5 Teams That Could Break the 2013 BCS
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
The initial BCS standings have been released, and it's not too early to look ahead and figure out which teams have the best chance to crash the party in 2013.
At this point in the season, we've got a pretty clear idea of which teams are still in the hunt for a BCS title. A loss on the resume all but guarantees being left out of the championship game, although crazy things seem to happen every year, so it wouldn't be wise to write off a team like Stanford just yet.
Still, the number of teams that can make it to Pasadena is much smaller than it was back in September. The number of teams that can affect who gets there, however, is still very large.
Let's take a look at five teams that can cause major chaos in 2013 and completely shake up the BCS standings.
All stats and info via ESPN
OSU head coach Mike Gundy
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With a loss to its name, Oklahoma State is going to have a difficult time climbing back into the BCS discussion.
Wreaking havoc on the current Top 10, however, is entirely possible. The Cowboys face two teams in the initial Top 10 of the BCS rankings in Texas Tech and Baylor.
Mike Gundy's team has a dynamic offense that, when clicking, can strike fear into any defense.
Remember last season, when Kansas State appeared ready to stake its claim for a spot in the title game? Then came a trip to Baylor, where a Bears offense led by running back Lache Seastrunk took the Wildcats for a ride and ended their national championship dreams.
Oklahoma State is in a similar situation to Baylor in 2013. But let's not write off its BCS chances completely, because a Big 12 title is still on the table.
If we're looking at teams that can really do some damage to the BCS standings, look no further than Stillwater, Oklahoma, where a sneaky Cowboys team may be ready to shake things up a bit.
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When you look at a team like the Ohio State Buckeyes, you see all the tough games behind them and a road paved with pillows and teddy bears up ahead.
That is, until The Game in late November, when the Buckeyes will travel to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines.
In losing to Penn State, Brady Hoke's team eliminated itself from the title picture completely. But it'll still have a chance to make its mark on the 2013 season, and in a manner that would fulfill the wildest dreams of Michigan fans everywhere—by beating Ohio State at the end of the regular season.
Imagine if Oregon and Alabama lose, and Ohio State is on the verge of booking its flight to Pasadena. If the Wolverines could notch a victory in that scenario, it would set fire to the BCS in its final year while giving Devin Gardner and company a victory they'd remember for the rest of their lives.
Michigan may not stack up with the top-tier teams in 2013, but it can certainly remind everyone that the traditional powerhouse is capable of striking at any moment.
Auburn QB Nick Marshall and head coach Gus Malzahn
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Auburn sits in a different category than the rest of the teams on the list, because by playing in the SEC, it has an outside shot at making the national championship, even with a loss.
That's a fact, not an opinion, and though the Tigers will need some help, wins over Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama would speak volumes.
Ah, snuck that last team in there, huh?
While the Tigers may still have big-time dreams, the biggest reason they make this group of teams is because they have a chance to do some serious damage to the BCS standings, namely the top spot and the other BCS team from the state of Alabama.
At the end of the season, the Crimson Tide will travel to Auburn for the annual Iron Bowl, and they could be sporting an undefeated record. If that's the case, a loss to Gus Malzahn's team would change everything in the BCS standings and deal a crippling blow to Nick Saban's chances of winning three straight titles.
A win over the Aggies proved that this team is for real. They can continue that momentum with victories over Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. But Tigers fans now have something more special in mind: beating Alabama and breaking the BCS.
VT QB Logan Thomas
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Don't look now, but since a season-opening loss to Alabama in which Virginia Tech mustered just 10 points on offense, the Hokies have reeled off six straight wins and are playing great football.
Quarterback Logan Thomas hasn't thrown an interception in three games, and the defense has given up more than 20 points on just one occasion—a triple-overtime victory over Marshall.
The reason Frank Beamer's squad makes the list is because it will potentially face two Top 10 teams before the end of the season.
The first of these contests will occur on Nov. 9 when the Hokies travel to Miami to take on the Hurricanes. A win there would likely put the team in the ACC Championship Game against either Clemson or Florida State.
If this team continues to showcase amazing defense and Thomas can limit turnovers, Virginia Tech can do a real number on the BCS standings.
WR Brandin Cooks
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Nobody bothered to pay attention to Oregon State after the Beavers lost to Eastern Washington to open the season.
But hidden in the loss, albeit an embarrassing one, was a terrific offensive performance that foreshadowed things to come. Including that game, quarterback Sean Mannion has thrown for just under 3,000 yards and 29 touchdowns. For perspective, he has more yards and one fewer touchdown than Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron had all of 2012.
That's not to compare the two, but it should give you an idea of just how impressive the junior quarterback has been this season. His top target, Brandin Cooks, has over 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns receiving already.
Where Oregon State comes into the picture is next Saturday, when it plays host to Stanford. A win over the Cardinals would vault the Beavers into the Pac-12 title picture immediately.
While that scenario would certainly be chaotic, it would be nothing compared to the craziness that would ensue if Mike Riley's team beat Oregon at the end of the regular season.
Oregon State has a chance to take the BCS and smash it into pieces in 2013.