By Jeff Hauser @radiohauser on July 30, 2014
Traditionally in college football, two elite teams have played for a national championship. However, the structure features a four-team playoff that will decide a national champion this season. 10 college football teams have schedules this season that are favorable for a BCS playoff run. Here’s a list ranking those teams in order.
Once again, the Ducks enter this season working towards a national championship run. A huge test for the season comes early at home on Sept. 6 against the defending Big 10 Champion Michigan State Spartans. Autzen Stadium will be a friendly atmosphere for the Ducks this season with seven of their 12 games at home. The Ducks' schedule consists of six teams that had losing records last year, going a combined 25-48.
The defending Big 10 Champions have a great home-field advantage this season, with games against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes. The Spartans' key matchup comes on the road early in the season on Sept. 6 against the Oregon Ducks. Position will be prime in the Big 10, and the Spartans have the upper hand.
Head Coach Les Miles and the Tigers are in great shape this season with a very favorable schedule. The Tigers' opening series includes the neutral turf opener on Aug. 30 against the Wisconsin Badgers, along with a four-game homestand in Baton Rouge against the Sam Houston State Bearkats, Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, Mississippi State Bulldogs and New Mexico St. Aggies. The Tigers have another homestand of three games later in the season.
The Bruins open the season on the road in the east against the Virginia Cavaliers, who posted a 2-10 record last season -- just one of five opponents to face the Bruins who had a losing record last season. The key Pac-12 conference games for the Bruins will come on Oct. 11 against the Oregon Ducks, and back-to-back game on Nov. 22 and 28 against USC Trojans and Stanford Cardinal.
The Bears were the highest scoring offense in college football last season and look to pick up where they left off. The schedule for the Bears includes six opponents with sub-.500 records from last season, including the Iowa State Cyclones, West Virginia Mountaineers and Kansas Jayhawks. A shootout with the Oklahoma Sooners on Nov. 8 will be the only roadblock for the bears this season.
The addition of new head coach Chris Peterson has the Huskies seeking to be a spoiler in the Pac-12 conference, and they can do just that with their schedule. In the first half of the season, the Huskies play the Hawaii Warriors, Georgia State Panthers and California Bears, who combined last season for only two wins. The Pac-12 Schedule favors the Huskies with home games against the Stanford Cardinal, Arizona State Sun Devils and UCLA Bruins.
The Cardinals look to dominate the American Athletic Conference this season, only playing two teams with winning records from last season within the first six games. The games that will interest the Cardinals will be in October against the Clemson Tigers and defending national champion Florida State Seminoles. The Cardinals have the advantage, but might be their own worst enemy.
The Badgers will try to build momentum following the first game of the season against the LSU Tigers, along with building their status in the Big 10 conference. Four of the Badgers' opponents gathered four wins or fewer last season, and two of them are Big 10 divisional foes. The key matchup for the Badgers to prepare for will be on the road against Iowa on Nov. 22.
When it comes to competition in the Big 12, the Oklahoma Sooners are among the best teams every season. Seven of the 12 teams scheduled to play the Sooners this season won five games or fewer last season. It won't be until six games into the season that the Sooners play a team with a winning record. This comes on Oct. 11 against the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Shootout, a game that the Sooners have to win.
The Crimson Tide came up short of the national championship last season. This season could be a different story with the Crimson Tide playing teams that lack quality like the West Virginia Mountaineers, Southern Mississippi Eagles and West Carolina Catamounts. Alabama has a huge home-field advantage with seven home games and five games on the road with an average of 232 miles away from Tuscaloosa. Roll Tide, roll.
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