Week 11 features a few phenomenal matchups between teams that currently occupy a top spot in the college football rankings.
Baylor and Oklahoma get things kicked off on Thursday night, followed shortly thereafter by an epic Pac-12 showdown between Oregon and Stanford. This weekend's version of a night cap is the Saturday night SEC clash between LSU and Alabama.
The outcomes of these contests will shape the top of the BCS standings and determine which teams still have a shot at contending for the national title.
Here's a look at the current BCS rankings, followed by a closer examination of the top teams that will stay hot and win big games this weekend:
|BCS Standings: Week 11|
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide||8-0||.9797|
|2||Florida State Seminoles||8-0||.9525|
|4||Ohio State Buckeyes||9-0||.8720|
|12||South Carolina Gamecocks||7-2||.5111|
|14||Oklahoma State Cowboys||7-1||.4395|
|15||Texas A&M Aggies||7-2||.4365|
|16||Fresno State Bulldogs||8-0||.3675|
|17||Michigan State Spartans||8-1||.3394|
|18||Northern Illinois Huskies||9-0||.3169|
|21||UCF Golden Knights||6-1||.2151|
|22||Arizona State Sun Devils||6-2||.1770|
|23||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||7-2||.1662|
Baylor Will Take Down Oklahoma
Oklahoma impressively wrangled Texas Tech two weekends ago, forcing three turnovers to edge the Red Raiders 38-30 at home.
The Sooners feature one of the nation's top defenses, allowing just 18.8 points per game.
They'll need every ounce of defensive prowess on Thursday night against Baylor, which leads the nation in points per game, averaging 63.9 every time it steps onto the field.
This game represents the first chance the Bears have this season to make a national statement, as the undefeated team hasn't faced a top team yet this year.
The home crowd at Floyd Casey Stadium will be rocking for this contest.
Bryce Petty and the Bears haven't yet been stopped by any team this season. Even Kansas State, which held the Bears to 35 points, only did so by holding possession for two-thirds of the ball game.
Like we saw from FSU earlier in its contests against Clemson and then Miami, Baylor will emerge as the superior team in this game, boosting its already skyrocketing stock heading into bowl season.
Oregon Will Blow Out Stanford
Stanford kept Oregon from the BCS National Championship Game last year by beating the Ducks 17-14 in overtime in Eugene. It was a stunning display of defense that won the game for the Cardinal, which held the potent Oregon offense to just 5.3 yards per play.
Marcus Mariota had one of the worst games of his freshman campaign, completing just 56.8 percent of his passes, averaging just 5.59 yards per attempt while throwing one touchdown and one interception.
Oregon's offense comes into this game averaging 55.6 points per game, and Mariota has been brilliant all season long. With 20 touchdowns already, he's yet to throw a single interception.
Given the dynamic nature of Oregon's offense—both on running and passing plays—it's hard to imagine Stanford will duplicate the success it had last year.
If Oregon starts scoring at the pace we're used to seeing, then the Cardinal will be blown out.
Kevin Hogan isn't an explosive passer (13 touchdowns and five interceptions this season), and Stanford's offense is predicated on a power-rushing attack that is rendered useless when behind by large margins.
Alabama Will Grind Out Victory Against LSU
Since Nick Saban arrived in Alabama in 2007 and got the program back on the path of national championship glory, the yearly battle between 'Bama and LSU has tilted in favor of the Crimson Tide, which has won four of seven games.
These contests are typically ugly, defensive struggles. Alabama has won the last two games by a combined score of 42-17, thanks to a 21-0 shutout in the 2012 National Championship Game.
Both teams average more than 40 points per game, but nobody should expect either team to come close to that mark in this upcoming contest. If the final score eclipses 40, then sparks will have flown.
Alabama's defensive line is stouter than LSU's, and the Crimson Tide feature a stronger rushing attack. The only way the Tigers win this game is if Zach Mettenberger blows up against Alabama's defense, which is highly unlikely.
In the end, the Crimson Tide will continue rolling along toward another national title game berth, thanks to a punishing defense that will keep LSU's potent offense in check.
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