October 8, 2013
In just five weeks we’ve gone from 126 undefeated college football teams to just 17 without a loss. That number will be down to single digits in the next couple of weeks. The BCS rankings haven’t come out yet, but we all know that the BCS title game will feature the SEC champion against another team that is probably undefeated. How many of these teams are true contenders and which ones are really pretenders? Lets take a look.
In the SEC, its Alabama and everyone else. And unless LSU can take down the Tide on Nov. 9 they’ll be in the SEC title game against Georgia, South Carolina or maybe Florida. (We can’t leave out Missouri as long as it has a perfect record but that won’t last long with Georgia, Florida and South Carolina coming up in the next three weeks.)
So who will try to stop the SEC from winning another BCS title? That’s where the BCS comes into play. Take away the SEC and we still have 15 teams without a loss. Baylor, Clemson, Florida St., Fresno St., Houston, Louisville, Miami, Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio St., Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Texas Tech and UCLA all have yet to lose.
Obviously some of those teams are serious contenders and some are too far down in the poll to make a serious run. Here’s a look at the teams best positioned to play for the title.
No. 2 Oregon
The Ducks have scored at least 55 points in every game. If they win out, they’ll play for the title. But it won’t be easy with Washington, UCLA, and Stanford still to play and then a possible Pac-12 title game.
No. 3 Clemson
Clemson has the best win of the season so far by beating Georgia. In two weeks, they’ll have to get by another top-10 team when they take on Florida State. The regular season finale at South Carolina will be another major hurdle before a possible ACC title game. Running the table would give the Tigers the best resume in the nation.
No. 4 Ohio State
The Buckeyes are perfect under second year coach Urban Meyer and should stay that way until they travel to the Big House to take on arch-rival Michigan and they they will likely be in the conference title game. Ohio State probably has the easiest road to perfection but may need some other teams to lose to reach No. 1 or No. 2 in the rankings.
No. 5 Stanford
The Cardinal have wins over two ranked teams already and have two more to go. They’ll have to get by UCLA before a showdown with Oregon. Winning those two games would give Stanford a great shot.
No. 6 Florida State
The Seminoles have been destroying their opponents so far. That will change with two of their next three games coming against Clemson and Miami. Winning those two games would set up a huge regular season finale against rival Florida. They’ll need Ohio State to lose to get a title shot though.
No. 8 Louisville
The Cardinals haven’t been tested yet and they may not be tested all season. With no ranked opponents on the schedule, the Cardinals will need everyone to lose at least one game and even that might not be enough to get them a title shot.
No. 11 UCLA
The Bruins will be a top four team if they win the next three games. Of course, that’s much easier said than done with Stanford and Oregon coming up after California.
No. 12 Oklahoma
The Sooners will have to go through Texas, Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State. If that happens and everyone in the PAC 12 loses along with Ohio State and the ACC teams, we could see the Sooners in another title game.
There are even a few teams with one loss that could get back in the mix if the rest of the season is as wild and crazy as they usually are. Here’s what you should be rooting for if you are a fan of one of these teams.
No. 7 Georgia
The medical staff. Nobody’s played a tougher schedule and nobody’s suffered more major injuries than the Bulldogs. Can Georgia get their guys back or survive without them? I don’t know. But running the table would include wins over Florida and Missouri before probably taking on Alabama in the SEC title game. A win there and they are in the BCS title game.
No. 9, 10, 10 Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina
These teams all need to win out and have some luck that the teams in front of them in the SEC, currently Alabama and Georgia, lose.
Unbeaten teams Baylor, Fresno St., Houston, Miami, Michigan, Northern Illinois and Texas Tech are all going to need multiple miracles to move that far up in the rankings but they deserve to stay in the conversation until they lose. And hey, miracles do happen.
September 27, 2013
The Bears picked up two last-second wins over the Bengals and Vikings before beating down Pittsburgh on Sunday night. Chicago has a tough match-up in Detroit this week and will get another last-minute win in a shootout to go 4-0. But they won’t get to 5-0 because the New Orleans Saints come to Chicago on Oct.6 and will hand the Bears their first loss.
This looks like the best team in the league right now. Peyton Manning has put up at least 37 points every week and that makes it easy for the defense to make enough stops. I’m not seeing a lot of losses on the schedule with just a couple games against the top teams in the league. They play Dallas, Indianapolis, New England, Kansas City and Houston all on the road. All those games could be tricky. But they will survive in Dallas and Manning will get it done against his former team. Speaking of getting it done against a former team…it will be Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins that hand Denver its first loss on Oct. 27.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are the most-improved team in the league and already have more wins that last season. And if they can pick up another one at Arrowhead against the reeling New York Giants, they’ve got a good chance to get to 6-0 with Tennessee and Oakland up next. But I don’t think that happens because the Giants can’t start 0-4 can they?
