FanPost

Are Oregon's odds of winning the National Championship this year better than in 2010? A determinant that might surprise you!

This year's Oregon Ducks team has their fan base excited about the possibility of playing in and winning the "Natty", what with their depth of talent on both sides of the ball, and the SEC-like schedule they're playing this year. Should the Ducks win out and make it to the final, It appears the optimism is justified!

Anyone that's ever had to travel for work can relate to the many difficulties you face in effectively managing your affairs when having to leave the comfort and routines of home. When you contemplate and examine the challenges and effects of a collegiate football student athlete made to journey "away" anywhere from 4 to 7 times in a 13 week schedule, an interesting trend has emerged in the BCS era.

In the 14 seasons of the current BCS, there have been 28 teams that have participated in the Championship Game. Of the 14 winners, 12 of them have this in common - they played a regular season schedule that included no more than 5 away games (not counting league championship games, and counting neutral sight games as away). And, if you take into consideration that the 2004 USC Trojans played their 6th* away game at UCLA in Pasadena, the number of teams that had to leave the confines of their structured environs more than 5 times is reduced to 1 - the 2005 Texas Longhorns (their championship is all the more remarkable when you realize they only played 5 home games all year!!).

Think about it, in 14 seasons, only 1 team has ever had a regular season schedule that included 6 away games (requiring overnight travel & lodging) that was able to win it all. And it's not like teams that schedule more than 5 away games haven't had their chances. Of the 14 losers in the Championship Game, 6 of them have played a regular season with 6 away games, including the last 4 seasons:

BCS Era Championship Game

Year Winner	H A  Record  Loser	H A  Record
1998 Tenn. 6 5 11 - 0 Fla. St. 6 5 10 - 1
1999 Fla. St. 6 5 11 - 0 Va. Tech 6 5 11 - 0
2000 Okla. 6 5 11 - 0 Fla. St. 6 5 10 - 1
2001 Miami 6 5 11 - 0 Neb. 8 3 11 - 0
2002 Ohio St. 8 5 13 - 0 Miami 6 6 12 - 0
2003 LSU 7 5 11 - 1 Okl. 6 5 12 - 0
2004 USC 6 6* 12 - 0 Okl. 6 5 11 - 0
2005 Texas 5 6 11 - 0 USC 6 6 12 - 0
2006 Florida 7 5 12 - 0 Ohio St. 7 5 12 - 0
2007 LSU 7 5 10 - 2 Ohio St. 7 5 11 - 1
2008 Florida 7 5 11 - 1 Okl. 6 6 11 - 1
2009 Alabama 7 5 12 - 0 Texas 6 6 12 - 0
2010 Auburn 8 4 12 - 0 Oregon 6 6 12 - 0
2011 Alabama 7 5 11 - 1 LSU 6 6 12 - 0

So, heading into week 6 of this year's campaign, which teams are best positioned to win the big game based on their regular season schedule?

Conf.		Team	  Away
SEC Alabama 5
LSU 4
Georgia 4
Florida 4
So Car 5
Miss. St 5
Tx. A&M 7

Big12		Texas	   5
Kan. St. 5
W. Virg. 4
TCU 6
Okla. 6
Tx. Tech 5

Pac12		Oregon	   5
Ore. St. 5
Stanford 6
ASU 6
Wash. 6
USC 6* (Away UCLA)
UCLA 5

ACC		Fla. St.   5
Clemson 5
Miami 6
Duke 5

Big10		NorthW.	   5
Neb. 5
Purdue 5
Minn. 5
Ohio St. 4* (Ineligible)
Michigan 6

Big East	Rutgers	   6
Cinn. 5
Lville. 5

Ind.		N.Dame	   4

What conclusions can be derived from this data and applied to the ongoing discussion surrounding scheduling and the upcoming 4 team playoff format? To start, not only does there need to be a standardizing of the number of conference games played inside the major conferences (8 or 9, not both), there also needs to be a standard relating to the number of home/away games allowed to maintain some semblance of competitive equality between the conferences. With the new TV contracts expanding the treasuries of the major conferences, there's no longer a compelling financial reason to put yourself at a competitive disadvantage if you're serious about pursuing a national championship. The SEC learned that lesson long ago and has used it to help run their streak to 6 in a row.

Whom among the 5 or fewer away teams will challenge, or will this be the year an outlier 6 team wins?



This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or the Addicted To Quack Moderators. FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable Oregon fans.

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