At this point, you can't really argue that certain teams have gotten to where they are in the BCS standings because of luck. We're deep enough into the season to know which teams are for real and which are not.
But that doesn't mean that all of those teams ranked near the top of the standings are infallible. This, in fact, is precisely the point in the season where they're likely to trip themselves up.
Here's a look at the teams that could fall in Week 9. You can find the full BCS standings below.
No. 5 Notre Dame
at No. 8 Oklahoma
I know, everyone's excited about Notre Dame's 2012 resurgence, as they should be—for the first time in too long, the Irish finally look like one of college football's most storied, most successful programs.
And while going 7-0 through the first couple of months of the season is certainly admirable, the Irish are about to get their biggest challenge of the season when they travel to Oklahoma on Saturday night.
This isn't to say that the Irish haven't yet been challenged this season; Notre Dame got saddled with a pretty tough schedule this year. But of the three ranked teams the Irish have faced in 2012, only two of them are still ranked, and neither are ranked higher than No. 17.
In other words, they haven't yet taken on a challenge like the one facing them in the form of Big 12 powerhouse Oklahoma, which has put up no fewer than 41 points in each of its last three games. Two weeks ago, this team embarrassed Texas 63-21, and in its last three, it has outscored opponents 156-48.
And as we saw from what happened to the Longhorns when they visited Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, it's not an easy place for anyone to play.
No. 20 Texas A&M
There's nothing that lights a fire under a team quite like the threat of a firing, and if any of these Auburn players want their head coach to be around next year, they know what they have to do: win. Starting now.
If the Tigers can't find motivation in that, they'll never find it.
The Tigers, according to CBSSports.com, are off to their worst start in 60 years, and fans are becoming impatient with a team that could very well go winless in the SEC in 2012.
It hasn't been all head coach Gene Chizik's fault. There have been abundant injuries, and in case you haven't noticed, the SEC is stacked this season.
Plus, it's not as though the Tigers have been getting blown out by ranked opponents: They lost to Clemson by a touchdown and they lost to LSU by two. They can compete. It's just about finding a way to score with a little consistency.
And perhaps, in light of the drama surrounding Chizik's future with the program, the Tigers will realize that they need to win now, or else. Even if they win a big game against a ranked opponent (a ranked opponent which, by the way, is one freak win away from being in the midst of a two-game losing streak), it won't necessarily save Chizik's job.
But a win would help, and players find motivation in unexpected places.
No. 2 Florida
vs. No. 10 Georgia
The longer a team keeps winning, the more the pressure mounts—and now that Florida is hanging tough at No. 2 (at least in the BCS), will it suffer the same unfortunate fate as many of the former No. 2's that came before it?
There's no doubt that Georgia will do its best to present that as a possibility. The Bulldogs don't quite know how it feels to be second-best, but they do know how it feels to be a top-five team that does itself in with a tough loss to the sixth-ranked team in the nation.
Two weeks ago, after falling 35-7 at the hands of South Carolina, the Bulldogs dropped out of the top five but rebounded quickly with a win over Kentucky in Week 8.
Florida, meanwhile, remains undefeated at 7-0 and hasn't really come close to losing since taking down LSU 14-6 in Week 5.
But as we saw from South Carolina's two consecutive losses following its big win over the Bulldogs, teams that look the strongest can inexplicably begin to fall, especially when facing one of the toughest opponents not only in the conference, but in the nation.
After beating LSU and South Carolina, the Gators may think the hard work is over. Maybe they're in for a surprise when they take on the Bulldogs and their fourth-best defense.
|WEEK 9 BCS STANDINGS|
| 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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