It was another eventful weekend in college football, and the BCS championship picture has started to take shape. After five teams suffered their first loss of the year, we are down to just six undefeated teams, and four are believed to have a realistic shot at playing for a BCS championship when January comes around.
Who Went Down: Florida, Mississippi State, Ohio, Oregon State, Rutgers
The SEC saw two of three undefeated teams take a hit, with Florida coming up short against rival Georgia and Mississippi State being sunk by Alabama. In the Pac-12, surprising Oregon State was clipped on the road at Washington, but the Beavers remain a team to reckon with in the Pac-12 moving forward and could still be in line for a potential BCS appearance.
Ohio lost out on a chance to become the first team from the MAC to reach the BCS stage. The Bobcats lost on the road at Miami Ohio, with pieces starting to come together for a potential spot in the BCS.
The MAC cost another team an undefeated run as well, with Kent State stunning Rutgers and reducing the Big East to just one undefeated team (Louisville). It was another MAC team (Toledo) handing the Big East’s Cincinnati their first loss the previous week.
No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC)
Remaining Schedule: @ LSU, Texas A&M, Western Carolina (FCS), Auburn
The defending BCS champions are the clear team to beat this season, and if they can get out of Baton Rouge with a victory this weekend the path looks pretty clear to at least get to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta without a loss. Alabama’s lone loss last season came at the hands of the LSU Tigers, but Nick Saban and company got their revenge in the BCS Championship Game. LSU’s offense has been a struggling unit at times this season and could be in for a long day this coming weekend.
No. 2 Kansas State (8-0, 5-0 Big 12)
Remaining Schedule: Oklahoma State, @ TCU, @ Baylor, Texas
Kansas State was thought to be a contender in the Big 12 this season but they have clearly become the front runner with wins against Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas Tech. Behind the coaching of Bill Snyder and the play of quarterback and Heisman candidate Collin Klein, the Wildcats still have a good stretch ahead of them. First up is a home game against defending Big 12 champion Oklahoma State. After that are back-to-back road games at TCU and Baylor.
No. 3 Notre Dame (8-0)
Remaining Schedule: Pitt, @ Boston College, Wake Forest, @ USC
Irish eyes are smiling after Notre Dame won a tight game with a late push to put Oklahoma away this past weekend, and now all eyes appear to be locked in on the regular season finale at USC. Notre Dame’s defense must be sure to keep the intensity going to avoid any potential upset before that though.
No. 4 Oregon (8-0, 5-0 Pac 12)
Remaining Schedule: @ USC, @ California, Stanford, @ Oregon State
Oregon continues to be passed in the BCS standing but if they win the remainder of their games they should still be in good shape. The Ducks also have the most challenging remaining schedule of all undefeated teams, with road games at USC and Oregon State as well as a single home game, against Stanford. If the Ducks can pull away from USC this weekend, they would also be hurting some of the strength of schedule Notre Dame will have at the end of the season. Oregon could be benefitted by Oregon State bouncing back
No. 10 Louisville (8-0, 3-0 Big East)
Remaining Schedule: Temple, @ Syracuse, Connecticut, @ Rutgers
Louisville was able to keep their undefeated season hopes alive with a thrilling overtime victory against Cincinnati Friday night. The Cardinals are now well positioned to get to the final game of the season against Rutgers without a loss. Louisville faces Temple (3-4), Syracuse (4-4) and Connecticut (3-5) before that game that could determine the Big East champion and who gets the conference’s automatic BCS berth.
Ohio State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten)
Remaining Schedule: Illinois, @ Wisconsin, Michigan
Do not forget about the Ohio State Buckeyes, fresh off a strong defensive showing Saturday evening at Penn State. With the win Ohio State improves to 9-0 with games against Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan remaining. Of course, Ohio State is ineligible for a postseason game, meaning last year’s decision to play in a bowl game looks more and more like a bad call.
Kevin is a national college football writer for quadrust.com and the host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast. Submit your mailbag questions via Tumblr. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.