The 2010 college football season could be one where there is no undefeated team from the Big 6 conferences. Florida and Alabama are figured to meet twice this year, once in the regular season and again in the SEC Championship Game (SECCG). But could they meet for a third time in Glendale for the National Championship (NC)?
Both teams have tough schedules facing them, Bama plays host to Penn State, goes to Arkansas, plays Florida at home and also travels to LSU. Florida has to play at Tennessee, at Bama and at Florida State. If the games in Tuscaloosa and the SECCG are epic battles and are split could the BCS computations work out to have them meet for a third time?
Before we can consider that, we must think of what has to happen beyond the SEC. Most of what follows is predicated on the fact that Florida and Alabama as one loss teams are better teams than any other one loss teams out there. Florida and Alabama play considerably tougher schedules than the teams mentioned after the jump and to me this bolsters there chance to meet for a third time.
Here is a scenario that could play to allow for Florida and Bama to play a third time this coming season. Virginia Tech has to beat Boise State on Labor Day, a one loss Broncos team will not make it to the NC. Virginia Tech must then lose at least one of its regular season games, Miami and Georgia Tech, or lose the ACCCG to a team with at least 2 losses, FSU could fit this bill if they lose to Oklahoma and UF. Ohio State needs to lose at least one game badly or 2 close games, Iowa, Miami and Penn St are all good candidates to make this happen. Iowa also needs to lose at least one game to a team that is not OSU, they travel to Arizona and will probably drop one in conference game. In the Big 12 Nebraska, Texas and Oklahoma all need to lose to each other (Neb and UT don't play each other this year) with the winner of the Big 12 CG having 2 losses. Nebraska has to play Texas and travel to Seattle to play the Huskies. Oklahoma plays Texas and hosts FSU and travels to play the Bearcats. Texas has to play the other two and hosts UCLA as their only decent out of conference game. I don't think the PAC-10 will field a contender this year given the chaos at Oregon and Boy Wonder being in charge of a penalized USC squad. The Big East will have Pittsburgh but I see them dropping the Thursday night game against Miami as well as at least one other one within conference play. The only other team that could spoil a third match up between Florida and Alabama is TCU. The Horned Frogs host Oregon State and BYU as the only two teams that could possibly beat them.
If, and obviously this is a big IF, Florida and Alabama only manage to have one loss apiece at 11:59pm December 4th would the BCS want to see them play a third time for the National Championship? If the first two games are hard fought with scores like 24-21 and 20-17 would Florida and Bama come out of the BCS rankings 1 & 2 if the only other one loss teams out there are TCU and BSU, my guess is yes they would.
This is an exciting year to be a college football fan as a whole. In my mind there is no clear front runner to make it through the season undefeated. Obviously a lot of people think Alabama is the team to do it and rightfully so but a lot of people said the same of Florida last year. Besides Florida gets to meet Bama in Tuscaloosa with the same mentality that Bama had when they showed up in Atlanta last year. This season also sets the stage for 2011 when Florida hosts Alabama and where most likely they'll meet in Atlanta for the 4th straight time.