim margin that separates Alabama and LSU, the top two teams in The Power Rank.
While LSU won the first meeting between the two teams in overtime, the conversation about a rematch in the National Championship game gets louder every week. With losses to Stanford and Boise State over the weekend, Alabama moved up to 3rd in the BCS standings behind only LSU and Oklahoma State. With only a few weeks left in the season, The Power Rank gives the following probabilities for top teams in the BCS to remain undefeated.
Oklahoma State: 49%
The LSU number includes an SEC championship game against Georgia, while Oklahoma State’s likelihood is much lower due to the 56% chance of winning their Bedlam rivalry game against Oklahoma. Alabama has two games remaining against Georgia Southern, a cupcake who’s actually our 2nd ranked championship subdivision team, and Auburn, which implies
to win their remaining games. If LSU and Alabama must win out while Oklahoma State loses at least once for a rematch, The Power Rank gives this a 34% chance. Taking a look back, we gave the rematch a 15% chance two weeks ago before the LSU Alabama game and a 25% chance last week. As other undefeated teams continue to lose as their schedule get more difficult, the likelihood of LSU and Alabama in the big game keeps increasing. Others might argue that Oregon (3) and Oklahoma (5) also deserve a shot. The Power Rank gives
for these teams to win their remaining games.
Finally, what if that late game call in the LSU Alabama game had gone the other way? Despite the beastly strength of LSU’s defensive line, it’s likely that Alabama running back Trent Richardson would have punched it in from the two yard line. If the game ended 13-6 in favor Alabama, The Power Rank puts the Tide in the top spot over LSU.
1. Alabama: 32.99
2. LSU: 30.54
3. Oregon: 25.76
4. Oklahoma State: 24.74
5. Oklahoma: 23.67
For the top teams, the algorithm puts more weight in games against other top teams. As long as the outcome of their first game was close, LSU and Alabama would be the top teams in our rankings.