Power Ranking Teams in BCS Top 25 Who Have Toughest Road Ahead
Grabbing a spot in the first BCS Top 25 brings hope for a number of teams. That hope lingers until some look ahead to the rest of the schedule that awaits them. There is a tough road ahead for a number of teams in the Top 25.
There is a lot of football that remains with a number of the top teams in the country set to square off before the 2012 regular season closes.
Can Oklahoma win out and earn its way back into the title discussion? Can Notre Dame continue playing flawless football?
Unfortunately for these 10 teams, their schedule may play them out of the title game.
No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
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No. 10 Toughest Schedule
Notre Dame has been the surprise of the season. The Fighting Irish are sitting at the No. 5 spot in the BCS and riding an undefeated record. The Irish could be back.
There are two big games that remain for Notre Dame, but they are not going to be easy wins.
The Irish take on No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 10 USC before this season closes. Notre Dame has scratched and clawed for a number of wins, but the Irish seem to find ways to get the W.
It would be hard to bet against the Irish at this point, but the Sooners and Trojans will put this team to the test in the coming weeks.
Oct. 20 vs. BYU
Oct. 27 @ No. 9 Oklahoma
Nov. 3 vs. Pitt
Nov. 10 @ Boston College
Nov. 17 vs. Wake Forest
Nov. 24 @ No. 10 USC
No. 24 Iowa State Cyclones
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No. 9 Toughest Schedule
Iowa State has been reborn under Paul Rhoads over the past two seasons. Last year the Cyclones knocked of Oklahoma State and ended a possible title run for the Cowboys. This season the Cyclones are 4-2 with a close loss this past Saturday coming against No. 4 Kansas State.
The Cyclones have a bowl season in the making, but the remaining schedule will be a challenge. Things get started in November.
Games against No. 9 Oklahoma, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 25 Texas and Baylor will all pose a challenge. If Iowa State can win one of the three games against future ranked opponents, this season will exceed expectations.
Oct. 20 @ Oklahoma State
Oct. 27 vs. Baylor
Nov. 3 vs. No. 9 Oklahoma
Nov. 10 @ No. 25 Texas
Nov. 17 @ Kansas
Dec. 1 vs. No. 13 West Virginia
No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners
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No. 8 Toughest Schedule
Oklahoma had a Week 3 loss but has quickly recovered after two big wins over No. 17 Texas Tech and No. 25 Texas.
The Sooners still face a tough road before they can get too proud as No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 23 TCU and No. 24 Iowa State remain on the schedule. Three of the four games will come on the road.
This will be a tough finish for the Sooners, but with the recovery of the secondary this fall, it may be manageable. If a one-loss SEC team can make it to a BCS game, who’s to say that a talented Oklahoma team couldn’t?
Oct. 20 vs. Kansas
Oct. 27 vs. No. 5 Notre Dame
Nov. 3 @ No. 24 Iowa State
Nov. 10 vs. Baylor
Nov. 17 @ No. 13 West Virginia
Nov. 24 vs. Oklahoma State
Dec. 1 @ No. 23 TCU
No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies
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No. 7 Toughest Schedule
The Aggies have been very impressive so far this season with a true freshman quarterback guiding the inaugural season for the maroon and white in the SEC. The Texas A&M offense has been hitting on all cylinders helping this team steam to a 5-1 record.
The season gets cranked up this Saturday as the Aggies host No. 6 LSU. LSU is regaining traction in the Top 10 after a loss to No. 2 Florida dropped the Bayou Bengals from the title talk, and the Tigers will be ready to pounce on the Aggies in order to continue their climb in the rankings
After LSU, A&M travels to Auburn, No. 12 Mississippi State and No. 1 Alabama. Auburn is down this year, but the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide are riding undefeated seasons and a lot of momentum.
It has been a good run for the Aggies, but it will end soon enough with this tough road left to travel.
Oct. 20 vs. No. 6 LSU
Oct. 27 @ Auburn
Nov. 3 @ No. 12 Mississippi State
Nov. 10 @ No. 1 Alabama
Nov. 17 vs. Sam Houston State
Nov. 24 vs. Missouri
No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide
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No. 6 Toughest Schedule
Alabama has had quite a season so far. The Tide are No. 17 in scoring offense and No. 1 in scoring defense. This team is fielding the No. 1 overall defense in every major category.
The Tide have continued to overcome injuries and have implemented nearly flawless play through the first half of the season.
Alabama will need to continue to play flawless as games against Tennessee, No. 12 Mississippi State, No. 6 LSU and No. 18 Texas A&M all come in a row.
The next four weeks will test the resolve of this team and the depth of the roster. Most believe this team can survive, but the Tide have lacked a true test to date. This will be a tough and impressive run—if completed—by the Tide this fall.
