Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/21/12
Does anyone really want to see another all-SEC rematch in the BCS national championship game? Except for those in SEC country, the answer is a resounding “no.” Last year’s 21-0 Alabama title victory over LSU was rather dull to everyone but Tide fans. But after losses by the BCS’s top two teams, Kansas State and Oregon, this past weekend, the possibility remains that two SEC clubs could again play for the national title. Of course, teams from that conference have won an incredible six straight national championships. Notre Dame can officially put an end to an all-SEC national title game. All the Irish have to do is win at vastly disappointing Southern Cal on Saturday night. Notre Dame may have been a small underdog for the game, but the Trojans lost starting quarterback and former Heisman favorite Matt Barkley to injury in last Saturday’s loss to UCLA. He won’t play against Notre Dame. Freshman Max Wittek, who has thrown nine career collegiate passes, will make his first start. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Wittek does have a big arm, much more so than Barkley’s. But experience can’t be taught, and the Irish have one of the nation’s stingiest defenses. With Wittek in instead of Barkley, Notre Dame will now open as a six-point favorite. For those who would rather gouge their eyes out than root for Notre Dame, know this: Southern Cal has ended an unbeaten season for the Irish six times. Two of those times, Notre Dame was top-ranked, as it is now. Although the Irish have the clearest path to the national title game, they are just 5-2 second-favorites to win it all. SEC commissioner Mike Slive may be the biggest Trojans fan on the planet this week. Alabama is again the favorite to take the national championship, now at 4-7. The Tide were favored for most of the season before an upset to Texas A&M, and they jumped back to No. 2 in this week’s BCS standings. It’s probably unrealistic for SEC bashers to expect an Alabama loss this week against Auburn. Yes, the Iron Bowl is one of college football’s most heated rivalries, but the Tigers are winless in the SEC and having one of the worst seasons in school history. Thus Auburn is a 31.5-point underdog. The Tide would still have to get past Georgia in the SEC championship game to earn a trip to Miami, but they will be favored over the Dawgs barring an injury to starting quarterback A.J. McCarron this week. Alabama would be about a nine-point favorite over the Irish in a national championship matchup. Georgia’s national title hopes looked finished when it was routed 35-7 by South Carolina earlier this year, but the BCS No. 3 Dawgs should get a title shot with wins this week over Georgia Tech and then over Alabama. Georgia (6-1 to win it all) is a 13-point favorite over the Jackets and is 10-1 under Mark Richt against Tech. The Jackets do enter on a three-game winning streak and are playing their best football of the season. Certainly Georgia and Alabama couldn’t play for the national title, but the Dawgs would open as very slight favorites over Notre Dame. The SEC team that could be opposite the Alabama-Georgia winner in Miami is BCS No. 4 Florida. The Gators, however, have the toughest challenge of any other contender this week as they visit No. 10 Florida State. The Noles opened as six-point favorites. The Gators have been offensively challenged this season, and FSU has one of the nation’s top defenses. The Seminoles also have won two straight over Florida, holding Florida to 14 combined points. Florida coach Will Muschamp hasn’t beaten Georgia or Florida State in his 24 games as Florida’s coach. A loss Saturday would make him just the second Florida coach to go winless against the Bulldogs and Seminoles in his first two seasons since Bobby Bowden arrived in Tallahassee in 1976. Florida doesn’t have national title odds at the book, and neither does FSU. However, a Gators win and Irish loss opens the door for them. Florida will no doubt have to win with defense, even with the return of starting quarterback Jeff Driskel from injury. Florida is third in the country in scoring defense, allowing fewer than 12 points per game. The Gators are sixth against the run and fourth in total defense. Oregon (17-2) and Kansas State (20-1) still have outside shots at playing for the national title but would need chaos this weekend to have a chance.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues suspension statement without apology

Report: Patriots restructure Rob Gronkowski's contract

Agent: Rory McIlroy not booked for PGA Championship practice

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tom Brady, NFL to appear before judge on August 12

Report: Bradford, Eagles hope to sign short-term extension

Aaron Rodgers: TV networks have ‘too much access’

Adrian Beltre completes cycle, gets mad when assaulted

Gruden had to convince Dan Snyder to bench RG3

Jim Mora turns P. Diddy fight into recruiting pitch for UCLA

Gronk, Big Papi go 'country' in latest Dunkin Donuts video

Phillies showing signs of future success

Mortensen on false Deflategate report: Still figuring Twitter out

Sheldon Richardson is down, but is he out?

Would Phil Jackson have taken Towns or Okafor first overall?

Seven Big 12 Heisman candidates for 2015

Will Manziel be good enough to be Browns’ backup plan?

Cowboys exec on Dez fight: 'I do think it's a good thing'

Baseball season in New York has been better than expected

WATCH: Giants players fight during training camp

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger Woods on Twitter

Report: Rousey to star in film based on her autobiography

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker