BCS Predictions: 7 Teams Most Likely to Go Undefeated in Regular Season
Most teams in the country have already lost a game this season, but there are still 27 teams without a blemish on their resume through four weeks of college football.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 4-0 for the first time in a decade, the Alabama Crimson Tide look to be the nation's most talented team and those pesky Oregon Ducks are also lurking among the ranks of the unbeatens.
Find out if those three teams made the cut of the seven teams most likely to go undefeated this year, and discover what other currently undefeated teams are most likely to finish the season without a single loss.
Florida State Seminoles
The Florida State Seminoles tore apart the Clemson Tigers defense in the second half of their 49-37 victory over the weekend, and that may have been the toughest game they will play all season.
One of the Seminoles' toughest remaining games is on the road against the Virginia Tech Hokies, who still have plenty of talent to beat Florida State despite their recent loss to the lowly Pittsburgh Panthers.
The only other potential stumbling block on Florida State's schedule is its season finale against the Florida Gators. However, the game will be played in Tallahassee, and the Seminoles defense could create some problems for the much-improved Jeff Driskel.
Several players have looked explosive on offense so far for the Seminoles, but senior running back Chris Thompson and sophomore tailback James Wilder Jr. have stood out recently, along with quarterback E.J. Manuel, who had one of the greatest performances of his career in Week 4 against Clemson.
The Seminoles defense gave up points, but it is hard to keep Clemson's offense contained for very long, and Florida State turned it up a notch in the second half. There are still plenty of playmakers along the defensive line, which is a major key to having a national championship-caliber defense.
There is no reason Florida State cannot run the table in 2012.
The Oregon Ducks should easily cruise to 8-0 before they face any difficult matchups this season, which makes them a perfect candidate to finish the season undefeated and play for the BCS national championship.
The Ducks get the Washington State Cougars, Washington Huskies, Arizona State Sun Devils and Colorado Buffaloes before having to line up against three ranked opponents in their final four games.
Oregon will go on the road to face the No. 13 USC Trojans and Cal Golden Bears before returning home to face the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal. The Ducks face in-state rival Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., to close out the 2012 regular season.
The Ducks should be favored in all of those games, and freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota appears to be the perfect fit for Chip Kelly's high-octane offense through four contests.
Oregon is averaging 571 yards per game on offense, and its defense managed to shut out the Arizona Wildcats, who entered the contest averaging more than 600 yards per game offensively.
The Louisville Cardinals have been far from impressive in their opening four games this season, but the Big East Conference does not have any legitimate title contenders, which means there will not be many difficult games for Charlie Strong's squad.
There are only three teams in the Big East above .500 right now, and the only ranked opponent the Cardinals have to face are the No. 23 Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their season finale.
The Cardinals will face Rutgers on the road, but they have established playmakers in running backs Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright to go along with the stability and leadership Louisville has with sophomore Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.
If there are two other undefeated teams, or a very good one-loss team, the Cardinals will likely be left out of the national title game due to their weak schedule.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish did not turn in their best performance of the season against the Michigan Wolverines over the weekend. After the first four weeks of the season, their schedule does not look nearly as intimidating as it did back in August.
The Fighting Irish get the No. 8 Stanford Cardinal and Brigham Young Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium in addition to their road games against the No. 16 Oklahoma Sooners and No. 13 USC Trojans.
The Sooners look vulnerable after losing to the nationally ranked Kansas State Wildcats at home. The Fighting Irish finally look as though they match up well against the USC Trojans given their stout front seven, which could pressure and frustrate Matt Barkley much like Stanford did two weeks ago.
If Notre Dame can avoid slip-ups against the Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Panthers, Boston College Eagles and Wake Forest Demon Deacons, the Fighting Irish should be able to contend with the tougher opponents on their schedule and give themselves a chance to run the table.
Although the Georgia Bulldogs have started slow against some weaker opponents, head coach Mark Richt's squad has a favorable schedule and a national championship-caliber offense and is about to get suspended starters Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree back in the lineup.
The Bulldogs will only have to face either the LSU Tigers or Alabama Crimson Tide—assuming one of those two wins the SEC West Division—in the SEC championship game. Georgia may be the only team from the East Division with enough offensive firepower to emerge undefeated.
Junior quarterback Aaron Murray has already thrown for over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are giving opposing defenses fits at running back.
Georgia's toughest games before the SEC title game would be on the road against the No. 6 South Carolina Gamecocks, who are the Bulldogs' main competition to win their division, and their heated rivalry game against the No. 11 Florida Gators.
If the Bulldogs escape those two games with victories, Georgia has the talent on both sides of the ball to compete with Alabama or LSU at the Georgia Dome with the SEC crown on the line.
West Virginia Mountaineers
The West Virginia Mountaineers will have a tough time finishing undefeated in the Big 12 Conference. However, out of all of the current unbeaten teams in that league, only one of them has Geno Smith making plays at quarterback.
West Virginia's defense will give up plenty of points against some of the conference's top teams, but its offense led by Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey will give them a chance to win any game.
The Mountaineers come in at No. 14 among all Football Bowl Subdivision schools in total offense and are the nation's No. 3-ranked passing offense.
The schedule is also favorable for the Mountaineers. Four of West Virginia's five games against ranked opponents will be played at Mountaineer Field.
The Mountaineers will have to avoid being outscored by the No. 25 Baylor Bears this weekend and then travel to take on the No. 12 Texas Longhorns on Oct. 6, which appears to be the game where West Virginia will be most vulnerable.
Another team that will match up very well against the Mountaineers is the No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs, who are led by the remarkably efficient Casey Pachall.
Other than that, there isn't anyone on West Virginia's schedule it cannot outscore.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide have yet to break a sweat against anyone they have played this season, and it does not look like Nick Saban's squad will have to until they line up against the No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs in late October.
The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 3 among all Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense, while coming in at No. 2 in passing defense, scoring defense and turnover margin.
Alabama's schedule should help it reach the SEC title game with ease as long as it is able to escape Death Valley with a victory over the No. 3 LSU Tigers on Nov. 3.
The Crimson Tide do not have to face any of the ranked teams from the SEC East division, and their last three games will be at home.
A.J. McCarron has rounded into a solid quarterback and is able to lean on Alabama's talented stable of running backs, which features junior Eddie Lacy and freshman star T.J. Yeldon, who have combined for nearly 500 yards and six touchdowns through four games this season.
Everything appears to be set up for the Crimson Tide to finish the season without a blemish and earn a chance to win their second straight national championship.