11 Teams Whose Seasons Are on the Line in September

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIISeptember 5, 2013

11 Teams Whose Seasons Are on the Line in September

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    Georgia's Week 1 loss to Clemson has the Bulldogs under code red already in the first week of September, but the boys from Athens aren't the only squad with their hand close to the panic button after just one game.

    Including UGA, a number of Southeastern Conference programs will be tested early in contests that will have a major impact on the success of their entire season.

    Meanwhile, two Big 12 Conference programs notched first-week losses to FCS opponents and will now face an uphill battle to bowl eligibility.

    Find out which other teams may be on the chopping block in college football's first full month of action.

    Note: All rankings based on the Week 2 Associated Press Top 25 poll.


1 of 10

    Sept. 7 vs. No. 6 South Carolina

    Sept. 28 vs. No. 9 LSU

    Even after starting the season with a 38-35 loss to Clemson, Georgia can still do everything it set out to do this season.

    SEC and even national title hopes still remain for UGA.

    However, the Bulldogs will put those dreams on the line twice in September. 

    The first crucial bout will come Week 2 against No. 6 South Carolina, with the second against No. 9 LSU on Sept. 28. 

    A loss in either game will dash the Dawgs' BCS title hopes and a negative result against SEC East foe USC will be especially damaging to their SEC title aspirations.

    Already in September, fans will see just how much fight is actually in the Dawgs.


Notre Dame

2 of 10

    Sept. 7 at No. 17 Michigan

    Sept. 21 vs. Michigan State

    Sept. 28 vs. No. 16 Oklahoma

    Notre Dame faces a tough challenges all the way through its schedule, but September will be the most trying month of all.

    The Irish have key meetings at No. 17 Michigan, then at home against Michigan State and No. 16 Oklahoma.

    With No. 25 USC and No. 5 Stanford looming later on down the road, wins in September will be crucial to ND's BCS hopes.

Ole Miss

3 of 10

    Sept. 14 at No. 15 Texas

    Sept. 28 at No. 1 Alabama

    Ole Miss faces one of the most front-loaded and overall difficult schedules in the country.

    The Rebels picked up what will prove to be an enormous win over Vanderbilt in their first week of action and will have to take care of business Week 2 against Southeast Missouri State.

    After that, they'll face a daunting stretch from the end of September into October.

    Ole Miss goes on the road for three consecutive contests against No. 15 Texas, No. 1 Alabama and Auburn, only to return home and host No. 7 Texas A&M and LSU.

    The road is easier after that, but the Rebels will have almost all of their chances to impress and make their name before November.

Kansas State

4 of 10

    Sept. 7 vs. UL-Lafayette

    Sept. 21 at No. 15 Texas

    Somehow, in just a few months, Kansas State went from the 2012 Big 12 Conference champion to now worrying about whether it can even make a bowl game.

    After stumbling Week 1 against North Dakota State, K-State cannot afford any more mistakes.

    The Wildcats will tangle with five currently ranked foes this season, including a trip to Texas to close September.

    To make the situation worse, KSU could also have its hands full with a tough UL-Lafayette team in its second non-conference game.


5 of 10

    Sept. 7 vs. Miami (OH)

    Sept. 14 vs. No. 8 Louisville

    Sept. 28 vs. No. 12 Florida

    Kentucky's bowl hopes took a major hit in a Week 1 loss to Western Kentucky.

    With five ranked teams on the docket, UK can't afford any more slip-ups and also will need to generate an upset or two to make Mark Stoops' first season a success.

    The Wildcats must beat Miami (OH) Week 2, as No. 8 Louisville and No. 12 Florida come to Lexington to close the month of September.

    One upset can change Kentucky's season, but one more bad loss will kill its chances at a bowl berth.

Boston College

6 of 10

    Sept. 6 vs. Wake Forest

    Sept. 14 at No. 25 USC

    Sept. 28 vs. No. 10 Florida State

    The road to bowl eligibility will be a tough one for Boston College.

    The Eagles picked up a narrow 24-14 win over Villanova in Week 1 but will face tougher tests down the road against USC and No. 10 Florida State to close September before an Oct. 12 meeting with No. 4 Clemson.

    A Week 2 win against Wake Forest could prove to be vital down the road, as the two programs will likely be battling for similar bowl bids.

Iowa State

7 of 10

    Sept. 14 vs. Iowa

    Sept. 26 at Tulsa

    In a situation almost identical to that of Kansas State, Iowa State is reeling after a Week 1 loss to in-state FCS rival Northern Iowa.

    ISU may have an even tougher road with the same five ranked teams as KSU, but two very tough non-conference games as well.

    The Cyclones will have one week off to think about the rest of their season, as it will be on the line in the following two contests.

    Iowa State hosts Iowa on Sept. 14 and will travel to Tulsa on Sept. 26 and could end up on the wrong side of both games.

    If that happens, ISU can kiss its postseason hopes goodbye. 

West Virginia

8 of 10

    Sept. 16 at No. 16 Oklahoma

    Sept. 21 vs. Maryland

    Sept. 28 vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State

    West Virginia's unsightly Week 1 win over William & Mary raised many questions about how this team will make it through the rest of its schedule.

    While better off than Big 12 comrades Iowa State and Kansas State, WVU will need to show much improvement over key games in September to have hope for the remainder of the season.

    The Mountaineers travel to No. 16 Oklahoma in Week 2 and then host No. 13 Oklahoma State on Sept. 28.

    In between those crucial conference contests, WVU must handle business against Georgia State and regional rival Maryland. 

    The bad news: Maryland looked excellent with C.J. Brown back at quarterback in Week 1 and will be hungry for a victory over the Mountaineers.

Arizona State

9 of 10

    Sept. 14 vs. No. 21 Wisconsin

    Sept. 21 at No. 5 Stanford

    Sept. 28 vs. No. 25 USC

    Arizona State has ideas of competing for at least the Pac-12 South Division title in 2013.

    Just outside of the Top 25, ASU will have opportunities to impress early with five ranked opponents in its first seven games.

    The Sun Devils face non-conference foes in No. 21 Wisconsin and No. 14 Notre Dame in that stretch, but will also take on Stanford, USC and No. 20 Washington.

    With No. 18 UCLA, Oregon State and Arizona all waiting at the tail end of ASU's formidable schedule, early wins will be key.

    One or two early upsets can set the tone for a great season in Tempe, but a few tough losses could potentially set the Sun Devils up to post a losing season.

Texas A&M and Alabama

10 of 10

    Sept. 14 No. 1 Alabama at No. 7 Texas A&M

    Texas A&M and Alabama's Sept. 14 clash is arguably the most highly-anticipated contest of the season.

    Both teams have national title hopes and one will likely be knocked out of that conversation after their battle in College Station, Texas.

    While Alabama has proven that a one-loss SEC team can still win the BCS title, it will be tough for that to happen this year.

    Even disregarding that there could very well be multiple undefeated teams at the end of the season, neither A&M nor Alabama will have many opportunities for marquee wins after this game.

    Both the Crimson Tide and Aggies have just one ranked opponent, LSU, left on their schedule.