There are several programs that have the potential to make it to the big stage and play in the 2013 BCS National Championship, but the games in November are always much tougher than most realize.
National title contenders can often be favored by two touchdowns or more this time of year, yet end up with the game coming down to one possession, and when mistakes are made, they often decide the game.
It should be noted that the BCS Standings should not be summed up quite yet with dozens of games remaining among the top 12 teams that still have a punchers chance at potentially playing for the BCS title.
There’s no question the top conference in the country is the SEC. Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi State are all ranked in the Top 11, which gives each of these teams at least a chance in the BCS at-large process.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs’ season simply comes down to the team’s road trips to Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge, since the SEC West still features the top team in the nation which of course also happens to be the defending champions.
We can ultimately throw the SEC out as the easiest path despite the Gators potentially remaining unbeaten until they perhaps take on Alabama in Atlanta, which is looking more and more likely with each passing day.
The aforementioned Big 12 is the next best thing with the likes of Oklahoma and Kansas State still having a few tough stretches on their season schedules.
The Wildcats could be America’s darling, but they must get by TCU and Baylor on the road. Plus, we better not dismiss a few challenges at home against Texas Tech (this weekend) and Texas to end the regular season.
A potential national title or BCS at-large bid may be on the line, on top of a Heisman Trophy for Collin Klein and Kansas State. The scorching Sooners could be reaping the benefits if they can get by the Fighting Irish on Saturday.
Their road trip to Morgantown does not seem nearly as daunting as it did say three weeks ago, but OU still needs to take care of business against TCU and Iowa State on the road (Horned Frogs have bit them in the past).
Simply put, this team has completely turned it around on both sides of the ball and the stars will be aligned for them to make a BCS title run if they get help from the Oregon Ducks.
Speaking of the most electric team on the planet, Oregon does not have a cake walk coming up either. They host 1-6 Colorado this weekend, but the Quack Attack still needs to take on the Trojans (twice perhaps) and a solid Oregon State team that is balanced offensively speaking.
Oregon possesses all of the pieces to run the table though because Nick Alioti has given Chip Kelly’s program the most talented team overall, perhaps ever. The Ducks will climb up to the number two spot if they can take care of their own business, which is still easier said than done.
The only other team that has a slight shot of sneaking into the BCS title if all chaos breaks out (like it often has) would be the Florida State Seminoles.
The ACC may be the weakest power conference out there, but they still have a conference championship which would help them out regardless. When football is being played, it will help you so as long as it is not Nicholls State.
Plus, there is this team called the Florida Gators that may still be undefeated and ranked atop the BCS Standings (at least top three). While times were a bit different back in 1998, the ‘Noles did fall to N.C. State and still ended up playing for all of the marbles.
It helped to be the current day Alabama of college football and the Tide was fortunate to move into the Top 5 before dethroning the Gators in the regular season finale. The same could unfold again although it would take a borderline miracle with the likes of Kansas State, Oregon, Oklahoma/Notre Dame and USC all having to lose at least once more.
College football’s BCS has been chaos in a nutshell, so anything is possible if you rank inside the Top 10 heading into November and while the Noles may be least likely among these contenders, they may have the highest upside.
Listed below are my personal percentages of the likeliest to play the Alabama/LSU vs. Florida/Georgia winner in the SEC Title (UF/BAMA):
Kansas State 10%
Florida State 10%
Notre Dame 3%
Big East Winner/Texas Tech/Oregon State 1%