Coming around turn four and heading for home, the BCS is heating up for a photo finish. Oregon and Auburn top the BCS rankings, but non-BCS schools TCU and Boise State continue to make a case for playing in Glendale, Arizona on January 10, 2011.
The final stretch of the season will not be a simple walk in the park. Many conference championships are still up in the air. And traditional end-of-season rivalry games will yet determine how this season plays out.
Will Oregon and Auburn hold the top two spots? Will the SEC continue to dominate the BCS Championship, and if so, which conference will serve up the next victim in the BCS title game?
Let's take a look at the current top 10 in the BCS rankings and determine possible pot-holes and land mines on their way to the season's finish line.
The Cowboys of Oklahoma State are sitting at No. 10 and have very little chance of getting to the BCS title game.
While 8-1 with three games left before the Big 12 Championship game, the Cowboys must travel to Texas and Kansas before hosting their in-state rival Oklahoma at home.
The one reason why Oklahoma State will not make it to the BCS Championship game? Simple: it will not make it to its own conference championship game.
Ohio State is still in the driver's seat to win the Big-10 one last time before the annual conference championship game begins in 2011. Once thought to be a lock to make it to the BCS title game, the Buckeyes are not guaranteed the Big-10 crown.
The next three conference games have the Buckeyes facing Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan. They must travel to Iowa City, and the Hawkeye faithful have had November 20, 2010 circled for quite some time.
The one reason the Buckeyes don't win the BCS? They may not win their own conference title, especially when they lose to Iowa.
The once mighty Cornhuskers have made a triumphant return to the top 10 after a few years of mediocrity. Nebraska was making a lot of noise before being losing to Texas at home on October 16, 2010.
Still in the thick of things in the Big-12, the Cornhuskers still have to face Kansas, Texas A&M, and Colorado if they are to face the Big-12 South victor in the conference championship.
The one reason why Nebraska will not win the BCS? The Cornhuskers may be good enough to win the Big-12, but they are not quite ready to defeat the SEC school they would face in Glendale regardless if it's Auburn, Alabama, Florida, or South Carolina.
When Wisconsin upset Ohio State at Camp Randall back on October 16, 2010, the world thought the walls of Sodom and Gomorrah fell the way the Badger faithful reacted.
Unfortunately, Michigan State had already dealt Wisconsin a crushing blow when they defeated them in East Lansing earlier in the season.
That being said, the Badgers control their own destiny. With victories over Ohio State and Iowa, Wisconsin has Indiana, Michigan, and Northwestern left on its schedule—all games that have victory within reach.
The one reason why Wisconsin will not win the BCS? Inexperience. Even if the Badgers make it to Glendale, it will be their first time on the national stage and the pressure will be too much for the Badgers to handle.
Coach Jim Harbaugh has done an excellent job with the Cardinal program, and having quarterback Andrew Luck on the roster has made his job a lot easier.
The only question left for the Stanford faithful is: Will Coach Harbaugh still be the coach come 2011?
The one reason why Stanford will not win the BCS? The loss to Oregon earlier in the season practically ended any hope of winning the Pac-10.
The LSU Tigers by far have the luckiest head coach in the land. The "Mad-Hatter", Les Miles, has never been afraid of taking a risk, but it is quite apparent that he has had a horseshoe permanently placed in his rump sometime in his life.
The one reason why LSU will not win the BCS? Since they lost to Auburn back on October 23, 2010, LSU would have to win out and Auburn would have to lose their last two games for LSU to make it to Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship game. That ain't happening—but then again, this is Les Miles we're talking about.
The "Rodney Dangerfields" of the FBS, the Boise State Broncos are sadly their own biggest opponent. By playing in a weak conference stacked with inferior talent, the Broncos' schedule is simply too inadequate to get them any higher in the BCS rankings.
The one reason why Boise State will not win the BCS? To even be invited to play in Glendale for the BCS Championship, the Broncos must hope that Oregon, Auburn, and/or TCU lose before bowl season. Auburn has the toughest road ahead of them, but the Ducks and Horned Frogs are now on cruise control.
The Horned Frogs are now the biggest hope for those who hate the BCS system. With two games left against San Diego State and New Mexico, TCU must now sit back and hope that Oregon and Auburn lose before the bowl bids go out.
The one reason why TCU will not win the BCS? Oregon is a forgone conclusion to win out, and they would defeat TCU in Glendale if Auburn didn't make it.
As the Cam Newton story continues to grow nationwide, the Auburn Tigers attempt to move forward and prepare for the final two games of the regular season against Georgia and Alabama.
Georgia has had another mediocre and disappointing season, and the Crimson Tide have lost two games they were expected to win. Nevertheless, the Iron Bowl brings the best out of both Auburn and Alabama, and there is no bigger rivalry game anywhere in the country.
The one reason why Auburn doesn't win the BCS? They may be ranked No. 2 in the BCS right now, but Auburn would lose to Oregon, TCU, or Boise State if they made it to Glendale.
The Oregon Ducks seem to be destined to make it to Glendale no matter what. With three games left in the regular season, the Ducks are on the road twice to visit Cal and Oregon State in Corvallis while hosting Arizona in Eugene on November 20, 2010.
The one reason why Oregon doesn't win the BCS? Rivalries can be the end-all, and don't be surprised if the Ducks give it all away by losing to the in-state Beavers during the last game of the season.