College Football Rankings 2012: Top Teams on Upset Alert in Week 14

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 17:  AJ McCarron #10 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with Christion Jones #22 after Jones' touchdown against the Western Carolina Catamounts at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As many of the top teams in the country prepare to go toe-to-toe for the right to advance to a BCS bowl game in their respective conference championship games, it's important to keep in mind that upsets can—and will—still happen.

Being the higher-ranked team doesn't guarantee success in the postseason any more than it does during the regular season. If anything, it makes you a bigger target than normal.

Let's take a look at three teams who will need to be at the top of their games this weekend to avoid being taken down by their capable competition.


No. 2 Alabama (11-1)

Nobody's giving No. 3 Georgia (11-1) much of a chance in the SEC Championship Game against No. 2 Alabama.

They should.

Alabama's one loss on the season was to a Texas A&M team that featured a prolific offense and a solid defense.

Georgia's got the prolific offense, with QB Aaron Murray leading the way. A veteran leader, Murray is completing nearly 67 percent of his passes and simply doesn't turn the ball over.

Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have been outstanding in the running game, each with more than 700 yards rushing on the season, averaging more than six yards per carry.

Defensively, the Aggies can't hold a candle to what Jarvis Jones and the Bulldogs defense brings to the table.

They've shut down top ranked squads before—just ask Florida, ranked No. 2 at the time, how good the Bulldogs defense was when they forced six turnovers and beat the Gators 17-9 at the end of October.

Simply put, Georgia cannot be overlooked by Alabama, because they have the horses needed to punch the Crimson Tide in the mouth and charge straight to Miami for a shot at the national championship against Notre Dame.


No. 12 Nebraska (10-2)

We can forget about Nebraska's 30-27 victory over Wisconsin (7-5) back in September, because that was a different Wisconsin team.

Or better put, a different Montee Ball.

Nebraska has struggled mightily to stop opposing teams from running the ball this season, allowing more than 166 yards rushing yards and nearly two rushing touchdowns per game.

Montee Ball picked up three touchdowns against the Cornhuskers in their previous matchup, but it took him 32 carries to rack up 90 yards—an average of only 2.8 yards per carry.

Since then, Ball has carried the ball 187 times for 1,075 yards and 12 touchdowns in his past seven games.

That's an average of 5.75 yards per carry, more than 150 yards and nearly two touchdowns per game.

If Nebraska is unable to slow Ball down, he is more than capable of carrying Wisconsin to the win.


No. 23 Oklahoma State (7-4)

It's a meeting of two prolific offenses when Oklahoma State and Baylor (6-5) get together at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas on Saturday afternoon 

Both teams are going to put points on the board because, well, that's what they do.

Oklahoma State has the third most potent scoring offense (45.6 points per game) and the fifth best passing attack in the nation, throwing for 332.6 yards per game.

But Baylor, led by QB Nick Florence, are equally as proficient at putting points on the board, ranking fifth in the nation with 44.4 per game, while having the third most potent passing attack, with 358.5 passing yards per game.

Neither team is any good at defending the pass, either. Oklahoma State ranks 113th against the pass, Baylor 118th.

This one could go either way, and it very well might be decided by whichever team has the ball last.

Baylor can win a shootout against Oklahoma State.