Welcome fans of the underdog to my weekly column on which of the little geeky guys can end up crashing the big dance and becoming the hit of the year. Each week we'll take a look at the mid-majors trying to bang with the big boys. The teams on the radar after week one include the old standbys of Boise State, Utah, TCU, BYU, and Notre Dame. Also possibly in the picture are Tulsa, Houston, Bowling Green and Fresno State. Lets stop wasting time and take a look at the teams.
The Main Contenders:
BYU COUGARS: AP No. 9, USA TODAY No. 12
The Cougs won arguably the biggest game in MWC history by beating Oklahoma 14-13. They used a stout defense (holding OU to 13 points and knocking last years Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford out for two to four weeks) and the senior leadership of QB Max Hall (78 yard 4th quarter go-ahead drive) to overcome early turnovers. The surprise here is that BYU has a defense! Bronco Mendenhall's Cougars now have the inside track to a BCS game and other possibilities. Up this week @ Tulane—need I say more.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS: AP No. 12, USA TODAY No. 11
Boise played a heck of a game against Oregon even though it was overshadowed by the Punch heard round the nation. Boise is now set to run the table and make another trip to a BCS game. Next game is Miami(OH)-Broncos will continue to move up the rankings.
TCU HORNED FROGS: AP No. 16, USA TODAY No. 16
Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs (why does that mascot not inspire any fear in me?) didn't see any action last Saturday. Up this week TCU is @ Virginia. The Cavaliers lost in Week One to William & Mary. TCU's vaunted defense should force more turnovers than the seven Virginia gave up last week.
UTAH UTES: AP No. 17, USA TODAY No. 17
The Utes broke in their new quarterback in Terrance Cain against their in-state rivals Utah State. Matt Asiata was a workhorse with 36 carries and 100+ yards. Expect more of the same this week when the Utes meet San Jose State fresh off a 56-3 drubbing from USC.
NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH: AP No. 18, USA TODAY No. 20
The Irish won 35-0 against a lackluster Nevada team. The Irish who are picked by Lou "Where are my meds" Holtz to play in the National Championship will meet a bit stiffer resistance in Michigan at the Big House. The Irish will either rise to the challenge or wilt under the pressure.
The Hopefuls Looking In
Tulsa Golden Hurricanes: Tulsa dropped Tulane in Week One 37-13. In Week Two they will face a slightly tougher match-up in New Mexico
Houston Cougars: The Cougars ran all over Northwestern State on Saturday. This maybe the first and last week they are discussed as they would have to take No. 5 Oklahoma State this week to remain in any BCS consideration.
Bowling Green Falcons: BG may be in the same boat as Houston. They beat Troy in Week One but are looking at a very tough test in No. 25 Missouri in week two.
Fresno State Bulldogs: The Bulldogs rolled over UC Davis 51-0 in a tune up game. Well they better have gotten a great tune-up because this week they travel to Wisconsin. If they make it past that game there is a little road block called Boise State the next week.
Anyway, that's all for now. Let me know what you think and tell me who I left out.