In 2004, Auburn did all it could do.
The Tigers won the Southeastern Conference and went 12-0, including defeating LSU, Georgia and Tennessee twice, all top-10 teams.
But despite going undefeated in college football's toughest league, Auburn was left out of the BCS national championship, in favor of fellow undefeated teams Oklahoma and Southern California.
The Tigers fell short in the BCS standings because of a soft non-conference slate that featured Louisiana-Monroe, The Citadel and Louisiana Tech.
Saturday, Oklahoma opens the season with Football Championship Subdivision opponent Tennessee-Chattanooga, which went 2-9 last season.
Could having the Mocs on the schedule come back to bite the Sooners in the BCS standings?
Likely not, at least in the computer rankings, says Hugo resident Richard Billingsley, who operates the Billingsley Report, one of six computer rankings that factor into the BCS Standings.
"The combination of three weak non-conference teams was the killer for Auburn. That's not the case with Oklahoma's schedule,” Billingsley said. "Cincinnati is better than people think. TCU is going to contend for a league title. Going on the road to Washington is going to be a tough game.”
Billingsley said the rest of OU's non-conference schedule, combined with a tough Big 12 slate, will be more than enough to make up for playing the Mocs.
"In regards to Chattanooga, I don't think it's going to hurt Oklahoma in the long run,” said Billingsley, whose computer rankings have correctly projected the national title teams in nine of the last 10 years, with the only misstep coming in 2006 when Florida got in ahead of Michigan.