College Football: Best and Worst Case Bowl Scenarios for the Top 50 Teams

Carl Stine@@CFBAllDayCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2011

College Football: Best and Worst Case Bowl Scenarios for the Top 50 Teams

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    The vast majority of college football's current top 50 teams are going to play this bowl season.

    But where?

    This list runs down the top 50 teams at this juncture in the season, as well as their best and worst case scenario for bowl games.

    Keep in mind, this is a realistic attempt at gauging a certain team's prospects.

    Therefore, while, technically they could win every game for the rest of the season, that might not be their realistic best case scenario.

    This is not a projection of where teams will go, nor does it pretend to be.

    It is simply a brief summary of every top 50 team's bowl prospects.

    Fans of Minnesota,Duke and Kansas don't even look...

50. Florida State Seminoles

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    Yeah, they lost three in a row, but really, this team belongs in the top 50.

    Top five?

    You know the answer to that.

    Best Case: Belk Bowl. All hopes of a conference title are out the window, and there are still some tough games on he schedule, but coming off of a bye week, this team could very well play the way they were expected to earlier in the season.

    Worst Case: I don't see the Seminoles failing to become bowl eligible, and the Independence Bowl is about as far as they may fall.

49. USF Bulls

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    This is an "iffy" proposition.

    After starting off strong, the Bulls are now dropping like a rock.

    I think they are still on the edge of the top 50, but just barely.

    Come on, they lost to UConn...

    Best Case:  B.J. Daniels and Skip Holtz get the ship righted and the Bulls win five out of their last six, losing only to West Virginia. This places them at second in the Big East, and should earn them an invite to the Champs Sports Bowl.

    Worst Case: These issues they have been having persist, and USF falls to all but Syracuse and Louisville on their remaining schedule. This would leave them barely bowl eligible, and might get them an invite from the ever popular Beef-O-Brady's Bowl.

48. UCF Knights

3 of 50

    UCF is one of the C-USA teams who are all beating up on each other in conference play.

    Jeff Godfrey is an incredible talent, but needs to work on consistency in the passing game if this team expects to compete for the conference title.

    Best Case: Beef-O-Brady's. Sure, they have a shot at the conference title, but they won't get past either Houston or SMU in the title game.

    Worst Case: Ineligibility. The rest of the schedule presents three very winnable games. If the Knights slip up in one of those and don't regroup against their tougher competition, they could miss out altogether.

47. BYU Cougars

4 of 50

    Riley Nelson has already thrown five more scoring strikes on 56 fewer attempts than the injured Jake Heaps.

    The Cougars have a pretty solid looking team at times, and then they look as if everyone on the field decided to forget their assignments in unison.

    Bowl Outlook: Given they are an independent, and are not going to finish high enough to earn BCS consideration, the Cougars are going to the armed Forces Bowl if bowl eligible. That's it, best and worst case for the rest of the season is a shot at the Armed Forces Bowl...nice.

46. TCU Horned Frogs

5 of 50

    The Rose Bowl is out of reach for the Frogs, but who is to say they can't still take the MWC.

    Boise State has looked vulnerable at times, and TCU still has a pretty solid defense, even if they collapse periodically.

    Best Case: TCU sweeps the rest of the season, including a signature victory over the Broncos on the blue turf in Boise. They roll into the Las Vegas Bowl as the best team in the MWC.

    Worst Case: The Broncos mop the field with the Superfrog, but TCU still ends up in the Poinsettia Bowl.

45. Ohio State Buckeyes

6 of 50

    You laugh, but the Buckeyes still have a stout defense, and have been demonstrating noticeable improvement week after week, especially now that guys are starting to return from suspensions.

    They won't win the conference crown, but they could be a major player in determining who goes to the title game.

    If only they could find a quarterback that can throw...

    Best Case:  While Wisconsin plays the toughest game of their season, the Buckeyes get a chance to rest up, they proceed to exact revenge on the Badgers, and win out the rest of the season. If that were to happen, we could see the Buckeyes winning the conference yet again.

    Worst Case: Insight Bowl. Penn State's defense proves too much, Wisconsin pummels them into submission, and Michigan takes the rivalry game one for the first time in what seems like an eternity.

