The BCS rankings for Week 12 have been revealed, and the new top dogs (at least for now) in college football are Kansas State at No. 1 and Oregon at a close No. 2. Both teams still have a pretty good chance to end the regular season undefeated.
But each of them still have upset specials remaining on their rosters. Is there a chance that one of them could lose before they reach 12-0? And who has the greater chance?
Looking first at No. 1 Kansas State, the Wildcats have only the Baylor Bears (4-4) on the road and the Texas Longhorns (8-2) at home. Both of these teams, Texas especially, have the ability to knock Kansas State off of their newly acquired throne. Each offense has shown a knack for scoring and moving the ball, but their porous defenses could be easy prey for Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein. Both of these games have the capability to be shootouts.
The Wildcats have shown this in one case against Oklahoma State, having to put up 44 points against the Cowboys, and narrowly squeezing by against the Iowa State Cyclones. They upset Oklahoma State last season and spoiled their national championship aspirations, narrowly escaping with a 27-21 win.
Klein's health could become a factor as well. Klein was injured in their game against Oklahoma State and was questionable to play in their 23-10 win over the TCU Horned Frogs, but he played the entire game without trouble. Klein’s ability to make plays with his feet could be limited by the coaching staff, and he could become more confined to the pocket. Klein has made some of his biggest plays on the move, and is the most dangerous as a runner.
Meanwhile, Oregon plays the Stanford Cardinal (8-2) at home in Week 12 and then travel in-state to face the Oregon State Beavers (7-2). Stanford continues to play the most physical, hard-nosed football in the Pac-12, and Oregon State is predicated on its passing game. Out of these two, the Cardinal have the best chance of pulling off an upset, having already knocked off the No. 2 ranked USC Trojans and the No. 11 ranked Oregon State Beavers.
With the Cardinal, they pose a threat on the ground with a physical running back in Stepfan Taylor, who has rushed for 1,061 yards and nine touchdowns, and they run it early and often. Stanford has the ability to wear this defense down the same way they did against USC.
Oregon State has been among the top passing teams in the country thanks to quarterback Sean Mannion, who has passed for 1,579 yards and eight touchdowns, but has also thrown eight interceptions. But he has not been able to get through the entire season due to injury, and backup quarterback Cody Vaz has thrown for 1,096 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception while Mannion went down.
The Beavers have plenty of depth at quarterback to keep their passing game alive. And they Beavers also have two reliable targets at receiver in Brandin Cooks, who has 988 receiving yards and four touchdowns, and Markus Wheaton, who has 878 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Both teams have to pick their poison the next two weeks, and their opponents are not likely to sleep as they try to improve their current bowl standings.
Wildcats fans and Ducks fans can't quite relax just yet. It's gonna be a long two weeks.