Which School Would Finish #2 If Both Went Undefeated, Oregon Or Notre Dame?
It’s that time of year. With a few weeks of college football in the books, the BCS debates have begun.
Most of the college football world assumes one thing: If an SEC team finishes the season undefeated, it will play for the BCS National Championship. But after that?
Yes, there are many other teams that are currently undefeated and capable of reaching the BCS title game. But let’s assume, for a second, that Oregon and Notre Dame are the only other two. Which would get the nod, and why?
We sent the question out to our team and got quite the response.
If Oregon and Notre Dame both go undefeated all season, which gets the #2 slot in the BCS Standings (assuming an SEC undefeated takes #1)?
Tyler Moorehead (ND): Notre Dame will never, ever, EVER be left out of the National Championship game if it goes undefeated. College football simply revolves around the school — conferences have been bending over backwards for even our partial memberships to their conferences, our AD was the top choice to be NCAA president but said being head of ND is even better, and the media world lights on fire if writers even say we are irrelevant. The reality is that money matters, and there is no bigger money-maker for the NCAA than Notre Dame being in the title game — none. Texas, Oregon, Alabama? HUGE programs. But none are the media storm of the Irish. If and when the Irish move to 12-0, there isn’t a chance we aren’t flying out to Miami to play.
Patrick Creagh (ND): Last year, Michigan was rewarded with an invitation to the Sugar Bowl despite not winning its own division, not playing the top two teams in the Leaders Division, and recording only one top 25 victory (#17 Nebraska). The explanation for the Wolverines’ BCS invitation last year is simple: Money talks. For that reason, Notre Dame would absolutely get the nod over Oregon for the BCS Championship. Oregon does not compare to Notre Dame when it comes to college football’s most valuable teams. The Ducks lacks the traveling fan base and media favoritism. Texas or LSU would perhaps be a more interesting debate when the invites are determined by which school can generate more money, but this one seems like a lock.
Sarah Bergstrom (USC): Oregon deserves the #2 because it has to play a conference championship. Notre Dame has to play USC…but thats the product of a schedule made up of teams all around the country. Oregon will have to play USC twice (most likely). Also, thus far into the season, Oregon’s offense and all-around performance have been more impressive than ND’s. Oregon is 6th overall in rushing yards and 4th overall in points scored. People enjoy watching Oregon play. Besides, Notre Dame won’t go undefeated.
Evan Budrovich (USC): Notre Dame. It has murderers row on its schedule and plays a style of football that will allow it to win against an SEC team. Defense and more defense for the Irish. Plus, if Notre Dame goes #2, I think Lou Holtz would be so happy that he might stop working and quit ESPN all together.
Tara Campbell (USC): It will come down to their performances against USC. Oregon and Notre Dame both play hard schedules, but their performances against the Trojans towards the end of the season will be the key. Oregon will most likely get two chances at USC, so the odds are in Oregon’s favor.
Stephen Fenech (FSU): It would have to be Oregon because it won its conference. It would be a tough pill to swallow for ND.
Chris Lilly (Mizzou): Ahhh the beauty of college football has already started. Yes it is only October but it is never too early to talk about who is going to get the #2 ranking at the end of the year. If I had to pick between the two, I’d chose Oregon to grasp the second spot in the nation. Chip Kelly knows his football players and once again has put together a prolific offense behind Mariota, Barner, and Thomas. Right now, Notre Dame has overachieved and eventually the Irish will be exposed.
Dylan Hicks (Mizzou): If Oregon and Notre Dame are both undefeated at the end of the season, it means a couple of things:
1. The Mayans were right. The world is coming to an end, Notre Dame lived up to the hype.
2. Matt Barkley had to have his right arm amputated and the Trojans lost three more times to end the year.
3. The Big 12 should implode if either WVU, Texas, or K-State somehow doesn’t go undefeated as well.
4. Bob Stoops is fired for losing two home games.
5. Who cares who’s #2? Bama/LSU still win by ten in national title game.
Mitchell Morse (Mizzou): This isn’t going to happen. But, if it somehow did, Oregon would get the #2 slot unless Notre Dame obliterated its opponents. But as long as Oregon doesn’t lose, it’ll have the edge on the #2 spot.
