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NCAA Football

Ranking the One Loss Teams in College Football

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Ranking the One Loss Teams

one loss
Marvin Gentry-US Presswire

The one loss team. Every season the biggest debate in college football swirls around the one loss team that is most deserved to play for a National Championship. This season, one team will travel to Miami with one loss. Who that team is remains to be seen.

One program has already made reservations for the big game. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are on their way to the Sunshine State after running the table, in a year even the most loyal Domers thought such a feat was impossible.

After the Irish, things get sticky. What sport knows the sticky nature of perception better than college football? Enter seven one loss squads into championship week. Two have a chance at meeting the Irish January 7.

This Saturday the winner of the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs SEC Championship will move on to play for all the marbles. Is it right? Are there better one loss teams in college football?

Fortunately another set of these one loss programs will play each other which should help clarify the picture. Thanks to the MAC conference championship, the Kent State Golden Flashes and the Northern Illinois Huskies play Friday night. The Kansas State Wildcats still have a dangerous Texas Longhorns on their schedule this Saturday.

Who are the best one loss teams out of the seven? This is my rendition of the top seven beginning with the least impressive one loss team ending with the program that could very well hoist the crystal ball next month.

College football rarely works out perfectly with two undisputed undefeated squads meeting at the end of the season with no debate as to who is the rightful champion. This year, like so many others, the end will be a little messy with our aforementioned one loss programs.

Has that ever stopped us from ranking them anyway? Let me know your your thoughts. Agree? Disagree? Holla!


James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow James on Twitter as well.

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7. Kent State Golden Flashes (11-1) BCS Rank (17)

Jim O'Connor-US Presswire

Ironically, the team that is last on my list has a decent shot at a making a BCS bowl. I'll be honest, Kent State has had a fabulous season. Their one loss, however, is probably the worst of all the teams in discussion. The lone blemish on the Golden Flashes schedule was a beat-down at the hands of the lowly Kentucky Wildcats. Losing will happen, but a 47-14 loss to 2-10 Kentucky is not Golden or flashy.

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6. Northern Illinois (11-1) BCS Rank (21)

Mike DiNovo-US Presswire

Rounding out the MAC representative is Northern Illinois. A slight edge is given to the Huskies over the Golden Flashes. Defensively the Huskies are solid giving up a mere 17.5 points a game. Couple that with an offense that averages 40 a game and I like the Huskies in my six spot over their conference rival NIU. Another plus is their only loss was by one point against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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5. Kansas State (10-1) BCS Rank (6)

Tim Heitman-US Presswire

Once in the running for a national championship and the Heisman Trophy, Kansas State and Collin Klein have fallen. A final game against Texas could put Klein back in the front-seat for the stiff-armed statue. With a trip to New York likely on Klein's itinerary, the Wildcats will get some nice pub before their best case scenario, a BCS bowl.

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4. Florida Gators (11-1) BCS Rank (4)

Kevin Liles-US Presswire

If griping is en vogue consider the Gators the biggest hipsters in college football. Surviving a gauntlet of an SEC schedule with only loss is praise worthy. Unfortunately, the Gators saved their worst effort for the Georgia Bulldogs so a trip to Atlanta will have to wait. The good news for Gators Nation is a BCS bowl bid is waiting.

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3. Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) BCS Rank (3)

Daniel Shirey-US Presswire

Back in week six, the Dogs were handed an old fashioned whooping by the South Carolina Gamecocks. At the time it appeared Georgia was a long way away from a shot at the SEC championship let alone a national championship. Things have changed to say the least. UGA is one win away from going to Miami.

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2. Oregon Ducks (11-1) BCS Rank (5)

Scott Olmos-US Presswire

I don't care what happens in the SEC championship, I would still love to see the Ducks get a crack at the title. One loss in overtime to a team about to play in the Pac-12 championship isn't the worst dent for the Ducks to have in their armor. Like Florida, Oregon will find itself in a BCS bowl with an opportunity to cap an almost perfect season.

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1. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) BCS Rank (2)

John David Mercer-US Presswire

This one loss team is favored to not just win the SEC championship Saturday, but also to go on and defeat Notre Dame in January. Give Nick Saban time to prepare and he's likely going to ruin your dreams. Losing at home to a freshman quarterback isn't pretty. How much respect does Bama have? Because of said win, that freshman QB will now likely win the Heisman Trophy.