There are a number of big games to watch for in Week 11 of the college football season, and they're bound to shake up the BCS rankings quite a bit.
There were two big games played on Thursday, with Stanford taking down Oregon and Baylor beating Oklahoma. With the No. 3 and No. 10 teams losing, the rankings will change a bit near the top. However, with the remaining slate of games, they're bound to change even more after Saturday.
Let's take a look at the projected BCS rankings, followed by a breakdown of some games that are bound to shake up the standings.
|Projected BCS Rankings|
|2.||Florida State||W 55-14|
|10.||Miami (FL)||W 24-10|
|12.||Oklahoma State||W 35-17|
|13.||Texas A&M||W 42-24|
|15.||Fresno State||W 38-14|
|21.||Arizona State||W 30-20|
|22||Notre Dame||W 21-17|
|24.||Texas Tech||W 42-28|
|Highlighted Teams Have Already Played|
Houston (7-1, 4-0 American) at No. 21 UCF (6-1, 3-0 American)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Prediction: 35-30, Houston
The American Conference has some intriguing teams at the top of the standings, and this game could have big in-conference implications as well as the possibility to shake up the bottom of the BCS Top 25.
The Houston Cougars have an impressive offensive attack, averaging 41.1 points per game. True freshman quarterback John O'Korn has had a terrific first season for Houston, leading that offense with 2,121 yards, 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season.
O'Korn's favorite receiver has been Deontay Greenberry, who is having a great sophomore season. He leads the team with 62 receptions for 948 yards and nine touchdowns. Over the past three games, he's caught 23 passes for 342 yards and six touchdowns.
The UCF Knights have been having a great season as well, and are the only American team besides Louisville to be ranked in the Top 25 entering Saturday. They had a big win against Louisville and their one loss came against a tough South Carolina team.
Storm Johnson and William Stanback have done a good job out of the backfield, running for a combined 834 yards and 12 touchdowns. Defensively, this team has been solid, allowing just 19.3 points per game.
I think that the Cougars can pull off the upset in this one. O'Korn continues to play well and is establishing a great connection with Greenberry. The two should be able to find holes in the defense of the Knights, coming away with their biggest win of the season.
With the loss, the Knights will likely fall out of the Top 25, while a team like Georgia should be able to move back into the rankings.
No. 13 LSU (7-2, 3-2 SEC) at No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 9
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Prediction: 27-24, Alabama
When these two teams go head-to-head, great games usually occur.
The LSU Tigers haven't had the season they were hoping for, losing to Georgia and Ole Miss this season. However, they also have had big wins over teams like Florida, TCU and Auburn.
Zach Mettenberger has developed into one of the best passers in the country this season thanks to his new offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. He's completed 65.4 percent of his passes this year for 2,492 yards, 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's leading a very balanced offense that's putting up 40.2 points per game.
Jeremy Hill has been a big reason for that balance. So far, he's run for 922 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 7.2 yards per carry. Terrence Magee is running well too, averaging 7.5 yards per carry for 376 yards and five scores.
Although they were a little slow out of the gate, Alabama is continuing to show everyone why they're the best team in the country as they work on winning their third consecutive national championship. They've been almost impossible to score on, allowing just 9.8 points per game—the fewest in the country.
Much like Mettenberger, AJ McCarron has looked better this season. He's thrown for 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions, not throwing a pick since September. He's already had three games with at least three passing touchdowns, and he's looking to win yet another national title before his college career ends.
Regardless of how these two teams are playing heading in, this is almost always a close game. I expect the Tigers to put up a fight, but you can't count against Alabama. The win will keep the Crimson Tide at the top of the BCS rankings, but it will be interesting to see where LSU ends up.
The Tigers will have three losses after this one, while other teams around them will have one or two. However, the Tigers have been tested all season, and shouldn't fall too far. A couple of teams like Oklahoma State and Texas A&M should be able to move ahead of them, but I think that they'll only drop three spots to No. 16 in the latest rankings.