Jack McDonough (Mizzou): For the sake of argument, I’ll answer the question, despite it being preposterous and completely irrational. Even though I think Oregon will lose a game and Notre Dame will lose three, if both went undefeated, Oregon would be in the National Championship. This would assume that Oregon beat USC when USC was ranked somewhere around 7-8, and Stanford when they were around 22-ish. Notre Dame going undefeated would assume it beat USC when USC was ranked about 20 and when Stanford was around 13. I know they are the same teams, but beating a team while they are on their high horse is more impressive than kicking them while they’re down. Also, Oregon finishes with a rivalry that they have recently struggled in winning, going on the road to Oregon State. But like I said, NEITHER SCENARIO HAPPENS!
Nate Jacobson (Mizzou): It’s only the first day of October, so I think there are still many twists and turns that remain in the college football season, just like last year. However, if I had to answer this question, I would give a slight edge to Oregon because it would likely have to beat USC twice. Notre Dame would certainly make a case with away wins against Oklahoma and USC (I think the Fighting Irish will lose both these games), but Oregon gets in with a PAC-12 title victory. It is ranked higher than Notre Dame now and the Ducks control their own destiny the rest of the year.
Matt Hundley (Mizzou): First off, of all the remaining unbeaten non-SEC teams, I believe Florida State and West Virginia have the best chance to remain undefeated and enter the national title conversation. However, if Oregon finishes undefeated, it has to get the spot. The PAC-12 is, in my opinion, a very underrated conference and an undefeated season would give the Ducks wins over great teams. If the Ducks can’t run the table then I feel like a Big 12 team like a West Virginia or Texas should be #2 if one of them remains undefeated playing in a very deep conference.
Andy Tabor (Mizzou): The fact of the matter is we will not be faced with this quandary. Notre Dame still has to play Stanford and USC and I can’t see the Irish beating them both. Oregon, while looking impressive, also still has to play USC and Stanford and although it will present a bigger challenge than Notre Dame will, there is still a good chance it doesn’t make it out of both of those games unscathed. If both teams somehow do make it to the end of the year undefeated, I feel as though the Notre Dame bias in the media will land them a shot at the title, sending Oregon to the Rose Bowl and the Duck faithful into a hissy fit that the nation will surely hear.
Matt Stypulkoski (UConn): It has to be Notre Dame. On the whole, the Fighting Irish’ schedule is simply stronger than that of the Ducks. They have no real slouch on their schedule – minus a game against Boston College. Even so, BC is still a BCS conference opponent and a Holy War rival of ND, so kudos for not scheduling cupcake games. Oregon, on the other hand, had Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech on its schedule – not exactly the toughest of tests.
Dylan Clark (UConn): The Ducks would deserve the #2 spot. Notre Dame’s schedule isn’t as tough as people say, with cake walks at home against Wake Forest and Navy (played in Dublin so not really a home game, but let’s be serious here, It’s Navy we’re talking about) and away at BC. Those three games more than match the easy wins Oregon scheduled. Calling the schedules even, it goes to the Ducks on the old fashioned eye test. They play a better, more exciting brand of football that Notre Dame simply cannot match.
Tim Fontenault (UConn): If Notre Dame runs the table then it has to be the Irish. Their schedule is always one of the toughest in the nation. They share USC and Stanford as opponents with Oregon, but also face Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma and BYU. The Irish also know that they can’t afford a single slip-up as their lack of affiliation could prove costly once again.
Tom Rende (Syracuse): From a writer’s point of view, it should be a toss up because both bring a lot of talent and strength of schedule to the table. Choosing one team over another based on scoring differential is a waste of time because that doesn’t truly speak what it means to be the second best team. I would end up choosing Notre Dame solely based on the national attention the Irish receive and the ratings that the BCS Championship would garner.
So in the end? Nine votes for Oregon, seven for Notre Dame, and one (Dylan Hicks) vote for the world ending. Thoughts?