With Week 9 of the college football season wrapped up, the big question surrounding the BCS standings is who deserves to be No. 2?
Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame are all tied up at 8-0 this season, joining No. 1-ranked Alabama. All three teams deserve early consideration for the BCS title, but only one can earn the No. 2 ranking.
Oregon has absolutely annihilated opponents this season, scoring an average of 53.4 points per game. Saturday's 70-14 win over Colorado was the largest point total reached by the Ducks, bringing their grand total this season to 427. On the year, Oregon has outscored its opponents 427-155—a mind-boggling accomplishment.
While Oregon does hold wins over nationally ranked Arizona and Washington, I wouldn't considered them front-runners for the No. 2 ranking until the end of the season. The reason is that the Ducks still have tough games remaining on their schedule in USC, Stanford and Oregon State—all three of which have the ability to pull off the upset. Only until after those games have been played can I really believe the hype of this offensive behemoth.
Kansas State is a team that hadn't really been given the credit it deserved despite knocking off teams in impressive fashion. Colin Klein has been widening the gap between himself and the other Heisman candidates with his week-by-week performances, but the fact that he's been able to deliver wins for his team is making his case that much stronger.
The Wildcats have beaten three ranked opponents on the season which include Oklahoma, West Virginia and Texas Tech. The last remaining test for Kansas State resides in a Dec. 1 matchup with nationally ranked Texas.
Personally, I have no problem placing the Wildcats at No. 2 considering how strong they've looked, but is the hype for real? Can they continue to blow out teams, or will they falter at the finish line?
Notre Dame has been a real surprise this season, especially after how its season ended last year and the situation at quarterback that developed this year. However, Notre Dame has battled adversity to pull off victories over four ranked opponents, including a 30-13 win over No. 8-ranked Oklahoma this week. Manti Te'o has been the heart and soul of this team, leading them to big wins while also staking his claim for the Heisman.
But a final game with USC could be the one blemish on their season should Notre Dame lose. The Trojans have had Notre Dame's number in recent matchups, but this is a much-improved Fighting Irish team. That last game has me doubting whether Notre Dame could hold its own with a team like Alabama in the BCS title game.
So who's it going to be?
I have to take the Kansas State Wildcats here. I like how the rest of their schedule pans out with games against TCU, Baylor and Texas to finish the season. I truly believe they can stay undefeated. Oregon's remaining schedule is too full of potential upsets and while Notre Dame has surprised me, I don't know if they can beat USC.