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The BCS Rankings - What Each Team Needs
Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden
Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 7, 2011


What does each contender need to play for the national title?

BCS Rankings 2011, Week 4

What each contender needs

E-mail Pete Fiutak
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What does each contender need to play for the national title? These are the teams with an honest shot to play for the BCS Championship, and what has to happen for each team to play for the national title. 

- CFN 2011 Rankings | 2011 Coaches' Poll | 2011 Harris Poll 

- 2011 BCS Rankings | BCS Rankings Breakdown

1. LSU 9-0
Remaining Schedule:   Western Kentucky, at Ole Miss, Arkansas

What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: Just win, baby. Win the next three games, win the SEC Championship, and play for the national title. The big question will be whether or not a one-loss LSU makes it into the BCS Championship over a one-loss Oklahoma or Oregon, but for now, it appears to be smooth sailing without a major brain-cramp.

2. Oklahoma State 9-0
Remaining Schedule: at Texas Tech, at Iowa State, Oklahoma

What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: Everything is set up perfectly. Because the Big 12 is seen as the top overall conference, and with OSU getting the No. 1 ranking from the computers, all it has to do is win out and it'll play for the national title. Stanford, despite being ranked No. 2 in the coaches' poll, can't jump over the Cowboys.

3. Alabama 8-1
Remaining Schedule: at Mississippi State, Georgia Southern, at Auburn

What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: Alabama has to win a theoretical battle as well as a BCS one. Do you want to see a rematch with LSU for the national title? A lot of pollsters won't, and they might vote accordingly. The best chance might come if Arkansas beats LSU to create a three-way tie for the SEC West title. If LSU loses and Alabama is in the top four of the BCS rankings, it could be the highest-ranged SEC team and could win the tie-breaker to play in the SEC Championship.

4. Stanford 9-0
Remaining Schedule:  Oregon, California, Notre Dame.
What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: The Cardinal has to win out and needs an Oklahoma State loss and/or a one-loss SEC champion. If everything is equal among the unbeatens, the pecking order is SEC Champion, Oklahoma State, Stanford. Beating Oregon will bring a boost, but it might have to be an impressive win to have any shot of getting ahead of Oklahoma State.

5. Boise State 8-0
Remaining Schedule: TCU, at San Diego State, Wyoming, New Mexico.

What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: The Broncos got the first piece they needed with LSU beating Alabama, because no one will want to see an LSU-Oregon rematch for the national title. Now they need Oklahoma State and Stanford to lose, and even then that might not quite be enough. In a perfect world, LSU gags to Arkansas or in the SEC Championship, Houston loses, and Boise State is the lone unbeaten FBS team.

6. Oklahoma 8-1
Remaining Schedule: at Baylor, Iowa State, at Oklahoma State

What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: The Sooners need to continue their impressive offensive run. Blowing up Kansas State and beating Texas A&M with ease is a start.  They need to beat Oklahoma State, and they need Stanford to go down. To get the nod over a possible one-loss Oregon, or an unbeaten Boise State, they need to crank up the offense and blow out Baylor and Oklahoma State to make the Texas Tech loss look like a fluke.

7. Oregon 8-1
Remaining Schedule: at Stanford, USC, Oregon State

What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: The one loss was to LSU, meaning it’s theoretically possible that Oregon is the second best team in America. If the Ducks beat Stanford in a walk, wins the Pac-12 Championship over Arizona State or UCLA, and ends the season 12-1, a rematch is possible if Oklahoma State has a loss. If they blow away the Cardinal impressively, they should be at the top of the one-loss pecking order for at least a week or so. Oklahoma could take that back by winning out.

8. Arkansas 8-1
Remaining Schedule: Tennessee, Mississippi State, at LSU

What Has To Happen To Play For The National Title: The Hogs got the break they needed with LSU beating Alabama, and now the chance is there for a three-way tie for the West title. In a dream world, Alabama loses to Auburn and the Arkansas-LSU game is for the outright West championship. If Arkansas can somehow get to the SEC Championship, the national title shot will be there for the taking if Oklahoma State and/or Stanford lose.