Breaking Down the Top Four in the BCS Standings
Four teams sit atop the BCS Standings with 9-0 records after 10 weeks of action in the FBS season and those four teams (Alabama, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame) are attempting to finish the home stretch of their season undefeated which would keep their BCS Title Game aspirations in tact.
All four of these teams have the talent level and coaching staffs who are capable of making a BCS Championship Game appearance but only two can make it and by the end of this piece I will not only let you know which two I fell will compete against one another for the National Championship but also why.
Let’s begin with the number one ranked team in the standings the Alabama Crimson Tide who have without question the best defense in the entire nation allowing just 228.9 yards per game (2nd in FBS) and 9.1 points per game (1st in FBS). The Tide have three scheduled home games remaining in their path including versus #15 Texas A&M, Western Carolina and a disappointing Auburn team before having to meet the winner of the SEC East in the conference title game (possibly either Florida or Georgia). If the Tide can continue their strong play then they will without question have the inside track on reaching the title game and attempt to claim back-to-back national championships, something that is almost unheard of in college football these days.
The Kansas State Wildcats ranked #2 maybe the biggest surprise of the bunch and have earned their place amongst these teams with a tremendous balance of a terrific running attack on offense and a stout defense who doesn’t surrender a ton of points. The Wildcats are currently ranked fifth in the nation in points scored per game (44.3) and 21st in points allowed per game (18.6) while their quarterback Collin Klein is having a Heisman Trophy candidate type of a season passing for 1,875 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for another 698 yards and 17 touchdowns. Kansas State has meetings with TCU and Baylor on the road up next followed by a match up with #17 Texas at home and then possibly a rematch with the Longhorns (or Oklahoma) in the Big 12 title game. The Wildcats would need to win out and get help from Oregon’s opponents in order to remain in the second spot and have the opportunity to play in the BCS Title Game.
The #3 Oregon Ducks not only have the most dynamic offense in the nation but also have the best schedule to impress both the voters and computers for the duration of the season. The Ducks are currently ranked first in the nation in scoring with 54.3 points scored per game and also have the second best rushing attack in the nation with 341.2 yards per game. Oregon has some critical games left on their schedule including at California, versus #14 Stanford and at #11 Oregon State and then finally a Pac-12 title game meeting with either #18 UCLA or a rematch with #19 USC. If the Ducks and their potent offense can win out then they without question will be in the title game looking to capture their first national title in school history.
The #4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish may have had the most difficult schedule of the four teams vying for those two championship game spots and the computers as well as voters may keep that in mind when its all said and done. Notre Dame has one of the best defenses in the nation which allows just 294.7 yards per game (10th in FBS) and 11.7 points per contest (2nd in FBS) along with arguably the best defensive player in the country in Manti Te’o which means they have an excellent chance at pulling out the necessary victories to keep them alive for a title game opportunity. The Irish have games at Boston College, versus Wake Forest and at #19 USC remaining on their schedule and if they are able to gain victories in each of those games then maybe playing in the first BCS title game ever.
When it’s all said and done I think all four teams will go undefeated through the regular season and finish with 12-0 records. Notre Dame’s biggest disadvantage will be the fact that they aren’t in a conference and will not have that 13th game that the three others will have on their resume. With that being said the Irish are eliminated just due to that. Kansas State won’t be playing in the title game either because they will lose in the Big 12 title game to Oklahoma who will be seeking revenge from earlier on during the season and will get it leaving the Wildcats on the wrong side of the decision. So that means that I have Oregon and Alabama in the final game for all of the chips. If you’re waiting for a prediction in that one, then continuing waiting its just November and that game is two months away.