Nobody expected the Dolphins to be 3-0. And I don’t expect them to reach 4-0 because they will be on the losing end of a battle of unbeatens on Monday Night in New Orleans.
The Patriots are at it again. The names and faces surrounding Tom Brady keep changing but the wins keep coming. And they will get a couple more against Atlanta and Cincinnati before Brady gets out-gunned on his own field by Drew Brees on Oct. 13. (Is there a pattern here?)
New Orleans Saints
The Saints have two divisional wins over the Falcons and Buccaneers to go along with a blowout of Arizona. They’ve got three straight games coming up against undefeated teams in Miami, Chicago and New England. They’ll find a way to win all of them before heading into their bye week. They’ll get by a couple of weak AFC teams in the Jets and Bills to get to 8-0 before hitting a brutal stretch against the Cowboys, 49ers, Falcons and Seahawks. And their first loss will come in that stretch. At home. At the hands of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
At 3-0, the Seahawks have looked unstoppable and already have a two-game lead over everyone in the NFC West. Don’t expect them relinquish that lead anytime soon. But they won’t be undefeated for long because they’ve got an early game in Houston on Sunday and the Texans are going to be irate after getting beat up in Baltimore. Houston will get the win and hand Seattle its first loss.
December 3, 2012
Bowl game lineups set: College football’s massive bowl game lineup is now complete and, as expected, Alabama will face undefeated Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship game. That’s not a big surprise as the Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in last week’s SEC championship. Even though the Irish are the undefeated team heading into the big game, expect powerhouse Alabama to be favored. While Notre Dame has struggled in several of their lesser games against the likes of mediocre teams such as Pitt, Purdue, and BYU, Alabama has plowed through the difficult SEC nearly unblemished. Notre Dame’s schedule was also a tough one, but the early pick here will be the Crimson Tide.
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa projected to fall short of Hall of Fame: Three of MLB’s biggest stars of our generation, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa, are on the ballot for the sport’s Hall of Fame for the first time this year. But with their names tied to steroid use, all three will fall short of induction according to a recent survey taken by the Associated Press. Approximately 100 voters took part in the survey, and Clemens and Bonds received about 45% support while Sosa picked up only about 18% (75% is needed for induction). Even if the trio doesn’t get in this season, there will be plenty of opportunities for them down the road. But for Clemens and Bonds, the news would be particularly difficult to swallow since both were probable Hall of Famers before their alleged use.
ACC adds Louisville: After the defection of Maryland, who is headed to the Big Ten (or B1G … whichever you prefer), the ACC acted swiftly by adding Big East team Louisville. The move was somewhat of a surprise to many as Connecticut had been the trendy pick to receive the invitation. But the conference made it clear that they wanted a ‘football school’ with the move. The Cardinals aren’t a powerhouse by any means, but they have had some success in the Big East and was the conference’s champion this season. Louisville’s program needs to have some more good seasons to establish a bit of consistency, but current head coach Charlie Strong has them moving in the right direction.
Phoenix Suns offer money back guarantee: Desperate to hold onto a fan base not all that thrilled with the team’s rough start to the season, the Phoenix Suns are offering a money back guarantee for their game against the Dallas Mavericks this week. If fans at the game don’t think they’ve had a fun time, the franchise will reportedly offer them their money back according to this ESPN article. I don’t know all the details, but while this may sound like a good idea, part of me thinks the team may have been better off making this offer with a bad team in town. The Mavericks aren’t off to a great start so far, but are a pretty good team. And I don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to have a good time when my favorite team wins.
Rick Majerus passes away: Popular college basketball head coach Rick Majerus passed away last week after heart failure. Majerus was most recently the coach of Saint Louis’ basketball team and took a leave of absence from the team earlier this year before the season began. He will probably be most remembered for his jovial personality, but Majerus was a pretty good coach as well. He took the little-regarded Utah Utes program to the NCAA championship game in 1998 and made them into a regular tournament team. Also, in his 25 years of coaching, he had only one losing season. It’s safe to say that he’ll be missed.
November 20, 2012
Did anybody see that coming? I sure didn’t. And now that there is just one perfect team left, the BCS Championship picture is pretty clear……unless they lose, too. And I think they will. With just a couple weeks of chaos remaining, here is where they stand:
No. 1 Notre Dame
The Irish are the only unbeaten team remaining and only have one game to go. Just USC stands between Notre Dame and a chance to play for a national championship. When the season began, the Trojans thought this game would be something they needed to survive to get a title shot. With the tables turned, I expect to see an angry USC squad take its best shot at knocking a long-time rival out of the title picture. The Irish would join a group of one-loss teams in the discussion if they don’t win, but an SEC team and Oregon (Ducks defeated Trojans 62-51) would be more deserving.
