November 3, 2012
The quest for six wins for 70 teams continues this week. Currently there are 42 teams that are bowl eligible and five of those teams are undefeated and still in play for the national championship.
Ohio State is also undefeated but unable to play for the title due to NCAA sanctions. Speaking of teams not able to play in a bowl game, there are 25 teams unable to play in a bowl game currently due to seven losses, NCAA sanctions or moving from FCS to FBS transition.
The big winner this week is the SEC with seven teams with bowl eligibility and five more teams in the hunt for their sixth win. Ole Miss has five wins, Vanderbilt and Missouri have four wins, Arkansas and Tennessee have three wins with four games left to play.
Big winner runner up is the Mid-American Conference which has six teams that are bowl eligible. This has been the year to fear the MAC with teams from this conference pull off upsets of BCS conferences all season long.
If their was a big loser it would have to be Conference-USA with five teams already out of the bowl race. C-USA could also see Rice, Tulane, Marshall, Houston and SMU all fail to reach six wins. It has been a tough season for C-USA.
There are currently 25 bowl spots left and four weeks left to find teams to fill them. All the teams with six or more wins are trying to up their bowl position each week by winning.
North Carolina State gets a chance to reach six wins for the second straight week. The Wolfpack lost 43-35 to North Carolina last wee but they get a bad Virginia team this week and should reach bowl eligibility this week.
The only other high profile game in the ACC, is Duke against Clemson. The Blue Devils and the Tigers are both bowl eligible but Duke hasn't beaten any of the conference big boys. A win over Clemson would defiantly make the Blue Devils very attractive to bowl committees.
Two teams from the Big-12 are guaranteed to reach the magical six win mark this Saturday. The winner of the West Virginia versus TCU game and the winner of Oklahoma versus Iowa State game will reach six wins.
The Mountaineers have been exposed after their fast start and the Horned Frogs are finding out they must bring their best game each week in a BCS conference. The Sooners have lost two games in Norman this year but face one of the more surprising teams in Iowa State on the road.
Texas and Texas Tech meet in a match up of teams that are already bowl eligible. The seat was hot on Tommy Tuberville but has cooled off considerably but the same can't be said about Mack Brown who's seat has gotten hotter after getting slaughtered in the Red River Shootout.
Oklahoma State is the latest team to have a chance at ruining Kansas State's undefeated season. The Cowboys defense needs put out a super effort the Wildcats Heisman candidate quarterback Collin Klein.
Kansas State can't afford to lose at any point this season and get back into the national title race. Since there is no championship game in the Big-12 conference, Oklahoma State could pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season with a win.
Cincinnati Bearcats started the season with five straight wins but have suffered two straight loses. Syracuse needs two more wins to reach the magical six mark. A win by the Bearcats gives a bowl berth with their sixth win.
Pittsburgh started the season as bad as a team can start the season with a terrible loss to Youngstown State but the Panthers have battled back and are on a two game winning streak.
Notre Dame is coming off a big and emotional win over Oklahoma last Saturday. The Fighting Irish have to avoid a letdown against Pittsburgh or their title hopes will go down in flames to start November.
Louisville is the only hope for the Big East to get into the national championship game. The Cardinals need to have the rest of the undefeated teams stumble and finish undefeated and that includes a win against Temple this Saturday.
Michigan State needs to pull an upset over Nebraska at home to reach six wins. The Spartans were once one of the favorites to win the Big Ten Legends division but are currently in second to play place in the division.
Nebraska is leading the Legends division but a loss would open the door to nearly every team including Michigan State. The Cornhuskers can inch ever closer to conference title game with a win.
Minnesota can put a nice bow on a surprise season with a win against Michigan. The Wolverines can reach six wins with a victory over the Golden Gophers.
One way or another there will be a bowl eligible team to come out of the this game. It would be great for Jerry Kill to get six wins for this Golden Gopher team after the downs this program has experienced recently.
UCLA already has six wins and host Arizona who hopes to have six wins after this game. The Bruins have been a surprise team under Jim Mora just as the Wildcats under Rich Rodriguez.
Oregon State fell from the ranks of the undefeated last week but already have six wins. Arizona State comes into this road contest looking for their sixth win. The Beavers are tough at home but the Sun Devils are no pushovers this season.
The biggest game in the PAC-12 is USC hosting Oregon. A lot of the luster of this game has been lost when the Trojans suffered their second defeat last week.
USC's title hopes might be gone but that doesn't mean the Trojans can't ruin the Ducks title hopes. Oregon could get back into the title race with a loss unlike most teams but all the other undefeated teams would have to lose as well.
USC will have to find a way to stop the high powered Oregon offense while on defense. The Trojans will also have to play a mistake free game against the Ducks improved defense to pull off this upset.
The biggest game of the day is in the SEC as LSU and Alabama meet with both teams title hopes on the line. A LSU win could knock the SEC out of the title game but get the Tigers slim title hopes alive if other teams slip in front of them.
Alabama can pretty much wrap up their spot in the title game with a win over their biggest opposition of the season. There is little chance that Texas A&M, Western Carolina or Auburn will be able to defeat the Crimson Tide.
In the SEC title game, Florida or Georgia will have little chance of defeating Alabama. The rest of the country will be hoping for a LSU win and that no other undefeated team loses to keep the SEC from their seventh straight title.
LSU's defense will keep them in the game but can the Tigers offense score enough points against a very stout Alabama defense. The Crimson Tide will have to be able to stop the LSU rushing attack and put pressure on Tigers quarterback Zack Mettenberger.
Mettenberger will be forced to defeated Alabama with his arm. The Crimson Tide will do everything possible to make LSU prove they can win with their passing game.
Alabama's quarterback A.J. McCarron has improved since both meetings against LSU last season. McCarron has yet to throw an interception and is no longer the weak link of the Crimson Tide offense.
LSU will also try to stop the Alabama rushing attack and make McCarron beat them like he did in the national championship game last season. LSU had two weeks to get ready for this game and get the Tide at home, so there is a good chance of a Tigers victory.
Now for this weeks picks (remembers winners are in bold)
Missouri Tigers at Florida Gators
Temple Owls at Louisville Cardinals
Oklahoma Sooners at Iowa State Cyclones
Vanderbilt Commodores at Kentucky Wildcats
Michigan Wolverines at Minnesota Golden Gophers
Virginia Cavaliers at North Carolina State Wolfpack
TCU Horned Frogs at West Virginia Mountaineers
Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Texas Longhorns at Texas Tech Red Raiders
Nebraska Cornhuskers at Michigan State Spartans
Oregon Ducks at USC Trojans
Clemson Tigers at Duke Blue Devils
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Kansas State Wildcats
Arizona State Sun Devils at Oregon State Beavers
San Diego State Aztecs at Boise State Broncos
Arizona Wildcats at UCLA Bruins
Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers