What-Ifs & But-Ifs -- Life of a Bama Fan from Now 'til December

OK.  I admit it.  My score prediction of a 38-16 'Bama win over LSU was a bit off.  A field goal here, a touchdown there, and boom, I would have been all over it.

Alabama fans -- me -- had already started figuring the 250 scenarios that could get them to New Orleans or even Atlanta no later than two seconds following the thump heard 'round the college football world fired from the leg of LSU placekicker Drew Alleman.

[caption id="attachment_255" align="alignright" width="150" caption="If I carry the squiggly thing or the X, will 'Bama and LSU meet in a rematch?"][/caption]

If Arkansas beats LSU the week before Alabama wins the SEC the same day Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State three weeks after Oregon beat Stanford... **Head Explodes**

What-ifs and but-ifs.  It's the newest craze in 'Bama Nation.  What if Alabama wins out and Arkansas beats LSU?  But if Alabama is ranked below Arkansas in the BCS in a three-way tie they could still win the SEC West because 'Bama is ranked within five BCS spots and the tie-breaker becomes head-to-head.  Alabama smacked Arkansas around 38-14 in September.

There are too many what-ifs and but-ifs to name them all, but 'Bama has enough to keep us busy until December.  Or at least until November 26th.

What if Arkansas Beats LSU November 25th

Assuming Alabama beats Mississippi State on November 12th and Georgia Southern November 19th, the 'Tide would be in great position to win the SEC West.  They would need to beat Auburn the next day, but the issue would be how far LSU would fall and how far Arkansas would move up.  Alabama fans need to call the hogs and hope they win out.  A three-way tie is the only way for 'Bama to win the West.  A number of things could happen if the Hogs actually pull out the victory on Black Friday.  It's happened many times before (Colorado over Nebraska in 2001, Arkansas over LSU 2002, 2007, 2008, 2010).

-Let's say Oregon beat Stanford on November 12th.  'Bama would more than likely be ranked No. 3 in the BCS going into the Auburn game.  A win at Auburn and the 'Tide moves up to No.2 behind Oklahoma State. LSU drops from No. 1 to No. 5 and Arkansas climbs all the way to the No. 4 spot, just edging out the Bengal Tigers. That leaves Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas with one loss each.  The BCS standing determine the West champion in this case unless the second best team is ranked within five spots.  Arkansas is within five spots, but they lose the head-to-head with Alabama, so the 'Tide goes on to Atlanta to play Georgia on December 3rd.  This day could have Alabama and Oklahoma State win and move on to play each other in the BCS Championship or it could see a one-loss Oklahoma team beat Oklahoma State and leave the BCS possibly choosing the Championship Game participants between eight one-loss teams and Boise State.

-What if the BCS standings have Alabama at No. 2, LSU at No. 3, and Arkansas at No. 5.  Oklahoma State defeats Oklahoma and remains undefeated and No. 1, but since Alabama lost the tie breaker to LSU, the No.2-ranked 'Tide would stay home while No. 3-ranked LSU played for the SEC Championship.  Would LSU jump Alabama if they won the SEC Championship? The voters would put LSU ahead, but LSU's defeat of Alabama probably hurts LSU -- yeah, it reads that way -- because Alabama's loss was to higher ranked team than LSU.  LSU was ranked No. 1 when they beat Alabama. The computers may like Alabama.  The computers may Occupy New Orleans and decide they refuse to provide any additional data.

There remains a few but-ifs that could be added under this scenario, but lets' look at one more possibility for now.

What If Alabama and LSU Win Out

LSU's spot in New Orleans would be solidified, but Alabama will need some help.  Oregon will have needed to beat Stanford and Oklahoma over Oklahoma State.  If that happens, the computers will rank Alabama high enough to level out the voters who don't want to see rematch.   The remaining  football fans that understand "Football" saw the first Alabama-LSU game as a classic battle, while some whined there was not enough scoring.  That one game set football back 25 years, but it also showed why the SEC may never lose the BCS trophy ever again.

How The West can be Won

Alabama -- Arkansas wins over LSU and climbs the BCS far enough where they would be ranked higher than LSU. See above for tie-breaker

LSU -- keep winning.

Arkansas -- Keep winning and make sure one of the wins is versus LSU.  LSU and Arkansas would need to finish above Alabama in the BCS standings.

So there you have it.  Clear as mud? Let's talk a little more about later.  I'm sure you've thought of 36 scenarios since you started reading this.

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