There seems to be one clear team that will get to the BCS title game: Any team that goes undefeated in the SEC. Now, if that doesn't happen, things open up for everyone else, but I'd say it's pretty likely that one of Alabama, Florida, and South Carolina will be a contender to get into the game. Heck, even LSU or Georgia could rally and run the table and they'd be viable candidates if there aren't two other undefeated teams.
Now, the Oregon Ducks appear to be the second team that controls their BCS fate. Presuming they're able to run the table, they have all the ability in the world to get to Miami for a chance at a national title redemption.
Figures that the best new thing in college football might have to fend off the last king of college football, one Notre Dame. Samuel Chi explains.
WIN AND ALMOST IN
2. Oregon - Though the Ducks are the consensus No. 2 in the polls, they're on slightly shakier ground than an unbeaten SEC champion because of the common-opponent factor with the next team in line. Style points will matter for the most stylishly appareled team in college football.
WIN AND USE THE BRAND
6. Notre Dame - The Irish have a chance to sneak past Oregon, and this is how they can get it done: Go undefeated and beat Stanford and USC more impressively than Oregon does. Both Notre Dame and Oregon host the Cardinal and visit L.A. to take on the Trojans. How they stack up in those games will influence the voters a great deal.
It's hard to see a scenario in which either Oregon or Notre Dame are able to outdistance themselves from each other. Notre Dame has beaten up on decent but hardly intimidating Big Ten teams, while Oregon just rolled through the easier part of their schedule. The Stanford/USC barometer is an interesting one, as it would provide the best potential delineation between the two schools regarding who is more deserving of the final berth.
Additionally, the Notre Dame cache could be strong enough to give them that final push over the edge in the minds of pollsters that make up a good component of the vote, while the computers will value Notre Dame's strength of schedule over Oregon's weak non-conference slate.
It's still a ways off, but you can imagine Oregon is Stanford's biggest fan this weekend.