Bowl Projections 2012: National Championship Favorites After Week 10

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 03:  T.J. Yeldon #4 of Alabama carries the ball against Craig Loston #6 of LSU at Tiger Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

After one of the wildest weekends of the 2012 college football season in Week 10, the BCS National Championship picture is becoming clearer by the day.

With the top programs in the nation hunting for a bowl berth at all costs, there are many huge programs projected to contend for the shot at BCS glory.

Whether they can sustain their spots through the rest of the season is a different story, though.

All of the following universities have played amazing football in 2012, and each will be a serious contender for a National Championship game invite if they win the rest of the games on their schedule.

The Lock

No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide

After a tough win over the Crimson Tide’s biggest rival—the LSU Tigers—Alabama has cashed its ticket to the BCS National Title game as long as it wins the rest of its games this season.

Besides a tough game against an underrated Texas A&M team, there aren’t too many roadblocks in the way for Alabama. Even A&M doesn’t pose a serious enough threat to make the Week 11 matchup close; the Crimson Tide are just that great in 2012.

If Alabama wins its last three games of the season, there is no question that it will be the first team to get invited to the National Championship game and will be the heavy favorite against anyone it faces.

The Long Shot

No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

While the offensive unit for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish has been downright frustrating at times this season, their defenders are playing amazing football and have put the team in a position to contend for a National Title.

As we saw in Week 10, though, the Fighting Irish aren’t out of the woods yet. With a three-overtime win over the Pitt Panthers, Notre Dame looks far from impervious.

Notre Dame’s tough tests keep on coming, as the program squares off with an underestimated Boston College team before closing the season against the hated USC Trojans in Southern California.

If the Fighting Irish pass all of their tests to close the season, they’ll be hard to keep out of the BCS National Title game.

The Unheralded

No. 2 Kansas State Wildcats

While Alabama and Notre Dame hog the spotlight, the No. 2 team in the nation continues to roll each and every week; no matter how tough the competition.

That’s why the unheralded Kansas State Wildcats are still a serious BCS contender.

Led by a perfect blend of defensive talent and offensive prowess, the Wildcats have dominated the Big 12 and have beaten more ranked teams than almost any other program in the nation.

With three tough tests remaining (TCU, Baylor and Texas), if Kansas State can remain undefeated, they would deserve a spot in the National Title game more than any school without the Crimson Tide as their mascot.

Despite the complete lack of respect for the achievements of Kansas State so far this year, if the program can remain undefeated, there will be no questioning their spot in the BCS National Championship game.

Check back for more on the NCAA Football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.