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Trying to Explain SEC West Tiebreaker Scenarios

It's a wild three-horse race in the SEC West among the top BCS title contenders.It's a wild three-horse race in the SEC West among the top BCS title contenders.

After a wacky Friday and Saturday of college football, it's very possible that when the BCS standings come out Sunday night, the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 teams may all be from the SEC Western Division - LSU, Alabama and Arkansas.

For only the second time in the history of the BCS and the first time in 10 years, three of the top five teams in the standings lost in one week, setting the stage for the SEC West to crash the top of the standings.

But only one of them can go to the SEC championship game in 13 days against Georgia. So who goes?

For LSU, it's simple - win and in. As the only unbeaten team, a win puts the Tigers in the title game against Georgia, which wrapped up the Eastern Division title Saturday by defeating Kentucky.

But if Arkansas goes into Baton Rouge and pulls the upset? Then it depends on the result of Saturday's Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn.

If Auburn wins at home, it's a two-way tie between Arkansas and LSU, making the Hogs the West champs based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

But if Alabama wins to forge a three-way tie, then it gets crazy.

All three teams would be 7-1 and 1-1 against each other. It would come down to the final tiebreaker - the BCS standings next Sunday. But it's not necessarily the highest-ranked team that wins the tiebreaker. Since it's a virtual certainty that the highest and second-highest ranked teams will be within five places of each other in the standings, it will be the head-to-head winner of the top two teams going to the title game.

So if LSU lost to Arkansas on Friday, but the standings next Sunday had Alabama and LSU - in either order - still ahead of the Hogs, then the Tigers still would go to the SEC title game, based on their overtime win over the Crimson Tide earlier this month.

Got that?

 
Video from LSU Athletics