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Does Oregon Loss Make Alabama v Florida State Inevitable?

Does Oregon Loss Make Alabama v Florida State Inevitable?

Nov 8, 2013

(Ryan Kang/Emerald)

For the second straight year, the Oregon Ducks have had their national championship hopes all but crushed in a loss against the Stanford Cardinals. Oregon’s first loss of the season leaves their hopes of returning to contention in terms of a BCS National Championship Game discussion should be all but over. The question now is whether there is any scenario other than a final featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles?

The Ducks entered Thursday’s night difficult clash against Stanford at Stanford Stadium knowing that a victory would leave just the Utah Utes (4-4), Arizona Wildcats (6-2) and Oregon State Beavers (6-3) standing in the way of an unbeaten season and probable championship game appearance.

However, the Cardinals are a tough match-up and they proved it once again on Thursday. They overwhelmed Heisman Trophy contender Marcus Mariota for the best part of three quarters throwing the exciting future NFL prospect completely off of his game. Mariota led a furious fourth quarter rally as Oregon put up 20 points in the fourth after being shut out through the first three. All 20 of the Ducks’ points came in the last 10 minutes of the game, but it was never going to be enough to overcome the early deficit and Stanford eventually sealed a huge 26-20 win.

That doesn’t make a Florida State-Alabama match-up inevitable though. The Seminoles have made it through most of the season without suffering what has become the expected bad loss. They’ve been especially dominant against their toughest competition as well crushing the Clemson Tigers 51-14 and then thrashing the Miami Hurricanes 41-14. In theory the next three games against Wake Forest, Syracuse and Idaho should be regulation victories and a season closing match-up against struggling in-state rivals the Florida Gators (4-4) looks pretty winnable right now.

Florida State has made an unfortunate habit of slipping up in recent years with 2012 being the perfect example. However, this team has been ruthlessly efficient on both sides of the ball. They rank third overall on offense averaging 51.1 points per game and fourth in terms of defense conceding an average of just 13.1 points per game.

Alabama is looking for a third national championship and fourth in five years. Still, Nick Saban’s team have a tough task to stay unbeaten, though one loss might not throw them out of contention (much like last year). This Saturday, the Crimson Tide take on the #13 ranked LSU Tigers and they have to close the season against the #9 ranked Auburn Tigers, a team that is a tough 9-1.

All of this excludes what could be very challenging conference championship games as well for both teams. Make no mistake about it. There is plenty left to play for in this college football season and there are teams that should still be very interested in terms of their national championship possibilities, especially the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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