The Top 10 Teams Who Will Challenge the SEC for the BCS Title
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Until proven otherwise, the Southeastern Conference is the most powerful football conference in the country.
So before we get started, let’s concede that the teams on this list will most likely lose to Alabama or another SEC team for the eighth time in a row. At least, that's what we're conceding here!
Therefore, no SEC teams will be on this list. Under our premise, this list will answer the question as to which team will be taken down by the SEC in this year’s BCS national championship game. That is, if they don’t all stumble before they get there and two SEC teams tangle for the title!
Ohio State ... This year’s favorite to knock off the SEC, the Buckeyes' high ranking may be a bad thing for head coach Urban Meyer because we know what happened the last time a Meyer team was highly favored, highly ranked ,and he lost; he retired.
Oregon/Stanford ... I combined these two teams because it always seems that one team is ranked higher than the other when they play each other and one team always manages to ruin the other's national championship hopes. But remember, there can be only one survivor. They're both in the same division in a conference that rivals the SEC in top-to-bottom danger.
Oklahoma ... Remember when Bob Stoops was named Big Game Bob because his Sooner teams played well in big games? Me neither. When was the last time a Sooners team actually won a big game? Take your time and think about it. Just know it might be a while.
Florida State ... Once again, the Seminoles find themselves in position to compete for a national championship, and once again they will lose to a team they shouldn’t lose to. Last year, it was North Carolina State; a few years ago, it was Virginia. My advice to the Seminoles if they want to keep their national championship hopes alive: stop playing on ESPN Thursday nights.
Clemson ... The Tigers and Louisville are the only teams on this list that have recently defeated an SEC team. Unfortunately, Clemson can’t seem to get past another SEC team: South Carolina. I don’t expect that to change, either.
Louisville ... Ahhh, this year’s dark horse and the prime candidate to see its national championship hopes go up in flames early. Their schedule is uninspiring, so their record is going to look good at the end of the season. Ring up a few lazy pollsters putting them at or near the top of the charts on wins alone. If the Cardinals defeat Cincinnati and a bunch of wacko things happen, they could be your national champs. Nah. Another thing going against Louisville: Tim Brando picked them to win it all. The kiss of death.
USC ... Don’t laugh. The Trojans could have a great year and come out on top in the Pac 12. That is, if they fire Lane Kiffin before the season starts. Then you can laugh. So can UCLA, who will be the real understated threat in that conference. The thing is, Pac-12 teams play a nine-game conference schedule. Great for revenues. Good for 2014 and beyond. Bad for this year. Odds are no team emerges unscathed enough to finish No 1 or 2 in the polls.
Oklahoma State ... The Cowboys' high-flying offense always keeps them in games, and they have a legitimate chance of making it to the title tilt this year if they didn’t have to go to Ames, Iowa this season (see two years ago). But they do.
Nôtre Dame ... What list would be complete without the Fighting Irish on it? Although I don’t feel like they will make the BCS title game this year; it’s always a media tradition to put the overrated Irish in the Top 10. Too bad Boise State hasn't been around long enough to have that tradition.
So, who is my pick to lose to an SEC team this year?
They have the schedule, the players, and the coach to get them there. Mostly, the schedule.
Good luck, Buckeyes. And remember, have an ambulance waiting in case Urban Meyer needs it after this loss.