This is an unfamiliar position for the SEC.
Two weeks remain in the 2012 regular season, and the top three spots in the latest BCS standings are occupied by teams outside the SEC.
The translation: The SEC will need some help if it’s going to have a chance to extend its streak of national championships to seven in a row.
Previously unbeaten Alabama fell to No. 4 in the BCS standings on the heels of its 29-24 loss last Saturday to Texas A&M. Alabama is now looking up to three unbeaten teams -- No. 1 Kansas State, No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Notre Dame.
The Crimson Tide’s chances now hinge on two of those three teams losing.
In other words, Alabama fans will become big Baylor fans this weekend and big Texas fans on Dec. 1 when those two teams face Kansas State. They’ll be rooting for USC on Nov. 24 against Notre Dame and will be doing the same for Stanford this weekend and Oregon State in two weeks when they take on Oregon.
Alabama’s not the only SEC team that still has national championship aspirations.
Georgia was No. 5 this week in the BCS standings and has wrapped up its second straight trip to the SEC championship game. It looks like Alabama and Georgia will meet in Atlanta on Dec. 1 (assuming Alabama isn’t upset by Auburn), and the winner of the SEC title game could work its way up into one of those top two spots in the final BCS standings if two of three unbeatens fall over these next three weeks.
Georgia moved ahead of Alabama to No. 4 in the USA Today coaches poll, but the Crimson Tide remained No. 4 in the Harris poll.
Ultimately, it’s not going to matter where they’re ranked if both teams take care of business the next two weeks, because their SEC championship game matchup will decide who stays in the hunt.
Even though the SEC is on the outside looking in right now in terms of the BCS National Championship Game, the league has six of the top nine teams this week in the BCS standings.
In addition to Alabama and Georgia, Florida is No. 6, LSU No. 7, Texas A&M No. 8 and South Carolina No. 9.
Florida has the highest computer ranking of the SEC teams. The Gators are No. 3, but their chances of making the Discover BCS National Championship Game are remote. They would need four of the five teams in front of them to lose.