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Alabama Has a 50% Chance of Making the National Title Game

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You read that right. I said Alabama has a 50% chance of making the BCS Championship Game. At least, that is what history tells us.

Have a look at one of the handy sidebars to this USA Today column. Every season except one in the BCS era has seen either No. 1 or No. 2 in the first BCS poll of the year make the national title game. The lone exception is the first year, 1998, but that is made up for by 2005 having both No. 1 USC and No. 2 Texas make the title game.

So, we can take a look at the newly minted BCS standings and see Alabama at No. 2 behind everyone's No. 1 (computers included), Texas. Georgia is the next SEC team ranked at No. 7, thanks to the computers loving the Dawgs (they have them No. 6 instead of No. 9 like the humans) and not being that high on a couple other teams like Texas Tech.

Another team the computers don't like? Florida. The Gators are No. 6 and No. 7 in the human polls but are 12 according to the computers. Two of the formulas don't even have Florida in the top 15 of their rankings.

As I understand it, the computer formulas in general look less favorably on home losses like UF's than road losses like USC's and Ohio State's. USC, OSU, and Georgia also all lost to teams in the current top 10 rather than to the best 3-4 team in college football, Ole Miss. The good news for the Gators is that they are just .1061 out of fifth place, they'll get a nice computer bump from playing Georgia (should they win), and the Big 12 teams ahead of them largely still have yet to play each other.

No matter how you slice it though, Alabama has a leg up on everyone in the country except the Longhorns, especially since Penn State is a lot closer to No. 4 Oklahoma than the No. 2 Tide.

The only other SEC team ranked in the top 25 is No. 13 LSU.