Media: Jerry Palm Breaks Down BCS Race
By Dan Harralson
The beauty of the BCS formula being used to determine two teams to play for the national championship is that each week counts.
I'm not saying that will change next year when the four-team college football playoff begins, but there will be more margin or error.
Georgia made it difficult for themselves in 2013 after losing a heartbreaker to Clemson, Fresno State escaped against Rutgers to try and solidify themselves as a BCS buster and teams such as LSU kept their BCS national championship game hopes alive.
I talked to BCS guru Jerry Palm of CBS Sports, about the magnitude of the opening weekend.
"I would say the BCS marque match-up this week is Georgia and South Carolina. Georgia with that loss to Clemson has no margin of error now. It's not realistic that a two-loss team will get to play for a national championship. It's only happened once and that was very unusual circumstance," Palm said.
LSU won the 2007 national championship with two losses. I agree with Palm: It's highly unlikely two loss team will play in the BCS national championship game finale. There are a handful of teams that have a great shot of running through their schedule undefeated. The likes of Louisville and Fresno State are good enough to crash the BCS party in their own way.
"Fresno State, the door kind of opened up for them. I actually have Boise State winning the Mountain West. Boise plays at Fresno in a few weeks and then they can meet again for the Mountain West title in the Mountain West championship game. Fresno State would have to go undefeated to have a chance in a BCS game, but the schedule is there," Palm said of a possible BCS buster.
Then there is Florida State emerging Monday night with freshman quarterback Jameis Winston.
"I think you have to consider Florida State a contender for sure. Winston's performance was outstanding, even if it was against an opponent like Pitt. They have to go to Clemson and Florida, but the opportunity is there for them."
LSU seemed to take a back seat despite a win at ranked TCU. LSU and Les Miles seem to have another solid team.
"I thought it was a good win over TCU," Palm said. "TCU is a team that has a chance to win the Big 12 this year. LSU, I feel like they're like Florida. Nobody is really talking much about them in the league race and the national championship hunt, but the pieces are there for them to do it."
In order for LSU to battle through the tough schedule, they will need what Florida needs.
"The question is if they can manage a difficult schedule and have the quarterback play," Palm continued. "The thing about LSU is that they haven't had a reliable quarterback in even I don't know how long."
A lot of people believe three teams have a good shot to finish the regular season undefeated: Louisville, Ohio State and Oregon.
Palm On Louisville
"Of anybody in the entire nation, Louisville has the best combination of talent and schedule to finish undefeated. They looked good against Ohio. I was there. They look good as far as execution on both sides of the football. Bridgewater is one of the best quarterbacks in America, if not the best."
Palm On Ohio State And Oregon
"I think Ohio State is the prohibitive favorite in the Big Ten. I think it can be an interesting battle with Oregon. If you have an undefeated SEC team and those two teams are undefeated, it's going to be an interesting battle for the number two spot in the BCS national championship game. Oregon jumped Ohio State this week in the AP poll, but Ohio State is still number two in the coaches poll, which is part of the BCS. If these two teams are battling it out each week, then style of play points may come into play for voters."
Palm On The Pac-12
Of course, Oregon will have to defeat the defending Pac-12 champions, the Stanford Cardinal, to stay undefeated.
"Stanford is my pick to win the Pac-12. I think Oregon is a very talented team, but they went up to Eugene and won last year. They have a lot of those same guys back and Stanford is an excellent team and has a chance to play for a national championship."
Palm On Bama-Texas A&M
But then there is Alabama. The Crimson Tide do not have the toughest schedule, for a change, but do travel to College Station for one of the biggest games all year.
"The Texas A&M and Alabama game is obviously a game everyone has been pointing to before the season even started, but it's a huge game in the national championship picture," Palm said. "I had Alabama and Ohio State before the season and the first week didn't really do anything to change my mind."
There's no doubt the 2013 college football season will be entertaining to see which teams fall week-by-week, vying to play for the crystal ball in Pasadena.