Ohio State’s path to BCS title game

So now it’s Alabama and Florida State for the BCS title.

That means undefeated Baylor and Ohio State could be left out in the cold to join 2004 Auburn as the only undefeated FBS teams to not play for the title.

Unless something wacky happens. And wacky always seems to happen in the BCS.

That’s why, believe it or not, there are still eight teams alive for the BCS title.

Which eight and what do they need to happen to play for the BCS title? Read on.

1. Alabama

Remaining schedule: at Mississippi State, Chattanooga, at Auburn, SEC title game vs. Missouri, South Carolina or Georgia.

Road to BCS title game: Win out and the Tide’s rolling to Pasadena.

2. Florida State

Remaining schedule: Syracuse, Idaho, at Florida, ACC title game vs. a very mediocre opponent.

Road to BCS title game: Win out and the Seminoles will be in Pasadena.

3. Baylor

Remaining schedule: Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, at TCU, Texas.

Road to BCS title game: Win out and have Alabama or Florida State lose. Yes, Baylor will definitely pass Ohio State. It’s already nearly happened in the polls. The computers will fall in love with the Bears if they run the table against these final four opponents.

This is the last easy call.

4. Ohio State

Remaining schedule: at Illinois, Indiana, at Michigan, Big Ten Title game likely against Michigan State.

Road to BCS title game: Win out and have two of the three teams lose between Alabama, FSU and Baylor. The Buckeyes need to play an 11-1 Michigan State in the Big Title game. Otherwise, Ohio State might play just one top-25 opponent in the final BCS standings. No team that I’m aware of has played for the BCS title with that weak of a schedule.

The Big Ten is awful. That’s why Ohio State had better hope that one of the two teams above it that loses isn’t Alabama. Because a one-loss Alabama, Mizzou or Auburn might well jump Ohio State.

5. Missouri

Remaining schedule: at Ole Miss, Texas A&M, SEC title game (?)

Road to BCS title game: Win out and beat Alabama in the SEC title game. Then Mizzou would need FSU or Baylor to lose. Could 12-1 Mizzou jump Ohio State? It’s certainly possible.

A 12-1 Mizzou would have wins over Alabama and Texas A&M and the lone loss would be in overtime against top-10 South Carolina. That’s a better resume than a 13-0 Ohio State, which might boast only one top-25 BCS win.

6. Auburn

Remaining schedule: Georgia, Alabama, SEC title game (?)

Road to BCS title game: Win out and beat Mizzou or South Carolina in the SEC title game. Then Auburn would need FSU or Baylor to lose. Could 12-1 Auburn jump Ohio State? It’s in play. A 12-1 Auburn would have wins over Alabama, Texas A&M, and either Mizzou or South Carolina in the SEC title game. The lone loss would be on the road in September at LSU. That’s a better resume than 13-0 Ohio State.

7. Stanford

Remaining schedule: at USC, California, Notre Dame, Pac-12 title game (?)

Road to BCS title game: Win out and hope that Florida State, Baylor and Ohio State all lose. A one-loss Alabama would still be ranked above Stanford.

8. Oregon

Remaining schedule: Utah, at Arizona, Oregon State, Pac-12 title game (?)

Road to BCS title game: Win out with a Stanford loss. The best case scenario for Oregon would be a Stanford loss to USC this weekend, because then the Ducks could still win the Pac-12 North simply by winning their final three games. Then the Ducks would need FSU, Baylor and Ohio State to all lose. A one-loss Alabama would still be ranked above Oregon.