Go with the Flow

ALABAMA'S SHOCKING LOSS TO TEXAS A&M HAS RESHUFFLED THE CHAMPIONSHIP DECK, BUT FEAR NOT: SI'S BCS FLOW CHART WILL HELP YOU FIGURE OUT WHO NOW HOLDS THE HIGH CARDS AND HOW THEY MUST PLAY THEIR HANDS
November 19, 2012

UNDEFEATED TEAMS

PREDICTED OUTCOME

ALTERNATIVE OUTCOME

OREGON

STANFORD

LOSE

Oregon has the toughest road, with two top 15 teams left, and the Ducks need to prevail impressively in both games to keep the top spot in the human polls because the computers like Kansas State and Notre Dame better. Even if they're beaten in one of their last two, the Ducks could still play in the conference championship, but a pair of losses would end all BCS dreams.

WIN

OREGON ST.

TEXAS

LOSE

WIN

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP

LOSE

Undefeated in the regular season means nothing if Chip Kelly & Co. don't win the Pac-12. A loss leads to one of the other BCS bowls.

KANSAS ST.

BAYLOR

LOSE

Baylor won't be a challenge, and the Wildcats will survive the Longhorns' visit. That should get them to the title game. (There's no Big 12 championship game.) Of course, nothing is guaranteed, and if Oregon and Notre Dame remain undefeated, Kansas State will be at the mercy of voters and computers. If so, expect K-State's and the Irish's wins against common opponents (Miami and Oklahoma) to be parsed like the Zapruder film. If Texas pulls the upset, the Wildcats are probably Fiesta Bowl bound.

WIN

TEXAS

NOTRE DAME

WAKE FOREST

WIN

USC

LOSE

The Trojans and their fans will be pumped to get Matt Barkley a signature win in his final home game. USC receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods will challenge Notre Dame's secondary more than any wideouts have this year. Lose and they're a lock for the Fiesta.

WIN

Are Oregon and K-State still undefeated? If so, did the Irish crush USC and persuade voters that they belong in the title game?

YES

NO

ONE-LOSS TEAMS

ALABAMA

WIN

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP

LOSE

A washout in Atlanta would mean no Sugar for 'Bama and an answer to the eternal question: Is it possible for Nick Saban to get any grumpier?

WIN

AUBURN

LOSE

Alabama won't drop either of these games, but it hardly matters. The Tide's loss to the Aggies put the SEC's six-year title streak in jeopardy. No one in the conference has a clear path to the BCS championship game.

WIN

W. CAROLINA

GEORGIA

WIN

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP

LOSE

Non-BCS bowl, likely the Capital One.

WIN

GEORGIA TECH

WIN

GEORGIA SOUTHERN

YES

Have at least two of Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame lost? If so, the SEC championship winner will most likely play for the BCS title. Again.

NO

The Sugar Bowl awaits. Will a sad fan base follow?

WIN

FLORIDA

FLORIDA ST.

LOSE

WIN

JACKSONVILLE STATE

FLORIDA ST.

WIN

ACC CHAMPIONSHIP

LOSE

Non-BCS bowl, probably Chick-fil-A.

WIN

FLORIDA

LOSE

WIN

MARYLAND

LOSE

YES

Have multiple teams taken a second loss, including at least two of the current undefeateds?

NO

Welcome to a non-BCS bowl, most likely the close-to-home Outback or Capital One against a Big Ten team.

YES

Has everyone else lost, and have the Seminoles dominated the ACC title game enough to make voters overlook their loss at N.C. State (and the low esteem in which they hold the conference)?

NO

Orange Bowl to face the Big East champ, most likely Rutgers or Louisville.

DISCOVER BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SOUTH FLORIDA 2013

ILLUSTRATIONIllustration by JULIE TENINBAUM SEVEN PHOTOS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)