Georgia and Alabama get the help they needed

kprice@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 18, 2012 

The loudest cheers for Baylor and Stanford's huge upsets Saturday might not have been on their own campuses. They might have been in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Athens, Ga.

With three undefeated teams heading into the final stretch of the regular season, the odds were that at least two would remain undefeated.

And if that happened, then the Southeastern Conference, namely Georgia and Alabama — both of which have a loss — would get shut out of the BCS national championship game.

But the Tide and the Dogs got the help they needed late Saturday night as Baylor stunned No. 1 Kansas and Stanford knocked off No. 2 Oregon.

Later today when the BCS rankings come out, Notre Dame, the only undefeated team left that is not on probation and therefore ineligible for the BCS — Ohio State — will move up to No. 1.

The Irish need only to handle Southern Cal next week and will punch their ticket for the title game in Miami. Notre Dame has a trio of suspect wins on its resume, a 3-point win over Purdue, an overtime-win over Pitt and a controversial overtime win over Stanford.

Despite that, Notre Dame found a way to win those games, while everyone else found a way to lose one. Alabama will likely move up to No. 2 and Georgia will move up to No. 3.

The Tide should have no problem next week with rival Auburn. With a win, the Tide would clinch the Western Division and a berth in the SEC title game.

With Central's Jonathan Wallace at quarterback, Auburn is better than it was a month ago, but there is no way Alabama, given a second chance, will slip up in the Iron Bowl.

Although Georgia has already secured its place in the SEC championship game, the Bulldogs must still take care of in-state rival Georgia Tech on Saturday.

A loss to the Jackets would knock the Dogs out of the BCS picture for good.

Assuming both Alabama and Georgia win Saturday, that will set up Georgia and Alabama in Atlanta on Dec. 1 for not only the SEC championship but a spot in Miami — a possibility that didn't seem likely even as late as Saturday afternoon.

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