BCS Rankings: Top Teams on Upset Watch in Week 9

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2012

October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel (6) throws the ball in for a touchdown against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Week 8's games delivered very few shakeups in the BCS standings, but that doesn't mean teams will be so lucky in Week 9.

Saturday's schedule is littered with marquee matchups, with several ranked teams set to face huge tests on their path to a BCS bowl game.

Every week is a new chance to prove yourself, and avoiding upsets is paramount to that.

Let's take a look at three teams on upset watch in Week 9.

No. 5 Notre Dame

Sooner or later, the Fighting Irish are going to have to score some points to win. Relying on the nation's No. 2 defense is nice, but it's not going to last forever.

Notre Dame's trip to face Oklahoma in Week 9 is a very dangerous game. The Sooners average nearly 45 points a game, giving the Irish a test like they haven't faced yet this season.

Landry Jones is going to push Notre Dame's secondary hard. If the Fighting Irish cannot get pressure on him and slow down the Sooners' hurry-up attack, it could be a disappointing day and a long trip home.

Oklahoma is No. 12 in the nation in scoring defense. Contests against Kansas State and Texas have tested the Sooners, making Notre Dame's offense seem mild in comparison.

This is a tough one to play following an emotional win over Brigham Young. Notre Dame better answer early or face its first loss of the season.

No. 2 Florida

The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is always an exciting affair, and this year will be no different. With South Carolina on the outside of SEC East conversations, the Georgia Bulldogs have become Florida's biggest threat.

The Gators embarrassed South Carolina in The Swamp on Saturday, leaving a scary impression on all who watched, but Georgia's offense is much more balanced.

Aaron Murray is going to challenge Florida more than Connor Shaw was capable of doing. On top of that, Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore wasn't healthy. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are, and they will be hungry to prove themselves in this rivalry.

Florida has enjoyed a meteoric rise through the standings this season, but it's due for a slip-up at some point. Georgia would like nothing more than to reestablish themselves atop the SEC East while dethroning its biggest rival in the process.

No. 3 Kansas State

Kansas State is the hottest team in the nation after thrashing West Virginia on Saturday, but the Big 12 offers no rest at this time of the year.

Do not sleep on Texas Tech in this one. The Mountaineers made that mistake in Week 7, only to be snake-bitten. That game was in Lubbock, but that doesn't take away from the potency of the Red Raiders offense.

The Wildcats play hard on both sides of the ball. Avoiding a letdown after an emphatic victory can be tough sometimes, and Texas Tech is the type of team that can shock the world.

Seth Doege is having a big-time season. He has over 2,000 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. Geno Smith tested the Wildcats on Saturday, and they will face another stiff test here.

Physical talent isn't the only thing necessary for going undefeated. A team must also avoid losing focus, and this game could be trouble for Bill Snyder's crew.

*For a complete look at the standings, click here

Week 9 BCS Standings

1. Alabama
2. Florida
3. Kansas State
4. Oregon
5. Notre Dame
6. LSU
7. Oregon State
8. Oklahoma
9. USC
10. Georgia
11. Mississippi State
12. Florida State
13. South Carolina
14. Texas Tech
15. Rutgers 
16. Louisville
17. Stanford
18. Clemson
19. West Virginia
20. Texas A&M
21. Boise State
22. Michigan
23. Texas
24. Ohio
25. Wisconsin


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