The BCS released the third round of rankings for this year on Sunday with a few new faces at the top of the poll with Week 10 bringing big games that could provide more movement in the poll. There are 10 teams that face games that they desperately need to win.
Alabama travels to LSU this week with the Bayou Bengals looking to play spoiler to the Crimson Tide’s perfect 2012 season. Texas faces off against a tough Texas Tech team in a game that could determine the fate of Mack Brown’s future in Austin.
The Fighting Irish from Notre Dame will face two letdown games in a row and will need to stay focused in Week 10 as the pressure continues to mount with each win.
Looking ahead to Week 10’s matchups, here are 10 teams that enter the weekend in desperation mode.
Notre Dame is hitting a slow stretch in the schedule as games against Pitt and Boston College await this Irish team in the next two weeks. Even though this team is ranked No. 3 in the country, it is the most fragile unit at the top of the college football world.
The Irish have battled offensive inconsistency and have survived a number of games thanks to the strong play of their defense. Notre Dame will still expect the defense to play big in the next two weeks, but this is a time for the Irish to remove expectations and work week to week.
This is a young Notre Dame squad that could overlook Pitt this coming week. Pitt is 4-4 and has rejuvenated its offense in the past few weeks. Tino Sunseri is one of the best unknown signal-callers in the country.
This Brian Kelly-led team must approach every week as if it is desperate for a win. Each week has brought an upset of some sort to the game, and Notre Dame is prepped to be the next big letdown.
The Oregon Ducks are looking from the outside in at the national title race as each week passes despite winning big against every opponent that is placed in front of them. The Ducks are currently No. 4 in the BCS, but a big game waits this week that could change the national perception of this Ducks squad.
USC will start the month of November against the Ducks in Los Angeles. This will be the first big road test for the Ducks and provide Oregon with a quality win if they pull out this game.
This team is in desperate need of a ground-shaking win. USC did the Ducks no favors by losing this past Saturday to Arizona, so for Oregon to look like a title contender it needs to manhandle the Trojans from start to finish.
The Bayou Bengals were a national title-contending team to start the year, but a loss to Florida to start October ended the assumed title run. This week LSU hosts Alabama in Death Valley in a must-win game for the Bayou Bengals.
LSU is still the No. 5 team in the country despite one loss, so there is still a glimmer of hope that remains for a BCS run if the Tigers can beat Alabama this week.
After Alabama, LSU will host Mississippi State so the road doesn’t get any easier for this team. If the Tigers can pick off the No. 1 Crimson Tide, they will again return to the serious BCS title talk as a one-loss SEC team is still very much in the conversation.
If LSU loses this game, the season will end with at least two losses and a very disappointing mid-level bowl game.
The Beavers faced a crushing blow to their national title hopes this past weekend with a loss coming to Washington, 20-17. The Beavers are now outsiders in the national title discussion, but they could make waves inside the Pac-12 and possibly climb back into the BCS talk.
This coming Saturday they face off against a tough Arizona State squad that could easily pull off another upset win over the Beavers. The Sun Devils are coming off a tough loss to UCLA and are looking for redemption.
Sean Mannion returned to the Beavers lineup on Saturday, but he tossed four interceptions. He needs to find his groove quickly or Oregon State could face a lot of issues down the stretch.
This Oregon State team is coming off a major emotional letdown and will need to get refocused before this Saturday. This weekend the Beavers are desperate for a win as they look to put the season back on track.
Clemson has battled back from an early season loss to Florida State to become a Top 15 team in the past few weeks. This week the Tigers can continue the climb or return to descent with a game against Duke coming on Saturday.
The Blue Devils were throttled by Florida State this past weekend, but this is a team that has won six games so far this year and is looking to right the ship after the big loss to the Seminoles.
The Tigers are looking to keep churning up yards and wins inside the ACC when they travel to Wallace Wade Stadium this Saturday. This will not be an easy visit for this Clemson team.
Clemson still has an outside shot at the ACC title game and it is desperate for this win to continue to the climb in the conference and the BCS.
Stanford has faced a tough schedule this season that has been full of emotional highs and lows. A big win over then-No. 2 USC put the Cardinal into the national title hunt overnight, but the Cardinal followed up that big win with a loss to Washington on the road.
The Cardinal then lost an overtime game to Notre Dame two weeks later. This is still a very good Stanford squad that could have a strong finish to the season, and it starts Saturday against Colorado.
Colorado is a 1-7 team and the worst squad in the Pac-12. A win should be expected, but big losses have happened for this Stanford team in the past.
The Cardinal need to approach this game like it is the most difficult opponent of the year. Games against Oregon State and Oregon will follow this contest, so this is a must-win situation for Stanford. Future wins won’t be easy to come by.
The Aggies are coming off a huge win at Auburn where Texas A&M beat the Tigers worse than any other team since 1917. The Aggies are riding high after that major win.
The road gets very dicey in the next two weeks however as Texas A&M will take on Mississippi State and Alabama in consecutive weeks.
This Aggies team is looking to make the inaugural season in the SEC special. It currently holds two losses and is likely to end with at least one more with an Alabama game yet to be played.
This week brings desperation mode for Texas A&M as a must-win lays ahead. Mississippi State is coming off an embarrassing loss to Alabama and will look to climb back into the SEC elite with a win over the Aggies. Texas A&M needs a win to take confidence into Alabama week.
The Aggies have made a steady climb in the polls, but for that to continue, a win has to happen this week against a tough Bulldogs squad.
USC had another deflating loss this past weekend to Arizona, ending the hope of a possible one-loss BCS title run.
The Trojans are in desperation mode as they are clawing for a win this weekend against Oregon. The Ducks will be looking to destroy the Trojans in hopes of gaining some additional poll respect. The Men of Troy can’t let that happen.
This will be the most difficult game of the 2012 season for this Trojans team. This game could easily lead to a four-loss season for USC if they don’t avoid the loss in this game. Oregon holds all the cards and is just as desperate for a win, so this will be a strong matchup for the coming weekend.
Nebraska came up with a huge 23-9 victory over Michigan this past Saturday pushing the Cornhuskers into the Top 20 of the BCS.
This week a trip to Michigan State is waiting on the Cornhuskers as they attempt to continue their track to the Big Ten title game. Right now the Huskers lead the Legends division and need this win against the Spartans to solidify their position at the top.
It will not be an easy road to victory when they travel to East Lansing as the Spartans are looking to get bowl-eligible with one more victory.
The Cornhuskers are staring at a shot at a Big Ten title and can’t let this Michigan State squad stand in the way of a championship season. The heat is on.
The Longhorns have traveled a long way down the past few seasons to become one of the middle-of-the-pack teams inside the Big 12. This week they have to right this ship or Mack Brown may be looking for a new job after this season.
The once-lauded Brown will take his team to Lubbock to face a dangerous Texas Tech team. The Red Raiders have been among the best teams in the country offensively and defensively this fall. Texas Tech will give the Longhorns a lot of trouble this weekend.
Texas is currently 6-2 but faces a possible four-loss season. The Longhorns can continue the fall with a loss this weekend or begin a resurgence with a win.
The Longhorns need this win. Without it Mack Brown may be on his way out of Austin.