The Program: Notre Dame, West Virginia and Mississippi State on Upset Alert

Michael Felder@InTheBleachersNational CFB Lead WriterOctober 10, 2012

Every week we hit you with some Top 25 college football teams that need to be cautious of an upset bid. Ranked teams in the SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 will be on upset alert during the second weekend of October as we inch ever closer to the initial BCS rankings. A win by the favorites would mean a sure spot in the rankings, while a loss would move them down and make their path to the title far more difficult.

Starting in the SEC, in a game where Derek Dooley will be coaching from the box, we have Tennessee traveling to Starkville to take on the Bulldogs. Mississippi State's secondary is an elite unit at both the corner and the safety spot, and Dan Mullen's physical approach on offense and defense will tax the Volunteers. Can Tyler Bray and the Vols' high-powered offense help keep Dooley off the hot seat?

In the Big 12, Texas Tech hosts West Virginia as the Mountaineers are coming off the emotional win against Texas in Austin. Texas Tech just lost to Oklahoma at home and now the team that fancies itself as one of the original Air Raid Offenses faces the new age, Dana Holgorsen WVU version. We'll see how Tommy Tuberville handles this challenge as folks left Lubbock last week feeling quite dejected.

Last up we've got the Fighting Irish against Stanford. We'll see if Everett Golson and the Notre Dame offense can really get going against a sound defense. The big thing to watch will be whether Golson remembers that big tight end Tyler Eifert is on his team. The Irish front-seven will be tested in what should be a great slugfest.

Oh, and we've got a bonus. Oregon State, who is missing quarterback Sean Mannion, takes on BYU in Provo—a game the Beavers could easily drop.