Commentary

Trap games remain for BCS teams

Odds of going undefeated are against Bama, LSU and other BCS contenders

Updated: October 17, 2011, 11:50 AM ET
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders
Tyrann MathieuChris Graythen/Getty ImagesTyrann Mathieu and LSU must go through Alabama to get to the BCS title game.

With the release of the first BCS standings of the season, the path to a national championship game berth is clear for several teams. The LSU Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys are all in position to control their own destiny. The top teams from the SEC and Big 12 will square off in November, and if the winners don't falter at any other point, the BCS title game participants will be decided in those two games.

But winning out isn't a foregone conclusion for these or any other undefeated teams. The second half of the college football season features upsets every year, and some championship contenders are more susceptible than others. The Big 12 heavyweights are at the top of the list of undefeated teams that could fall flat just as easily as they could win out.

It starts with strength of schedule. At the beginning of the season, and even as recently as a few weeks ago, the SEC contenders appeared more likely to fall victim to the week-in, week-out grind of the conference season. Now LSU and Alabama won't coast the rest of the way, but their respective opposition outside the division looks far less formidable down the stretch, including a potential SEC championship game.


To read the full breakdown of the odds Alabama, Oklahoma and other BCS title contenders remain undefeated, become an ESPN Insider.

Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com