In the first seven years of the BCS system, we have learned two performance-related truths.
A perfect record does not guarantee a team a spot in the national championship game, and losing once doesn't necessarily eliminate a team from the title chase.
The latter fact is one that holds particular significance for schools such as Oklahoma, Auburn and whichever team happens to lose the Sunshine State showdown between Miami and Florida State on Monday evening. Those teams must believe their championship dreams are still alive.
It's obviously difficult to win 10 straight games in college football, but that's exactly what these teams will need to do, since they can't afford a second loss. How difficult is the task before them? Since 1950, only two teams have lost their season opener and rebounded to finish the regular season in the top 2 of both polls (Ohio State in 1957 and Tennessee in 1967). And that's exactly where teams need to be for a good chance to earn the coveted spots in the BCS title game.