5 Unbeaten College Football Teams Most Likely to Lose in Week 9
5 Unbeaten Teams Most Likely to Lose in Week 9
As we enter Week 9 of the college football season, there are 10 unbeaten teams remaining in the FBS. That’s the second-most this late into the year (11 in 2012) during the last 10 seasons. But not all of these teams will survive the final six weeks without a loss.
If the recent carnage among highly ranked teams continues, we could see several drop from the ranks of the unbeaten sooner rather than later. Heck, half of the Top 10 lost last week, which also saw three teams – Clemson, Louisville and UCLA – suffer their first loss. Miami nearly joined them, but survived a scare at North Carolina.
Here’s a list of the remaining undefeated teams: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Missouri, No. 7 Miami, No. 8 Baylor, No. 10 Texas Tech, No. 17 Fresno State and No. 18 Northern Illinois. Take a good look, because this list will inevitably shrink in the near future.
Before we get to the list of who might be on the chopping block, it bears mentioning that several of these teams have very little chance, if none at all, of being upset this week.
Though it’s a rivalry game, Tennessee is not likely to beat the Crimson Tide in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Beating South Carolina at home is one thing, but taking down Nick Saban and Co. on the road is something completely different. Alabama has won the last six games in the series, and the Vols haven’t won a road game against the Tide since 2003, when they escaped with a 51-43 win after five overtimes.
So which remaining unbeatens are most likely to be pushed and potentially upset this week? Which fanbases need to prepare themselves emotionally and psychologically for the worst? Here’s the five undefeated teams most likely to lose in Week 9.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
Opponent: Penn State
Disclaimer: The Buckeyes made the list largely by default, as many of the unbeatens have virtually no shot of losing. That being said, don’t completely buy into the fact that this game features the nation’s No. 4 team and an unranked opponent, as Ohio State is anything but invincible. This game could be close, with a huge emphasis on the word could. The Buckeyes seem to hold every advantage – talent, experience, depth, home field. And this game could very well be a blowout. But, there’s a huge but. Ohio State has played some lackluster games against lesser teams this season and hasn’t been dominant against any B1G opponents.
4. Fresno State Bulldogs
Opponent: San Diego State
Though Fresno State is undefeated and ranked much higher than the Aztecs, this series is historically close, really close. In 52 previous battles for the Old Oil Can Trophy, the composite score is SDSU 1,092, Fresno State 1,091. Even after more than half a century of football, a mere one point separates these teams. This is one of those series for which you can throw out the rankings, statistics and other irrelevant details. The Bulldogs and Aztecs are the only two remaining teams in the Mountain West without a league defeat this season, so there is a lot riding on this one. Will Fresno State crumble under pressure and drop from the ranks of the unbeatens?
3. Oregon Ducks
Opponent: No. 12 UCLA
Right now, the Ducks are more than a three-touchdown favorite to take down the Bruins this weekend. It’s hard to imagine a team ranked as highly as UCLA being considered that much of an underdog. There’s no question the Bruins have something to prove and could give Oregon a run for its money Saturday. The Ducks have been pretty consistent in allowing at least one team to upset them late in the season in recent years (other than in 2010). This could be the game that continues that trend.
2. Missouri Tigers
Opponent: No. 21 South Carolina
Missouri is essentially one game away from booking a ticket to the SEC Championship Game, having already beaten SEC East contenders Georgia and Florida. But this program is one that has almost come to expect monumental let downs. There is plenty to be excited about in Columbia, Missouri, but amid the euphoria dwells a justifiable wariness among Tigers’ fans. Could this game go down in history with the infamous Fifth Down of 1990 that helped Colorado defeat Missouri and win a national title or the painful “Flea Kicker Pass” of 1997, when a Nebraska receiver fortuitously (at least for the Huskers) deflected an otherwise incomplete fourth-down pass just high enough for his teammate to grab a game-winning touchdown reception as time expired?
1. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Opponent: No. 15 Oklahoma
Yes, the Red Raiders are 7-0 and ranked No. 10 in the BCS Standings, but Texas Tech has hardly beaten, much less played, any team of Oklahoma’s caliber. In fact, oddmakers have the lower-ranked Sooners as a touchdown favorite to win. And no one will be shocked if Kliff Kingsbury and Co. do end up losing on the road against an Oklahoma team looking to keep its Big 12 title hopes alive.