On Saturday, Auburn and South Carolina will square off at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome to determine the SEC conference champion. While the 2010 Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State have potential implications for Stanford, one could argue the Auburn-South Carolina game has a bigger potential to impact Stanford’s BCS bowl location.
This year’s SEC title game is a rematch of a hotly contested game on Sept. 25. South Carolina led in the third quarter but Auburn stormed back for 14 uncontested points in the fourth quarter to get the 35-27 win. Saturday’s game features Auburn’s conference-leading rushing attack against South Carolina’s conference-leading rushing defense. Auburn rolled up 334 yards rushing last time these two played so the Gamecocks will need to make some adjustments.
The other significant storyline is that South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia is dealing with shoulder and thumb injuries. He was in a sling early in the week, but shed the sling on Wednesday and appears good to go for Saturday. Given the nature of some shoulder injuries, it will be worth keeping an eye on Garcia after any hits.
As previously mentioned with the Oregon-Oregon State implications for Stanford, Auburn could lose to South Carolina and still play for the national title. In fact, Auburn would probably have a better shot at this if they lost to South Carolina than if Oregon lost to Oregon State given the respect the Gamecocks are getting in the polls.
However, if Auburn were to lose and drop out of the national title game, TCU would likely move into their slot. This is of major significance because if TCU moves into the national title game and Oregon remains in the title game, Stanford would then likely be selected to play in the Rose Bowl. As the BCS No. 3, TCU currently would play in the Rose Bowl because of rules regarding non-automatic qualifying conferences. However, if TCU is in the title game that rule is not applicable.
Thus, if Stanford fans are rooting for anything this weekend, it should be for the Ol’ Ball Coach to spring one more upset and lead his South Carolina Gamecocks to the win over Auburn.