BCS Championship Picture 2012: Title Game Candidates After Week 5

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 10:   The Coaches' Trophy, awarded to head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide after defeating Louisiana State University Tigers in the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game during a press conference on January 10, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With Week 5 of the 2012 college football season already out of the way, the talk has naturally turned to the BCS Championship picture and which teams are fighting for a spot in the sport’s premier game.

There may be some very clear contenders toward the pinnacle of the AP Top 25 polls, but there are still so many weeks of action left that assuming all of the top teams will stay unblemished is unreasonable.

At least a few of the top teams in college football will falter before the end of the season, leaving the door open for all of the following teams.

If your team isn’t on this list, that means they’ve been put on upset alert.


The Favorite

Alabama Crimson Tide

While the Alabama Crimson Tide must work on their offensive effectiveness in the pass and rushing attack, they have plenty of time to figure it out with a defense as vaunted as the one they currently boast.

Opposing offenses are scoring an average of 5.3 points per game on the Crimson Tide defenders—an average that ranks them No. 2 in the nation in that category. Not too shabby.

With an average of 42 points scored per game, Alabama’s offense has yet to be tested against a top-tier defensive unit. The Crimson Tide will travel to LSU on Nov. 3 to face off in the ultimate test, and the winner will likely assume the position of BCS favorite.


The Long Shot

Florida State Seminoles

While the schedule is far from the toughest of all the teams in contention, there are enough ranked or formally ranked squads to validate the Florida State Seminoles' chances at getting into the BCS Championship.

If FSU wins out, there is no doubt that they will be in the national title game.

The Seminoles overcame a tough local rival in the South Florida Bulls, but those are the kind of hard-fought victories that the best teams have to sneak out on their way to glory.

Florida State has a recent history of always losing the trap games, but the fact that they pulled out a well-earned win shows the vast improvement of the team and the Seminoles' program.


The Underdog

West Virginia Mountaineers

If you missed the West Virginia Mountaineers' 70-63 war Saturday against the Baylor Bears, you missed one of the wildest offensive showcases in modern college football history.

While it proved the Mountaineers defense needs some serious work, senior quarterback Geno Smith submitted his official application to the Heisman Trophy race by putting up an astounding 656 passing yards and eight touchdowns.

Those are NCAA 13 video game numbers.

West Virginia also boasts one of the toughest remaining schedules in the nation—four current top-15 teams—but if they can make it through the season unscathed, there is no question they will find themselves in the national title game.


Check back for more on the NCAA Football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.