September can often times be a slow month for college football. Big name teams are never afraid to fill their schedules with a cupcake or two.
But, every once in a while these programs take a risk and play a nonconference game that really get the juices flowing.
While these big games are great for fans, they can be worrisome for coaches and players because one loss can ruin an entire season as far as national championship aspirations are concerned.
With that being said, here are 10 teams that will be knocked out of the BCS National Championship race by October 1.
Clemson is likely to begin the season in the top 25, and while they are not a likely contender for a BCS National Championship, any ACC team that runs the table has an excellent chance.
With two difficult nonconference games to start the season, the slim national title hopes for Clemson will quickly be dashed.
The Tigers start off the season against rival Auburn at the Georgia Dome and a few weeks later take on Florida State in Tallahassee.
Not an easy September for any team and not likely that the Tigers will come out unscathed.
Boise State will probably not even begin the season in the top 25, but it is always a threat to run the table. If they do that there is always a shot at a BCS National Championship for the Broncos.
That shot may disappear quickly this season, even before September 1 to be exact.
The Broncos take on Michigan State in East Lansing on August 31 and a win there seems highly unlikely.
If Boise State does some how manage to pull that one out, it also has a tough game against BYU on September 22.
I may be acting a little harsh toward the Buckeyes, but they can certainly take it.
While we all know Ohio State is ineligible for the postseason, we will find out in 2012 if it had the talent to get to a BCS National Championship anyway.
This may seem a little harsh, but the fact is the Buckeyes are already out of the BCS race.
Things may be a little different in 2013 however.
It is almost a certainty that Wisconsin will not be as good in 2012 as they were in 2011, but they are still likely to be in the top 20 beginning next season.
The Badgers have a few cupcakes to start off the season, but on September 29, they travel to Lincoln to take on a Nebraska team that will be even more talented than they were last season.
The Cornhuskers are one of the best teams in the Big 10, and a win for Wisconsin on the road will be hard to come by.
A loss and their championship aspirations will be no more.
Stanford has a lot coming back, but it will not quite be what it was last season.
As a likely top-20 team, the Cardinal will have to get over the hump of Oregon and USC in the Pac-12 if they hope to be a surprise contender for a national championship.
Getting to October 1 will be difficult though as the Cardinal will have to take on USC on September 15.
The Trojans may be the best team in the country, and for Stanford to knock them off would be a monumental upset.
Notre Dame has a schedule a little more challenging this season than in years past, and while they may be in the top 25, with the challenges they have particularly at the beginning of the season, a national championship seems already out of the question.
The Fighting Irish take to the road to battle Michigan State on September 15 and then face Michigan on September 22 at home.
Getting past these two games without a loss would be very surprising.
Kansas State is without question one of the top teams in the Big 12 and could be a top-15 team at the beginning of the season.
However, as evidenced last season, with Oklahoma State, a one-loss Big 12 team does not stand a chance at playing for a national championship.
With that being said, Kansas State is going to have to run the table and that run will likely come to an end on September 22 when they travel to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners.
Good luck to the Wildcats in this one.
Michigan State has as challenging a schedule for the first five games of the season as anybody in the country.
It has the talent to be a top-10 team next season, but it is not going to be easy to win all of its early season games.
After starting off the season against Boise State, the Spartans then take on Notre Dame in week three and follow that up with a game against Ohio State on September 29.
Making it through this gauntlet does not seem likely for the Spartans.
With Bobby Petrino now out of the picture, it will be hard to imagine Arkansas contending for a BCS National Championship, and with a difficult early season game against Alabama those slim hopes could quickly be dashed.
The Razorbacks take on the Crimson Tide at home on September 15, and a loss here would make it nearly impossible to win the SEC West, particularly with the tough schedule the rest of the season.
While Alabama did not have to win the SEC West to play for a national championship last season, that is highly unlikely to happen again.
Michigan is the cream of the crop of the Big 10 and is likely going to be a slight favorite heading into the 2012 season.
The only problem for the Wolverines is they start the season with a game against Alabama at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.
Beating Alabama will be a huge challenge for Michigan, and if it does, it will be on an inside track to play for the BCS National Championship.
Odds are they will fall to Alabama and play the rest of the season with the Big 10 Championship in mind and no national championship hopes to speak of.