44. Toledo Rockets

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    The Rockets are currently the class of the MAC.

    Unless something changes, they will wind up in the title game, where they go from there depends on that result.

    Given their remaining schedule, experience and level of play thus far, it's hard to see them letting this opportunity slip away.

    Best Case: Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl. if they win the MAC title game.

    Worst Case: Bowl, should they lose it. This team is one of the better ones seen at the program in several decades.

43. Virginia Cavaliers

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    For now, the Cavaliers sneak into the top 50.

    They are currently 4-2, and need just two more wins to become bowl eligible.

    Will they be able to build on the momentum from this weekend's upset?

    Best Case: The Cavaliers wind up in the Belk Bowl. It would take some major doing, especially with Va. Tech, Miami and Maryland still lying in wait on the schedule, but the Cavaliers have the talent this season to pull it off.

    Worst Case: Independence Bowl. It's tough to see Virginia losing more than three more games at the very most this season. If they do, they could fall to six or seventh in the conference and wind up here.

42. Missouri Tigers

9 of 50

    Sure, the Tigers are only .500, but they will be bowling come season's end.

    Their three losses were all close, and every one came on the road against a ranked opponent.

    Best Case: Let's not get carried away, the Tigers are not going to win the conference, but another Insight Bowl bid is definitely within reach, if only they can take care of business against some difficult competition.

    Worst Case: No Bowl. The only remaining game you look at on this schedule and pencil in the "W" is against Kansas. There is a very real possibility that they could lose the remainder of their games, considering every one is against a pretty solid conference foe.

41. North Carolina Tar Heels

10 of 50

    The Tar Heels are not going to win the ACC.

    As a matter of fact, their best case scenario is eerily similar to their worst case.

    Given the turmoil surrounding this program in the off-season, any bowl appearance should be counted a win.

    Best Case: The Tar Heels wind up losing to only Clemson and Va. Tech for the rest of the season. Due to some attrition above them in the ACC, they wind up making their way to the Sun Bowl.

    Worst Case: Throw in a loss to Wake Forest as well, and you have the Heels' worst scenario. This would put them at 7-5, and leave them languishing away their post-season in the Music City Bowl.

40. Iowa Hawkeyes

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    The Hawkeyes are stumbling along in the middle of the Big Ten, after much attrition at key positions.

    However, they have a number of talented skill players that could help them finish the season strong.

    Best Case: Fortunately for the Hawkeyes, they still get to play Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue. If they can sneak out a win against either Michigan school, they might find their way back to the Insight Bowl,

    Worst Case: Losses to Nebraska and both the Wolverines and the Spartans would leave them at 7-5. Not good enough for a diehard fan, but good enough to make the TicketCity Bowl.

39. Vanderbilt Commodores

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    No, Vanderbilt has not suddenly morphed into an SEC superpower, but they have been playing decent football thus far this season.

    The SEC schedule is tough, but I expect bowl eligibility for these guys.

    Bowl Outlook: Given the 'Dores remaining schedule, they will either reach bowl eligibility just barely, or miss it completely. if they make it to 6-6, we might see them in the Music City Bowl, as two BCS bids are likely to be given to the SEC.

38. Southern Miss Golden Eagles

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    Yep, yet another C-USA team checks into the top 50.

    The Golden Eagles were on many pundits' radar heading into the season, and led by QB Austin Davis, they have run to a 5-1 record.

    It only gets tougher from here.

    Best Case: The Eagles sneak by SMU at home, and run the table the rest of the way. If that were to happen, they would meet Houston in a great match-up for the conference title, and wind up going to the Beef-O-Brady's Bowl.

    Worst Case: I hate to bring gloom and doom, but three losses out of their last six is possible, given they still face SMU, East Carolina and UCF. If that were to happen, the Eagles would land in the Hawaii Bowl, which is not a bad place to enjoy the post-season.

37. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    The Raiders have lost their last two by a combined total of 12 points.

    Quarterback Seth Doege has been impressive, but does not have the players around him to make this team a major player in the Big 12 race.

    Best Case: I just don't see the Raiders beating either of the Oklahoma schools, or Texas. Absolute best case, they manage to beat the 'Horns, and finish at 8-4 and reach the Holiday Bowl.

