BCS Still Counting on Natural Selection to Prevail
Believe it or not it, Week 10 is approaching in college football, and it's finally make-or-break time in many conferences.
Louisville isn't atop of the AAC, as was expected. It's Houston and Central Florida who are tied for first place. The Cougars get Louisville and UCF back-to-back in two weeks, and that should decide who wins the conference. The Golden Knights have already upset Louisville this season; this means Houston's post-season fate will boil down to that fortnight.
After disposing of Clemson on the road two weeks ago, Florida State now just needs to take care of business in anticipation of meeting Miami at home this coming weekend in what now appears to be the key conference game. With the Hurricanes' inconsistency this season, the Seminoles look to be odds-on favorites.
Two teams stand at 4-0 in the Big 12: the suprising Baylor Bears and the resilient Texas Longhorns, the latter of whom saved its season two weeks ago with an upset of Oklahoma. Baylor gets the Sooners this week and finishes the season with Texas. The Longhorns, who were left for dead after dreadful performances against BYU and Mississippi, are now back in the mix for a BCS bowl appearance. Quarterback Case McKoy -- who has had an up-and-down career -- has been up lately and has led the Longhorns to the top of the league standings.
Ohio State looks like they'll be in the Big Ten title game, and their opponent may emerge from this week's Michigan vs Michigan State game at Spartan Stadium. The home team leads the Legends Division, and a win over their rivals will put them in the driver's seat; Michigan has already been beaten by Penn State, while Michigan State still has a clean conference slate.
Oregon plays Stanford a week from next Thursday night in the Pac-12 game of the year, at least up to that point. The Ducks and Cardinal are getting all the attention, but Oregon State has only one league loss, as well. That was to Stanford last week. If the one-loss Cardinal beats Oregon, then the Beavers could sneak into the championship game with an upset of their in-state rival and another Stanford loss. In this conference, that's not out of the question. The Pac-12 North is much stronger than the South, so the winner here will be a BCS bowl favorite. If it is the Ducks, they may just play for all the marbles in January.
AJ McCarron is on pace to win his third national championship, as Alabama remains dominant in the SEC. Coach Nick Saban's squad leads rival Auburn by one game in the West, but the Tide should squash the Tigers in late November, even if LSU picks them off in two weeks. The Bayou Bengals are good, but already have two tough road league losses to Georgia and Mississippi. Missouri had the East all but wrapped up Saturday night, but blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead and lost in overtime to South Carolina when a tying field goal hit the post. The Tigers still have to play Texas A&M, so their spot opposite Alabama in the title game is not yet cemented.
The calendar will read 'November' when this weekend's games are played. The top four BCS teams are Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State. Baylor is sneaking up on everyone, and the debate will rage on who should be playing for the title.
There are surely more upsets in store. While the Pac-12 and Big 12 house the likeliest candidates, November is the time for all national title contenders to be on their guard.