Mississippi State's undefeated season is now a thing of the past, and they will no longer be the No. 1 team in the country after losing 25-20 to the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday in Tuscaloosa. How far will the Bulldogs fall in the polls? That is the new question as Maroon and White fans head into Sunday.
One can take a pretty solid guess at the questions that must be answered to try to make that determination. The only game of consequence in this matter still to be decided is Florida State vs. Miami. The traditional thought would be that the Seminoles would move up to No. 1 with a win, however a loss lumps them in with several other one-loss teams. For the Bulldogs, the resume comparison with other one-loss teams will determine where they stand in the standings.
There is one one-loss team that has to rank ahead of the Bulldogs, and that team is Alabama. The Tide won on the field, so they should stand above the Bulldogs. Other than that, it becomes an argument of better wins, losses and schedules.
Here are the other one loss contenders:
Oregon: The Ducks stand at 9-1, and they have solid wins this season. I'd expect the Ducks to rank ahead of Mississippi State in the rankings.
TCU: The Horned Frogs do not have the wins that Mississippi State has, and surviving Kansas on a day that the Bulldogs hung in with a top-five Alabama team will not help them.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes play in the Big Ten, and have little as far as big wins. Their loss to Virginia Tech was bad, and it should hold them back.
Baylor: The Bears beat TCU this year, but they have been dissed by voters all year.
Arizona State:: The Sun Devils still have to play. However, their chance to shine will come in the Pac-12 championship.
Assuming FSU and ASU win, the top-five polls tomorrow should stand as follows:
1. Florida State
4. Mississippi State
Will it? Who knows, and all bets are off if Florida State loses.