No. 2 Alabama
Nobody gets the help they need faster than Alabama. Last year when the Tide dropped to No. 3 in the BCS standings they were back in the top two in two weeks. This year it only took one week for them to go from No. 4 to No. 2. Alabama needs to beat an Auburn team that is 0-7 in the SEC and then No. 3 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game in order to have a chance to win back-to-back national titles.
No. 3 Georgia
Suddenly, a team that nobody has been talking about controls its own destiny to play for the national championship.
The Bulldogs need to beat Georgia Tech (6-5) and then knock off No. 2 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. If that happens, Georgia will be on the field against someone on Jan. 7.
No. 4 Florida
The Gators aren’t even going to play for the SEC title but are still in the mix. Sound familiar? (Alabama last year) We know one team in front of them is going to win and one is going to lose. And if Notre Dame falls at USC and Florida wins its final game at No. 10 Florida State, nothing will keep Florida from moving up to No. 2 in the rankings unless voters decide they do not want to see an all-SEC championship game and move Florida down.
No. 5 Oregon
Despite last week’s loss to Stanford, the Ducks have some hope. What has to happen? They must win at No. 15 Oregon State and hope that No. 17 UCLA can knock off No. 8 Stanford. That would put Oregon in the PAC-12 Championship Game against UCLA, who would be at top-15 team. A win there coupled with a Notre Dame loss to USC and either Alabama or Georgia losing should get Oregon a title shot because it would be a conference champion and Florida would not. Although, it wouldn’t matter if the Gators lose to Florida State.
No. 6 Kansas State
The Wildcats are pretty much out of it because of the way they lost against Baylor. Getting blown out 52-24 to a 5-5 Baylor team pretty much means they won’t get to the BCS Championship no matter what happens, but it would be possible if Notre Dame, Florida and Oregon all lost. Of course, they also need to beat No. 16 Texas to keep their hopes alive.
No. 10 Florida State
Are they still in it? It’s a longshot, but isn’t that what the BCS is all about? Notre Dame has to lose. The Seminoles need to blow Florida out of the water and beat Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. Oregon and maybe Kansas State would have to lose again and the voters would need to decide they want a conference champion to play the SEC champ.
Did I miss anything? Probably. Anything can happen in the BCS. Did I mention that Kent State has just one loss? Maybe it still has a shot.
November 6, 2012
The big day has come and gone. All season, we’ve been waiting for Nov. 3 to make or break the BCS title race for some of the top teams. The LSU vs Alabama and USC vs Oregon games could have created BCS chaos, but with Alabama and Oregon remaining undefeated, the BCS waters have cleared. With three regular season games left for each team, here is where we stand.
We all know at least one SEC team will play for the title. Current BCS No. 1 Alabama will be in the SEC Championship Game and barring an upset, so will No. 5 Georgia. The question is…can the Bulldogs pull off a shocker and take down the reigning champs? If that happens and Georgia gets into the title game, Alabama could still end up in the top two and make it an all SEC Championship game again. But that’s not likely so lets look at the other teams remaining in the chase.
No. 2 Kansas State
The Wildcats path to the BCS title game has two roadblocks. The first is the injury to quarterback Colin Klein who is one of the front-runners for the Heisman Trophy. They managed to get by Oklahoma State fairly easily without him playing much in the second half but don’t expect them to beat TCU, Baylor and Texas without him. Hopefully, his injury is not serious. And the second roadblock is Oregon. If everyone wins out, Oregon will jump Kansas State in the standings. The Wildcats need the Ducks to go down.
No. 3 Oregon
Oregon jumped Notre Dame after beating USC. They will jump Kansas State if they beat California, Stanford, Oregon State and win the PAC-12 title game. The Ducks should be the only team besides Alabama that controls its own fate. Win and they are in.
No. 4 Notre Dame
The Irish keep winning ugly. Winning ugly doesn’t help you pass the teams in front of you. Notre Dame should beat Boston College and Wake Forest. Then it comes down to winning at USC and hoping somebody knocks off Kansas State and Oregon.
No. 9 Louisville
Hey. These guys keep winning so I’m keeping them in the discussion. It’s the least I can do. Yeah they haven’t beaten a ranked team all season but if they run the table and Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame all lose….the Cardinals will still be left out.
No. 10 Florida State
The Seminoles should be rooting for a couple teams to finish unbeaten. Otherwise, they may be kicking themselves over that never-should-have-happened last second loss at North Carolina State. But they may not be done yet. They just need to win against Virgina Tech and Maryland, then beat Florida while having Georgia lose to Auburn, who is 0-6 in the SEC. That would send Florida to face Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. And if Florida can win and Notre Dame, Kansas State and Oregon all lose a game…