Now that the BCS rankings have been updated after Auburn upset Alabama, it’s apparent that it’s mathematically impossible for the computers to jump the SEC Champ over Ohio State if it takes care of business this weekend against Michigan State: http://buckeyextra.dispatch.com/content/stories/2013/12/02/1202-bcs-brea.... There’s a slight possibility, however, that the human element (voters) of the BCS formula could give the SEC Champ the push it needs to leap an undefeated Ohio State. In addition to common sense reasons why this shouldn’t happen—and in fact this scenario has never happened in the BCS era—here’s the logical reason why the human voters shouldn’t put a one-loss team ahead of an undefeated AQ school and why SEC proponents have no ground to stand on. By their own logic, if the SEC Champ should jump an undefeated Ohio State, then so too should the PAC-12 Champ jump the SEC Champ.
Those who say the SEC Champ should jump an undefeated Ohio State are basically saying that the SEC Champ’s strength of schedule (SOS) is sufficient enough to overcome one more loss when compared to Ohio State. According to ESPN (http://espn.go.com/college-football/statistics/teamratings), of whom many of its reps are the ones clamoring for the SEC Champ to jump an undefeated Ohio State, each of the potential PAC-12 Champs, Arizona State and Stanford, have a tougher SOS, #3 and #7 SOS respectively, than either of the potential SEC Champs (#38 SOS for Auburn; #45 SOS for Missouri). Furthermore, Auburn, the higher-rated SOS team from the SEC at 38, is separated by a wider margin from Stanford, the lower-rated SOS team from the PAC-12 at 7 (margin of 31), than Ohio State is from Auburn (margin of 26). So essentially, those who argue that the SEC Champ should jump an undefeated Ohio State are saying that the additional loss compared to Ohio State is outweighed by a SOS being, at best, 26 units stronger. If that’s the case then the PAC-12 Champ’s additional loss compared to the SEC Champ should be outweighed by a SOS being, at worst, 31 units better.
According to ESPN’s own metrics, the two-loss PAC-12 Champ has a better case to jump the one-loss SEC Champ, than the SEC Champ has to jump an undefeated Ohio State.