OU vs. FSU - Can the loser still play for a national title?

I'd venture to guess that if I were standing on a stage in front of a crowd somewhere, posing this question, that I'd have objects of varying shapes and sizes whizzing by my head right about now.  Losing this game is not a proposition either team's fans want to think about just days away from the big rematch in Tallahassee.  However, obviously one team will come out on the short end of things but does that mean their hopes of a national title are gone?  I believe the answer to be no, but

This is not an easy question to answer.  It depends on so many things that cannot be known today, Sunday morning after the game, or even in the next couple of weeks.  It also depends on what the other contending teams do, how the other teams on your schedule perform, and how highly regarded you are by the voters/computers.  What we do know is that if you do lose a game, it's much better to lose early than late.  Now part of that premise is based on your remaining schedule being able to help you overcome said loss with some quality wins.

So as things stand today, do these teams have any potential quality wins?   

  • OU - Mizzou might have been if they didn't lose last Friday night and are now no longer in the Top 25.  The Texas game will have some cache because it's OU/TX, but are we really confident after that one point win against BYU (we know they are) that Texas can help our resume?  Not until late in the season with the A&M game (currently a Top 10 team) and @ Oklahoma State (also top 10) does OU have any marquee games that will garner national attention.
  • FSU - @ Clemson, maybe.  I know it's a big deal for them, but will it be a big deal nationally?  Maryland is a possibility.  After that it's probably just the two rivalry games with Miami and @ Florida.  Miami's prospects are really up in the air right now with all the off the field turmoil and we'll learn more about UF this Saturday when they play Tennessee.  
Conclusions?  At this point you'd have to give OU a slight edge, but a lot can change between now and the A&M/OSU games.  Both with the Sooners and with their respective opponents.  The significant advantage Florida State will have over OU is the ACC Championship game (assuming they get there of course).  The Big XII no longer having that game could potentially hurt the Sooners, though I think if it really came down to that their "name" might be enough to get them over depending on who that team is they have to get over on.  Bedlam was moved to that championship weekend and it will be vital that both OU and OSU are highly ranked and draw plenty of eyeballs on Dec. 3rd.  

Ultimately, I think it's a realistic possibility for both to still remain in the national title hunt should they lose Saturday night.  However, they might not necessarily control their own future and that is always an unsettling feeling.  
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