The BCS Standings first were implemented in 1998, and while they carry much controversy, they play a large part in which two teams play for the BCS Championship. With the release of the first BCS Rankings in 2012, history is on the side of the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators, who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the first poll that was revealed last night.
Like the BCS rankings or not, they often tell us who will play for the college football national championship, and we often know more than we think after the very first standings are released. While many things can still change over the next couple of months, it still means more than you may think as to who the top two teams are when the BCS rankings are first released.
Alabama is No. 1 for the first time in the initial release of the BCS rankings. Clearly, they have finished No. 1 after the season a couple of times, but they were never the top ranked team when the standings came out for the first time in a season. That bodes well for the Tide, as seven times since the BCS rankings were implemented [in 14 years], the initial No. 1 team has played in the BCS Championship Game.
Florida being No. 2 in the first poll bodes well for their chances to play in the BCS Championship Game as well, as it has also been seven times that the second ranked team in the initial BCS rankings also went on to play in the BCS Championship Game.
History tells us that it is extremely likely that at least Alabama or Florida will play for the BCS Championship, as only twice in the 14 years of the BCS rankings has neither of the top two teams ranked in the first poll failed to play for the BCS Championship. Due to the dominance of the SEC, it is strongly believed that at least one of their teams will be playing for the title, and Alabama and Florida currently have the best chances.
Of course, it will not be easy for either team. Alabama has had the easier part of their schedule already played, meaning they will face three teams currently ranked in the Top 20 of the current BCS standings. They do not have to face Florida or the South Carolina Gamecocks or Georgia Bulldogs in the regular season, but could very well face one of them in the SEC Championship Game, provided they come out of the SEC West unscathed, or as the best team with one loss.
Florida has arguably played a tougher schedule than Alabama thus far, and things will not get any easier going forward for the Gators. Florida has to play South Carolina this Saturday, although it is at The Swamp, making it a bit easier. They have three remaining games against teams currently ranked in the Top 15, and will have to hold off the Gamecocks and Bulldogs to win the SEC East and reach the SEC Championship Game.
It will not be easy for Alabama or Florida to remain undefeated but, if they do, they will not only meet in the SEC Championship Game, but could also make sure that the SEC has two teams play for the BCS Championship for the second consecutive season.