The last four winners of the Iron Bowl, the best rivalry in college sports, have won the national title.
This year, Alabama’s guaranteed to play for the BCS title if it finishes 13-0 and will try to make it five straight for the Yellowhammer State.
But what about 2013 Auburn?
Could a 12-1 Tigers team that beats Alabama and follows that with an SEC title game win over Missouri or South Carolina still end up in the national title game?
Don’t sleep on the idea.
Sure, pollsters continue to be obsessed with undefeated records.
But would Ohio State and Florida State, assuming both are unblemished, have better resumes than 12-1 Auburn would?
Depending on what happens against South Carolina on Saturday, FSU might have a single Top 25 win over Clemson, a team that would finish outside the BCS Top 10 with no BCS Top 25 wins if it loses to the Gamecocks on Saturday.
Not to mention the shadow of Jameis Winston’s sexual assault investigation continues to hang over the Florida State season.
If Winston’s charged before the BCS title game match-up is set, no voter who cares about a competitive title clash can vote Florida State into the title game. Can you imagine Nick Saban with a full month to prepare for a third-string freshman FSU quarterback who has only attempted 21 passes in his career? It would be even worse than last year’s game against Notre Dame.
Ohio State, as I told you earlier this week, actually has a better schedule than Florida State does. Why no one else even talks about this, I have no idea. Sure, FSU has been dominant, but the FSU schedule is bad — really bad.
The Buckeyes play Michigan Saturday and then Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.
If Ohio State beats both these teams, then the undefeated Buckeyes will have two better wins, Wisconsin and the Spartans, than any single win Florida State has.
No one else is talking about this. It’s easier to continue to rip on Ohio State’s schedule and the Big Ten’s perceived weakeness. Even though, you know, the Big Ten is actually much better than the ACC this year.
So how would 13-0 Ohio State and 13-0 Florida State compare with Auburn’s 12-1 schedule?
A 12-1 Auburn would have two Top 10 BCS wins, more than either Ohio State or Florida State combined. (Both of these teams would have zero top 10 BCS wins).
Sure, Auburn has a loss, but it’s a September loss at LSU. The Tigers are 30-1 in their last 31 home games and I believe, along with Las Vegas, that Alabama’s the only team in the country that would win at LSU this year.
So if Auburn played a tougher schedule in the best conference in the nation and finished with one loss, can you really hold that against a team that would be seeking the SEC’s 8th straight BCS title?
I believe 12-1 Auburn would deserve to play in the BCS title game.