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Another week of college football in the books meaning we’re one step closer to crowning a national champion, at least in theory. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Miami was the most likely contender to go down like a pile of bricks last weekend as 21 point underdogs to Florida State. This week’s slate of games provides a more daunting challenge to predicting which top team may become the next casualty on the road to Pasadena. Call me crazy but we won’t be going through this exercise next Tuesday with 5 teams from BCS conferences still unbeaten.
First things first; special thanks to those Ohio St fans who made me feel all warm and tingly over the weekend. Your heart felt expletive laced tirades highlighted by one guy calling me a stat geek dumbass nerd who never played the game really showed a deep understanding of how oddsmakers go about their work. Despite my skepticism to their actual merits, OSU has seen their profile rise in the Vegas poll with back to back conference wins better described as disembowelments of opponents than football games. Unfortunately for the Scarlet and Grey, there’s still doubt about how good the team is because they’ve played a schedule under Urban Meyer that can only be described as remedial outside of the Wisconsin win. I’m well aware you only play the teams in front of you and for those accomplishments the Buckeyes get full marks for keeping an unblemished resume. I’ll reserve final judgment until after the Big Ten title game when they draw a Michigan St team I believe will provide stiff opposition. In the meantime, congrats are in store for OSU who now finds themselves in 6th position nestled between Stanford and LSU in the Vegas poll. (Complete top 30 can be found here)
|3||Florida St||Oregon||Florida St||Florida St|
|4||Baylor||Ohio St||Ohio St||Ohio St|
With Miami getting knocked off by Florida St, Auburn finds themselves in the crosshairs as most overrated team in the BCS compared to their place in the Vegas poll. The Tigers took care of business in a potential landmine game at Arkansas but were aided by the early injury to Brandon Allen and the Hogs playing like the Hogs. I desperately wanted to pick Tennessee to pull the upset this week but I just can’t do it given how defeated the Vols looked last week at Missouri. Auburn’s remaining schedule includes games with Georgia and Alabama after the date with Tennessee making for anything but smooth sailing to close out the season. The newest entrant to the Vegas Poll top ten is Arizona State yet my gut tells me their perch among the elite could be short lived with a land mine game against Utah in Salt Lake City on the schedule this weekend
Then there were two…
Here’s how I see the rest of the regular season playing out. Special thanks to my friend Paul Bessire from Prediction Machine for sharing his undefeated season probabilities and the likelihood of each team making the BCS title game if undefeated.
They’ll run the table even with 3 challenging games against LSU, Auburn, and the SEC east champion remaining. Nick Saban’s team won’t be less than a double digit favorite in any of them.
Most likely spot to lose: Saturday to LSU
Undefeated Chances: 49.7%
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 49.7%
I’m not as enamored with this team as most people in the country are right now. They’ve shown me reason to be concerned over the last few weeks and I believe the honeymoon ends Thursday in Palo Alto. Stanford knows what it takes to beat the Ducks and I give David Shaw a decided coaching edge with added time to prepare.
Most likely spot to lose: Thursday at Stanford
Undefeated Chances: 40.4%
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 40.4%
They were my pick before the season to play for the title and I’ll stand by it now. Lay-ups against Wake, Syracuse, and Idaho should be foregone conclusions meaning the ACC title and UF appear to be the lone obstacles. The season finale at Florida won’t be easy but I just can’t see the Gators having enough offense to derail the Seminoles dream season, even with the game taking place in the Swamp.
Most likely spot to lose: November 30 @ Florida
Undefeated Chances: 53.2%
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 40.2%
Say what you want about this team not being tested but they’ve been on a mission since beating Kansas St last year. Clearly we’ll know more about the Bears after Thursday night’s tussle with OU than we do right now. Even with a win, I don’t see Baylor running the table with the toughest part of their schedule still to come
Most likely spot to lose: November 23 @ Oklahoma St
Undefeated Chances: 23.5%
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 12.9%
Braxton Miller is the real deal making this offense scary good along with Carlos Hyde. However the secondary is still a major question and a unit we won’t see the unit tested until the postseason. Would an undefeated OSU team leapfrog a 1 loss SEC champion? Let the debate rage
Most likely spot to lose: December 7 vs Michigan St (Big Ten Title Game)
Undefeated Chances: 45.9%
Estimated BCS Title Game Chances (as undefeated team): 21.1%
Potential National Championship Lines (favorite listed on the left)
|Ohio St||Baylor||Florida St||Oregon|