When Alabama lost to Texas A&M this weekend, it left no undefeated SEC teams. In response, my friend Chris Haddock, a family practice doctor and raging Georgia Bulldogs fan, posted this on Facebook:
UGA has one win against a BCS Top 10 opponent. Florida has three. Alabama has two. Comined Kansas State, Oregon, Notre Dame have ZERO. Nada. Zilch. If the SEC Championship Game winner doesn’t play for the national championship then it is a tainted title to whichever of these undeserving non-SEC teams wins.
Since the SEC has won the last 6 national championships, many will share this sentiment.
And our numbers agree. Alabama only dropped to 2nd behind Oregon in our rankings, and 6 of the top 10 teams come from the SEC. With this many good teams in a conference, you expect every team to lose at least once.
The question becomes whether the SEC champion, either Alabama or 7th ranked Georgia, makes the BCS title game. For this to happen, two of these 3 teams must lose.
- Team rank: 1st.
- Probability of remaining undefeated: 58.7%.
- Toughest remaining game: 76.3% chance to beat Oregon State.
- Team rank: 3rd.
- Probability of remaining undefeated: 64%.
- Toughest remaining game: 80% chance to beat Texas.
- Team rank: 8th.
- Probability of remaining undefeated: 41.4%.
- Toughest remaining game: 44% chance to beat USC.
Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be able to publish Chris’s next post if Notre Dame squeaks past USC and into the national title game ahead of the SEC champion.
Last week, Alper Akanser, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech, took our undefeated probabilities and determined the chance that 0, 1, 2… teams would remain undefeated. This week, his code gives a 42.7% chance that 0 or 1 teams remain undefeated, opening the door for the SEC champion.
That’s pretty good odds for the SEC.