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If the season ended today, Oregon would play Kansas State in the BCS Championship game. And yet, fans and talking heads that understand the power of popularity and television ratings are still repeating a common refrain heard all season:”If Notre Dame goes undefeated, they will be in the BCS Championship game.”
There is just one small problem: There is no magic fairy handing out BCS points and invitations to the BCS championship game.
Much like Nate Silver’s projections during the presidential election, the BCS formula is transparent and there is no way to manipulate the data to reflect a result that is more favourable to some.
No matter how much the folks at the BCS, or the suits at ESPN want Notre Dame in the Championship game to boost ratings, it won’t happen unless the voters in the two major polls show a significant change in their thinking over the next few weeks. And there is no reason to believe that will happen.
While Oregon has a slight edge over Kansas State in both the Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll*, Notre Dame is still a distant third. In fact, in the Harris Poll, Notre Dame is just as close to fourth place and one-loss Alabama as they are to second place Kansas State.
Once again college football is heading towards a scenario in which three teams will finish the season undefeated and one team is going to be screwed. But just because you can make a strong case for Notre Dame, and just because the BCS partners may prefer the Fighting Irish in the championship game, does not mean it will automatically happen.
* The Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll each make up one-third of the BCS formula. An average of six computer polls is used for the other one-third.
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