College Football Rankings: 10 Schools Making The Biggest Week 5 BCS Case
One more week is in the books, and the BCS picture is starting to come into view. After a couple of games that featured two top ten teams squaring off, there is more clarity at the top of each major conference.
As of right now, Ohio State, Oregon, and Alabama appear to be three teams vying for two spots in the National Championship game. But what about the other BCS bowls?
Which teams made a statement this weekend? Who helped their quest for a BCS bid? Here are 10 teams who did the most to help their cause on Saturday.
10. Boise State
Another week, another win for the boys from Boise. A year after going undefeated, Boise State knows that they need to run the table again to have a chance at Tostitos BCS national championship game. A 59-0 drubbing of the win-less New Mexico State Aggies will certainly help.
Although the Broncos will need the likes of Ohio State or Oregon to lose to ensure a spot in the championship, a second consecutive undefeated season should provide a BCS bowl birth. Boise out-gained their opponents by 400 yards in a game that was already 24-0 after one quarter of play.
The Broncos host Toledo next week on the smurf turf, and don't have a challenging game on their schedule until the November 26th match-up with Nevada.
9. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State crept into the rankings with a thrilling 38-35 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday. Now ranked 22nd in the country, the Cowboys are averaging an astounding 535 yards of offense per game aided in so small part by quarterback Brandon Weedon.
On the year, the 6'4" junior is averaging 315 passing yards per game while completing 71 percent of his passes. Teamed with an opportunistic defense (five turnovers against the Aggies on Saturday), and a dynamic running back in Senior Kendall Hunter, OSU looks like a legitimate contender in the Big 12.
With Texas struggling and homes games against Oklahoma and Nebraska, the 'Boys could be a few lucky plays away from a BCS bowl game.
8. Texas Christian
Just like Boise State, the Horned Frogs need to keep winning and hope for the top FBS schools to lose. Although Stanford was the sole Top 10 school to suffer a defeat this weekend, TCU took care of business against Colorado State.
With a staunch defense that held the Rams to a minuscule 161 total yards and a running game that netted 346 yards, TCU has the parts in place to contend with the big boys, but will they get the opportunity? It seems unlikely that TCU will land a spot in the title game, but another undefeated season should yield yet another BCS bowl game.
The Horned Frogs face a challenge in next week's game versus Wyoming, but their season comes down to a November 6th game at Utah.
In a weak ACC conference, Miami looks to be the cream of the crop, and this weekend's victory over Clemson did nothing to dispel that notion. Traveling into a hostile environment against a talented team, Miami grinded out a win, although there was nothing pretty about it.
Stud QB Jacory Harris struggled to find a rhythm and finished with the game an uninspiring 13 for 33 passing. With an upcoming contest against rival Florida State, the Hurricanes will need vast improvements from their junior signal caller if they hope to take down the Seminoles in what could be an ACC championship preview.
6. Michigan State
Don't look now, but Denard Robinson and the Wolverines may not be the best team in the Great Lakes State. In a 34-24 win over 11th-ranked Wisconsin, the Spartans out-gained their opponent by 150 yards, making up for the team's three turnovers.
Even as head coach Mark Dantonio is sidelined with a blood clot in his left leg following a heart attack, his presence can be felt. With this brand of inspired play and no game scheduled against Ohio State, MSU could be a surprise BCS team. Their next hurdle? This weekend's crucial tilt against rival Michigan.
5. Virginia Tech
After losing to James Madison, most experts jumped off the Virginia Tech bandwagon. Actually, they didn't so much jump off as they did hurl themselves in the opposite direction.
Two weeks later and the Hokies are starting to resemble the team we all expected during the preseason. After shutting out Boston College, VT hung 41 points on an up-and-coming NC State team. Two road wins won in two completely different fashions.
While the BC game was a defensive struggle, the Hokie offense looked like a juggernaut against the Wolfpack. Even with star running back Ryan Williams nursing a hamstring injury, the Hokies totalled 317 yards on the ground. Add to that a defense that held Russell to a 43 percent completion percentage and you see the Hokies should not be taken likely.
Now 2-0 in the conference, Virginia Tech's season may come down to its November 20nd game against division rival Miami.
In a terrific conference matchup against a talented Penn State team, the Hawkeyes established themselves as a dangerous foe. Iowa's 24-3 victory showcased a defense that allows only 10.2 points (good for tops in the conference) while surrendering a paltry 242 yards per game (trailing only Ohio State in the category).
With an impenetrable rush defense and above average secondary, Iowa can contend with any Big Ten opponent. The Hawkeyes will have a week to rest, before traveling to Ann Arbor for a crucial game against Denard Robinson and the rest of the Michigan Wolverines.
The Red River Rivalry may have lost the luster of recent years without Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy slinging the ball around, but once again this game helped shed light on the Big 12 picture. Coupled with their loss to UCLA, this game may have already eliminated Texas from BCS contention.
As for Oklahoma? The win helped the Sooner jump to No. 6 in the polls, and sets them up as the favorite to win the conference title yet again. OU has managed nearly 300 yards passing per game despite losing Bradford to the St. Louis Rams as the NFL Draft's top pick.
Factor in a favorable schedule, devoid of a meeting with Nebraska, and the Sooners should coast into the conference title game. Oklahoma may not look the powerhouse of years past, but a 5-0 mark and a win over Texas is all Sooner nation could ask for.
It's almost unfair to the SEC. In a conference that places six teams in the nation's top 20, there is likely only two BCS bowl bids to be had. Either of these six teams would be BCS front runners in either the Big East or ACC, but I digress.
The Crimson Tide will likely need to run the table to make the national championship team, and the road there isn't easy. A week after beating 10th-ranked Arkansas on the road, 'Bama played host to the always dangerous Florida Gators. The biggest difference between the two games? This one was over by halftime.
In a 31-6 victory over Florida, the Crimson Tide defense forced four turnovers and played ball control with 170 yards rushing. So far on the season, this stifling Alabama defense has been all over the opposition like a cheap suit. They've allowed only three touchdowns while tallying eleven interceptions. Toss in the smart play of Greg McElroy and last year's Heisman winner Mark Ingram and you've got the nation's best team.
With a target on their back and upcoming games against South Carolina, LSU and Auburn, the road doesn't get much easier for Alabama. But if the Tide keep playing like they did against the Gators, they can go ahead and book their flights to Glendale, Arizona.
On Saturday, two top-10 teams went to battle in Eugene, Oregon. Sixty minutes later, one team proved themselves to be leaps and bounds ahead of their competition.
By defeating ninth-ranked Stanford on Saturday, the Ducks proved two things. One, the Pac-10 is legit. Two, the nation's second best team may reside west of the Mississippi.
LaMichael James put his name alongside Denard Robinson in the Heisman conversation by carrying the ball 31 times for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Through four games, the speedy 5'9" sophomore has 89 carries for 712 yards (178 yards per game for those of you without a calculator on hand).
With James grabbing eight yards per carry and Darron Thomas proficiently and cautiously spreading the ball, it's no surprise the Ducks leapfrogged Boise State in the latest polls.
After pounding Stanford 52-31, the Ducks have only two remaining matchups with ranked teams; an October 30th game at USC and a November 26th contest against Arizona that could factor heavily into the Rose Bowl and National Championship picture.