BCS Standings: Most Dangerous Teams Lurking Outside of Top 5

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2012

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 27:  Aaron Murray #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs points during the game against the Florida Gators at EverBank Field on October 27, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The BCS' Top 5 teams have the inside track to the National Championship Game, but that doesn't mean they're the only squads worth fearing in the season's final weeks.

A major shakeup in Week 9 allowed a few teams to rise in the rankings. With Southern California, Florida, Oklahoma and Oregon State all losing on Saturday, there is more room at the top than there was before.

Not every team that's lying in wait is worth paying attention to, but a few could pounce on the smallest opportunity.

Let's take a look at three dangerous teams lurking outside of the BCS' Top 5:


No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia's 17-9 win over Florida on Saturday puts the Bulldogs in the driver's seat in the SEC East and makes them a very dangerous squad moving forward.

The Bulldogs forced six turnovers and overcame three of their own to get the win. Neutralizing Florida's daunting defense is nearly impossible at this point, but the Bulldogs were able to play some harsh defense of their own.

The game was in reach until Malcolm Mitchell caught a 45-yard score from Aaron Murray:

Overall it was an ugly game, but Georgia proved themselves on a big stage. After falling to South Carolina earlier in the season, Mark Richt's team needed a win to hang their hat on. With the victory over the former-No. 2 team, they now have that.

With Ole Miss, Auburn, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech remaining on its schedule, the Bulldogs control their own destiny. It seems they can only get better at this point, especially with Murray's experience, an aggressive defense and a devastating duo at running back to lead the way.


No. 9 Florida State Seminoles

In terms of raw physical talent, the Seminoles are nearly flawless. If it wasn't for a slip up against N.C. State, Florida State would be in national title talks right now.

Instead, they're left on the outside looking in. With a relatively easy final three games, the potential rise is there though. Beating Virginia Tech and Maryland would bring them to a huge matchup with in-state rival Florida, and unless the Gators fall off the map after Saturday's loss, a win there would be huge for the 'Noles.

Florida State takes advantage of a weak ACC, but that doesn't negate this team's ability. An offense that's No. 4 in scoring and a defense that is No. 3 in points allowed will create problems for the nation's best teams, regardless of who the Seminoles have played beforehand.

The 'Noles have playmakers on both sides of the ball, and on special teams, as Tyler Hunter showed against Duke on Saturday:

The easy schedule could benefit them late in the year. As teams fall off, they will rise. Beating Florida could put Florida State in a very opportunistic situation.


No. 10 Louisville Cardinals

Big East or not, the Cardinals can play football. Anyone fortunate enough to watch Friday night's win over Cincinnati got to watch one of the nation's most exciting quarterbacks in Teddy Bridgewater. Receiver DeVante Parker also put on a show.

The Cardinals don't have a strong schedule in their favor, but they're still undefeated in a BCS conference. That counts for something in BCS land, and they're going to be around for the next few weeks at least.

Games against Temple, Syracuse and Connecticut shouldn't present much of a challenge, with Ryan Nassib and the Orange being the one possible exception. Louisville's final game of the season against Rutgers will be a different story.

The Cardinals aren't SEC-dangerous, but they're hot. Bridgewater is a dangerous dual-threat talent, and Parker gives him a legitimate downfield target. Add in Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright in the backfield (1,175  combined yards, 19 combined rushing touchdowns), and you have yourself a viable attack.

If Louisville's defense stays somewhat steady, this team has major upset potential. Charlie Strong runs a very good program, and he has the talent to execute.


*For full BCS rankings, click here

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


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