BCS Rankings 2012: Elite Teams on Upset Alert in Week 10

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 06:  Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish calls defensive signals against the Miami Hurricanes at Soldier Field on October 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Notre Dame defeated Miami 41-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Get a good look at the Week 10 BCS standings now because there's a good chance they will look completely different by next week. There are several high-profile matchups on the schedule sure to shake up the rankings one way or another.

Let's take a look at three top teams that will have to survive tricky tests on Saturday in order to maintain or improve their current standing. It's officially crunch time, which means any loss now has a good chance of dooming title hopes.


No. 1 Alabama

Before the season started, college football fans circled Nov. 3 on the calendar because that's when Alabama was going to take on LSU. Well, the week has finally arrived and it's a critical clash just like everybody expected.

Just like both meetings last season, this game will be decided by which defense is able to rise to the occasion. The continued dominance of these two programs proves that defense still leads the way at the college level, unlike the NFL.

Defensive battles are always ripe for upsets because the margin for error is so thin. C.J. Mosley will have to make sure his teammates are ready to roll if the Crimson Tide want to remain on track for their second straight title game trip.


No. 3 Notre Dame

The Fighting Irish are huge favorites against unranked Pittsburgh on Saturday, which is no surprise. Under normal circumstances, Notre Dame would probably cruise past the overmatched Panthers without even breaking a sweat.

That's not the case, though. The Irish just knocked off Oklahoma in the program's biggest game in a long time and the hype machine is working overtime to keep up with all the added attention. While it's good, it's also dangerous.

Pittsburgh already has a win over Virginia Tech and will be ready to capitalize if Notre Dame is suffering from big-win fatigue. Head coach Brian Kelly and star linebacker Manti Te'o must make sure everybody remains on track this week.


No. 4 Oregon

Since there are just a select few defenses capable of slowing down Oregon's high-flying attack, the only chance other teams, like USC, have is finding a way to outscore the Ducks. A shootout is definitely on the docket when the Pac-12 powers face off.

The Trojans let a winnable game slip away against Arizona, but the offense has been in a lot better form over the past few weeks, led by Matt Barkley's nine touchdown passes. So they are capable of keeping pace, at least for awhile.

One other factor in play is the fact this is Oregon's first major road test of the season. Winning at the Coliseum will be a tough task for De'Anthony Thomas and Co. Anything less than their 'A' game would likely result in an upset.


 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