BCS Rankings: Biggest Test Remaining for Every Undefeated Team

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 03:  Quarterback AJ McCarron #10 of Alabama celebratesw after the extra point for the go ahead touchdown against LSU late in the fourth quarter at Tiger Stadium on November 3, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The BCS standings are important, but they become meaningless to teams that cannot take care of business themselves.

Often at this point of the season, players on undefeated teams are left watching the rankings when they are released every Sunday. However, many times those same squads get upset by inferior opponents because they were not concerned with the task at hand. 

This is almost what happened to Notre Dame on Saturday, when the Irish needed three overtimes to defeat Pittsburgh at home. 

Including Notre Dame, there are five undefeated teams that are eligible to participate in the BCS Championship. As of Week 11, Alabama and Kansas State will play for the title. However, each team has a tough test or two that can change the national landscape.



Toughest Game: At Rutgers, Nov. 29

The "other" undefeated team has not gotten much respect this year. Louisville enters Week 11 as only No. 9 in the BCS Standings, despite the 9-0 record.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been underrated all season long despite his 170 quarterback efficiency, which ranks No. 5 in the nation. Last week, he tossed five touchdown passes in a win over Temple.

Louisville should be able to handle Syracuse and Connecticut in the coming weeks, but the road game against Rutgers should give the Cardinals some trouble. The Scarlet Knights have the No. 6 scoring defense in the nation and should be battling to win the Big East title in that game as well.

In addition, the game will take place on Thursday night, which always leads to an exciting finish.

It will take a longshot for the Cardinals to be in the national championship consideration, but they will not have a chance unless they can win this tough battle.


Notre Dame

Toughest Game: At USC, Nov. 24 

Based on Saturday's game, every matchup will be difficult. However, USC is the matchup that should really scare fans of the Irish.

Notre Dame has one of the best defenses in the country.  It has already shut down Oklahoma and Michigan, but Pittsburgh exposed some holes in that narrow escape. Also, the offense has a few question marks despite the play of dynamic quarterback Everett Golson.

The interesting question for this game is whether or not the Fighting Irish can stay with USC on the scoreboard. The Trojans have been slowed at times this year, but there is enough talent to believe that they can put up points on any opponent.

A positive outlook for Notre Dame is that it already beat Stanford, who defeated USC earlier in the year. Unfortunately, Stanford and ND were at home in their respective wins and the Irish need to be able to win in the Coliseum. 



Toughest Game: At Oregon State, Nov. 24

Oregon will have to also win in the Pac-12 Championship Game to finish with an undefeated season, but the most difficult game will be against Oregon State.

The Beavers ended their perfect season with a loss at Washington, but they have something that few other teams in the conference have: a good defense. Oregon State has a chance of at least slowing down the potent Ducks' offense with its size and speed on the opposite side of the football.

To make things more interesting, this is an intense rivalry where one team enjoys nothing more than ruining the season of the other. 

The Ducks have gotten the better of the recent matchups, but Oregon State has won five of the last eight Civil War games in Corvallis. As much talent as Oregon has, this game will not be easy.


Kansas State

Toughest Game: Vs. Texas, Dec. 1

Kansas State has two road games coming up against TCU and Baylor, but the Wildcats have not shown any sign of struggle when away from Manhattan this year.

However, Texas has the skill necessary to hand the team its first loss of the year.

The Longhorns have struggled with consistency all season. Still, this team can beat anyone when it plays at its best.

David Ash seems to have found a rhythm with receiver Mike Davis, and freshman Johnathan Gray has rushed for over 100 yards in consecutive games. Plus, the defense has had two good games in a row after a terrible stretch during the middle of the season.

Although Kansas State has already passed its hardest tests, Texas is still a team that can mess up everything for this strong team.



Toughest Game: SEC Championship, Dec. 1

It took everything they had, but the Crimson Tide were able to leave Baton Rouge with a 21-17 win.

LSU was expected to be the last chance for any team to defeat Alabama this season, leaving many to believe that this team is now on its way to its second-consecutive title. 

However, the SEC Championship Game will certainly be cause for some concern among the Alabama faithful.

Georgia will likely be the SEC East winner, needing only one more win to clinch. If that is the case, the Bulldogs can be a very formidable foe in what will basically be a road game at the Georgia Dome.

The team has a very balanced offense, with Aaron Murray as a veteran leader and Todd Gurley as a big-play threat at running back. If the defense is able to slow down the Alabama run game, the defending champs will have to find another bowl game to attend.


BCS Rankings

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



    Saban Shoots Down Idea He's Thinking Retirement

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Saban Shoots Down Idea He's Thinking Retirement

    Chris Low
    via ESPN.com

    CFB's Most Clutch Performers in 2018

    College Football logo
    College Football

    CFB's Most Clutch Performers in 2018

    Brad Shepard
    via Bleacher Report

    Gardner Minshew Announces Transfer to Washington State

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Gardner Minshew Announces Transfer to Washington State

    Tim Daniels
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Auburn WR Stove Tears ACL

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Report: Auburn WR Stove Tears ACL

    via 247sports