    Worst Case: Tech turns out to be the posers many think they are, and lose every remaining game except for Iowa State.In that case, they would get to watch bowl season from the comfort of their own living rooms.

36. Temple Owls

15 of 50

    Bernard Pierce is a machine, leading the nation in rushing touchdowns with 17.

    This is a scary team that will likely beat any mid-level BCS school they meet in a bowl game.

    Best Case: Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl. What a name. Anyway, if they can take the conference title game, the Owls would be destined for this one.

    Worst Case: Honestly, the worst they will do is second in the conference, which would put them in teh Bowl.

35. Cincinnati Bearcats

16 of 50

    Zach Collaros and Isaiah Pead have the Bearcats rolling along atop the Big East.

    Now, it's difficult to say this, but these guys are pretenders.

    They have yet to face anybody else of any consequence in the football universe and come away with a win.

    Besides that, they have to face Pitt, WVU and Rutgers in consecutive weeks.

    Best Case: Champs Sports Bowl. The Bearcats won't finish the season without another loss, and it will likely come to West Virginia. Second place isn't that bad, unless you play in the Big East.

    Worst Case: They lose those three consecutive and wind up in the Pinstripe Bowl, where it is -5 degrees at kick-off...

34. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

17 of 50

    The Dekes are not the best team in the ACC by a long shot, but they have demonstrated that they are not anyone's doormat, either.

    This team got destroyed by a very good Virginia Tech squad, and that game was a gauge of how good they really are following their win over Florida State.

    Best Case: A realistic best case is winning four out of their last six, especially considering Vanderbilt is no pushover this season. This would leave Wake at 8-4, and could earn them a bid to the Sun Bowl.

    Worst Case: On the flip side, they could lose four of their last six. Notre Dame, Clemson, UNC and Maryland are all going to be tough. Worst case, they finish 6-6, and get an invite to the Independence Bowl.

33. SMU Mustangs

18 of 50

    SMU has a legitimate football team, and they pulled it off legally.

    The 'Stangs are 5-1, and sitting pretty in C-USA West.

    June Jones has been a good hire, thus far.

    Best Case: J.J. McDermott continues to flourish as the next great June Jones quarterback prodigy, and the 'Stangs find a way to get past Houston and Case Keenum at season's end, win the C-USA title, and find themselves in the Liberty Bowl.

    Worst Case: They falter on the road against a tough Southern Miss team and at Houston. All in all, third place in C-USA at this stage of the program is not terrible, and fans should be happy with an Armed Forces Bowl bid.

32. USC Trojans

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    Oh, the Trojans aren't playing in the post-season due to NCAA sanctions, but they are a top 50 team, hence, they make the list.

    They aren't good enough to get close to the Rose Bowl this season, but without sanction, might have made the Holiday Bowl.

    By the way, can we stop using "Matt Barkley" and "Heisman" in the same sentence?

31. Florida Gators

20 of 50

    The injury to quarterback John Brantley slowed down an offense that had little rhythm as it was.

    This team will struggle through the rest of their schedule unless Charlie Weis finds a way to get the offense to click.

    Will Muschamp has his work cut out for him the rest of the way.

    Best Case: With the defense the Gators can field, they have a shot at finishing the season without a loss. At least one is more likely, but best case would be a win in all five of their remaining contests. Without some help from other units losing, the best they could hope for would be the Outback Bowl.

    Worst Case: They continue to struggle offensively, falling to their remaining conference foes, but squeaking by Florida State after dismantling Furman. they are invited to take their .500 record to the Music City Bowl.

30. Baylor Bears

21 of 50

    Robert Griffin III may be putting up Heisman-like numbers, but his team isn't backing him up.

    The Bears were pounded today by Texas A&M, and will face some tough competition down the stretch.

    Best Case: I don't see the Bears beating either team from Oklahoma, meaning they finish the season at 8-4, earning a place in the Insight Bowl.

    Worst Case: They stumble through the remainder of their schedule with a 2-4 record, and wind up in the Pinstripe Bowl. It's cold in that one, guys, you wouldn't like it.

29. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Guess which Big East squad sits alone at the top with two conference wins?

    Yep, the Scarlet Knights.

    I owe them an apology.

