SEC could snag 3 BCS slots this year

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The powerhouse Southeastern Conference could snag three Bowl Championship Series slots if the the right scenario plays out in early December, BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock confirmed this morning.

Under the title "At-Large Eligibility," the BCS manual states: "No more than two teams from a conference may be selected, regardless of whether they are automatic qualifiers or at-large selections, unless two non-champions from the same conference are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the final BCS Standings."

Here's where it gets hypothetical. Say Georgia upsets LSU in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 3. If LSU and Alabama are ranked 1-2 in the final BCS standings, which are released Dec. 4, both schools would qualify for the BCS title game. Georgia, as the defined SEC champion, would advance to the Sugar Bowl.

"If two non-champions from the same conference are ranked 1 and 2, then that conference would have three teams in BCS games," Hancock wrote in an e-mail.

That means the SEC would grab two of the BCS' four at-large spots along with its automatic champion slot. Should Houston, TCU or even Southern Mississippi win their league, rank No. 16 in the final BCS standings and finish ahead of the Big East champion, that leaves just one available at-large spot, worth $6.1 million.

Under that scenario, the Big Ten likely would be relegated to just one BCS slot for the first time since 2004.

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