Sorting The 14 Unbeaten BCS Teams
By Dan Harralson
October football is here. Usually that means the separation of teams contending for the crystal ball.
The 2013 season has yet to offer a full glimpse of which teams are contenders and which teams are pretenders. Seven of the top eight teams ranked inside the AP poll's Top 10 are undefeated: Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, Ohio State, Stanford, Florida State and Louisville.
UCLA, Oklahoma, Miami (FL), Baylor, Michigan, Texas Tech and Missouri whom remain unblemished and still control their own destiny. What are the odds that we could have numerous undefeated teams after championship weekend in December? Oregon and Stanford will cancel one of each other out by playing each other Nov. 9. Florida State has a chance to knock both Clemson and Miami out of the national championship picture, although Miami could essentially do the same with Florida State and Clemson.
Now look at the unbeatens outside the Top 10. UCLA will be tested with back-to-back October road games against Stanford and Oregon. Then there's the confusing Big 12. They may not have a championship game, but the three remaining undefeateds play each other. Here's the kicker: Baylor is the only one of the three that will not have a true road game. The Bears get Oklahoma at home for a Thursday night showdown Nov. 7. The next week Baylor plays Texas Tech at the Jerry Dome in Arlington. The schedule favors Baylor, but if Texas Tech can play defense like they did against TCU, they have a shot.
Now to Michigan and Missouri. Michigan needs to beat Ohio State twice and there's a reason I didn't mention the matchup with the Wolverines in the group with Oregon-Stanford and Clemson-Florida State. The Buckeyes are more likely to beat Michigan twice than the Wolverines are to beat Ohio State once. Missouri remains the lone undefeated SEC East team going into the second week of October. The good news is that allows Gary Pinkel to get off the hot seat some thought he entered the season sitting on. The bad news is the Tigers have to travel to Georgia on Saturday and then play Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M.
So that leaves Louisville and the two-time defending national champion, Alabama. Louisville's not getting into Pasadena unless everyone loses, and maybe more than once. Point blank. They may have a good quarterback, but their schedule is atrocious. Alabama still has to defeat LSU at home and then possibly a banged up Georgia team in the SEC Championship game I
Alabama and the Oregon/Stanford winner have the best shot of playing in Pasadena over an undefeated Ohio State team. The final BCS championship game should be interesting.