Oct. 20 @ Tennessee
Oct. 27 vs. No. 12 Mississippi State
Nov. 3 @ No. 6 LSU
Nov. 10 vs. No. 18 Texas A&M
Nov. 17 vs. Western Carolina
Nov. 24 vs. Auburn
No. 2 Florida Gators
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No. 5 Toughest Schedule
The Florida Gators have had the quickest rise from the bottom fifth of the Top 25 to the Top Five in recent college football history. This Will Muschamp-led team is playing inspired defense and running the football very well.
The Gators are reading the script on SEC football and executing it down to the last letter.
There is still a lot of tough competition that remains for Florida with games against No. 7 South Carolina, No. 11 Georgia and No. 14 Florida State still remaining.
The Gators could play for a national title this season, but they have to finish strong against three Top 15 teams. It won’t be easy.
Oct. 20 vs No. 7 South Carolina
Oct. 27 vs. No. 11 Georgia
Nov. 3 vs. Missouri
Nov. 10 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Nov. 17 vs. Jacksonville State
Nov. 24 @ No. 14 Florida State
No. 3 Oregon Ducks
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No. 4 Toughest Schedule
Chip Kelly is solidifying his dynasty at Oregon with another stellar year of football coming out of Eugene.
This Ducks squad continues to field amazing skill talent and has actually played good defense this season. That play will have to continue to get better, as this schedule offers no favors in the future.
Oregon must travel to No. 10 USC and No. 8 Oregon State before this season finishes. The Ducks also host No. 20 Stanford and travel to Arizona State this Saturday.
It will be a tough road to find another undefeated season for Oregon, especially with a freshman quarterback guiding the offense. If the Ducks can make it through this final stretch unscathed, they are a title team in 2012.
Oct. 18 @ Arizona State
Oct. 27 vs. Colorado
Nov. 3 @ No. 10 USC
Nov. 10 @ Cal
Nov. 17 vs. No. 20 Stanford
Nov. 24 @ No. 8 Oregon State
No. 12 Mississippi State Bulldogs
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No. 3 Toughest Schedule
Mississippi State has been able to push through a mediocre front end schedule and maintain an undefeated record. The Bulldogs have risen to the No. 12 spot in the BCS, but there are some tough games ahead that will challenge this football team.
Mississippi State faces No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 LSU and No. 18 Texas A&M, with all three games landing in the next three weeks. Alabama and LSU come on the road.
This is crunch time for Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs. If Tyler Russell is the real deal and this defense can continue to play strong, Mississippi State may pluck one of the big two off, finishing the stretch 2-1.
It will be tough, but to remain in the Top 15, it has to happen.
Either way, the Bulldogs are the No. 3 team in the SEC West at worst—a place that no one expected them to be in this season.
Oct. 20 vs. Middle Tennessee State
Oct. 27 @ No.1 Alabama
Nov. 3 vs. No. 18 Texas A&M
Nov. 10 @ No. 6 LSU
Nov. 17 vs. Arkansas
Nov. 24 @ Ole Miss
No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats
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No. 2 Toughest Schedule
Kansas State has been very impressive so far this fall. Collin Klein has led the Wildcats to an undefeated season and a No. 4 ranking in the BCS.
Saturday Kansas State hits the road to No. 13 West Virginia and then come home to face the rolling No. 17 Texas Tech Red Raiders. To close the year, the Bill Snyder-led squad has to face No. 23 TCU and No. 25 Texas.
Add in the explosive offense that comes with Baylor on November 17 and the Wildcats face a tough road to remain undefeated. In fact, it is one of the toughest schedules in the Top 25.
Collin Klein is in the Heisman discussion and could steal the bronze from Geno Smith if his Wildcats run the table.
Oct. 20 @ No. 13 West Virginia
Oct. 27 vs. No. 17 Texas Tech
Nov. 3 vs. Oklahoma State
Nov. 10 @ No. 23 TCU
Nov. 17 @ Baylor
Dec. 1 vs. No. 25 Texas
No. 23 TCU Horned Frogs
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No. 1 Toughest Schedule
The Horned Frogs have faced a lot of issues that could have destroyed this team. So far this season they have been able to maintain a winning attitude and push through the losses of key players this summer and fall.
TCU stands at 5-1, but that will soon change.
With games on the road against Oklahoma State, No. 25 Texas and No.13 West Virginia still remaining this team has a lot of tough football ahead. The Horned Frogs also host No. 4 Kansas State, No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 17 Texas Tech.
If TCU finishes this season with two or more wins, be impressed. Gary Patterson's purple people eaters only face one unranked team to close the year. This schedule is the toughest remaining in the BCS Top 25.
Oct. 20 vs. No. 17 Texas Tech
Oct. 27 @ Oklahoma State
Nov. 3 @ No. 13 West Virginia
Nov. 10 vs. No. 4 Kansas State
Nov. 22 @ No. 25 Texas
Dec. 1 vs. No. 9 Oklahoma