Tide Success May Hurt AU For BCS

From almost since the end of Alabama's BCS National Championship Game win over Notre Dame, our contention has been that the Crimson Tide would have to go undefeated in 2013 to make it to a third consecutive championship game. That's because Bama had made it into the game with a loss both in 2011 and 2012. Never mind that Alabama justified its selections by winning the titles in those two seasons.

Alabama's back-to-back national championships going into this season were among three Coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide won in a period of four years. Along with other Southeastern Conference teams, the league put together a string of seven years bringing the crystal football South.

It has created what is politely known as "SEC Fatigue" among voters in the polls. It is really "SEC Hate."

The result is that not only is Alabama not getting into the BCS National Championship Game this season, neither is any other SEC team with a loss if there are two reasonable undefeated alternatives.

Ironically, Alabama success may be the reason that Auburn is left out of the title game.

It is likely that Alabama and Auburn and maybe a few other teams are better than Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are in second place in both the Associated Press ranking determined by sportswriters and broadcasters and the Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today. Florida State is first in both polls. Although the AP poll is not part of the BCS data, it is likely that if FSU and Ohio State can stay undefeated, those teams will play for the national title in Pasadena.

Auburn was third in both polls, Alabama fourth, and Missouri – which will play Auburn for the SEC championship in Atlanta Saturday – is fifth.

Auburn got a boost with its Saturday win over previously top-ranked Alabama. The Tigers, however, have a national perception problem. Most of the college football world believes that Auburn won the national championship in 2010 by purchasing the talents of quarterback Cam Newton. The NCAA's dismissal of the case against Auburn with the telling "we couldn't prove it" was hardly a ringing endorsement of how Athe Tigers landed a player whose father had shopped him around.

Auburn still hs a chance to move into the top two. Obviously, Auburn will have to defeat Missouri, which much like Auburn was awful last year and made it to the SEC Championship Game this year. Both teams are 11-1 overall and 7-1 in SEC games, the same as Alabama.

Auburn would then need either FSU or Ohio State (or both) to lose in their conference championship games. Florida State (12-0) will meet Duke and Ohio State (12-0) will play Michigan State.

In this week's polls, Florida State got 58 first place votes in both polls. The AP gave two first place votes to Auburn, none to the Buckeyes. The Coaches gave four first place votes to Ohio State, none to Auburn.

Alabama had been number one in every poll since the end of the 2012 season.

As for the remaining teams:

Oklahoma State was sixth in both polls. In the AP poll, Stanford was seventh, South Carolina eighth, Baylor ninth, and Michigan State 10th. In the Coaches Poll, South Carolina and Baylor were tied for seventh, Michigan State ninth, and Stanford 10th.

Other SEC teams in the top 25 are:

LSU 14th in both, Texas A&M 22nd in AP and 25th in Coaches, and Georgia 25th in AP. Georgia was among those receiving votes in the Coaches and Vanderbilt got votes in both polls.

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