    While they are not BCS material, Greg Schiano has this team poised to be a major factor in the Big East race.

    Best Case: The Big East may have the most interesting race down the stretch of all the BCS conferences. Cincinnati and West Virginia both travel to Rutgers, and while it's tough to see them winning both of those,they could squeak by with one of them if they develop a rushing game. A 9-3 season and a Belk Bowl berth is nothing to sneeze at.

    Worst Case:  The lack of rushing game catches up with them, resulting in four of six games being dropped. This puts them squarely in the Pinstripe Bowl range...

28. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

23 of 50

    Not much has been said about the Irish over the past few weeks.

    It's probably better for all of us that way.

    Their are still some issues at quarterback, and turnovers continue to plague this team, but it's too early to write them off completely.

    Best Case: Forgive me if I sound like Lou Holtz, but this team could very well finish the season without another loss. If that happens, I will eat my hat, and the Irish will play in the Fiesta Bowl.

    Worst Case: The Irish fumble away the game against USC, throw four interceptions and lose against Wake Forest and struggle to do anything against Stanford. They wind up playing in the Pinstripe Bowl.

27. Texas Longhorns

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    The 'Horns have to be glad there are not any more Oklahoma schools on their schedule.

    That said, Texas has shown some progress this season from the abominable memory that was 2010.

    They are clearly not the class of the Big 12, but Mack Brown has these athletes headed in the right direction once again.

    Best Case: The 'Horns finish out the season on a roll, losing only one more time to Kansas State before taking a close one from Texas A&M at Kyle Field. They finish up the season in the Cotton Bowl, dreaming of next season...

    Worst Case: This turns into 2010, the Redux. After beating Kansas, the Longhorns do not win again, losing to Texas Tech, Kansas State, Missouri, Texas A&M and Baylor. Before Longhorn fans start questioning my paternity and throwing names at my mother, consider that the only decent team they have beaten is BYU, and that was by 1 point in DKR. It's possible they don't win again after Kansas.

26. Georgia Bulldogs

25 of 50

    Nobody is paying attention to the Bulldogs, and they have quietly reeled off five consecutive wins.

    Mark Richt's seat may have cooled off just a bit, and fans have stopped calling for his job.

    That said, they still have a ton of work to do to prove they belong near the top of the SEC.

    Best Case: The Dawgs continue their winning ways against Florida, and finish the regular season off with a bang against Georgia Tech, winning by two scores. If that happens, they could very well represent the SEC East in the conference title game, also known as the sacrificial offering to the West. After losing that one, they would wind up playing in the Capital One Bowl.

    Worst Case: It's pretty ugly. After losing to Florida, Auburn and Tech, the Dawgs are relegated to the Music City least it's not far from home.

25. Arizona State Sun Devils

26 of 50

    The Sun Devils couldn't get over the hump in Eugene with Darron Thomas and LaMichael James sidelined.

    That said, they are still one of the top three teams in the Pac-12, and will likely face the Ducks at Autzen once again in the conference title game.

    Best Case: Vontaze Burfict and the defense lead a late season charge, and the Devils sweep the rest of their foes going into the conference title game. In that rematch game, they fall again to the Ducks, and find their way to the Alamo Bowl.

    Worst Case: They drop one to Washington State, but still end up playing Oregon at Autzen, and then in the Alamo Bowl.

24. Washington Huskies

27 of 50

    Don't look now, but the Huskies are 5-1 heading into a showdown with Stanford next weekend.

    Quarterback Keith Price is tied with Kellen Moore for passing touchdowns this season with 21, and he has thrown at least three touchdown passes in an amazing six consecutive games.

    Next week they get to find out how good they really are against the Cardinal.

    Best Case: Price continues to dominate, they squeak by Stanford but end up losing to Oregon. Price and company have to settle for the Holiday Bowl.

    Worst Case:  Things get ugly from here, and the Huskies struggle against a stout Stanford defense, as well as falling to Oregon and USC. They finish the year with a win over Washington State, and wind up playing post-season ball in the Las Vegas Bowl.

23. Illinois Fighting Illini

28 of 50

    The Illini were rolling before Ohio State came to town.

    They need to rebound quickly, as the schedule gets tough after a bout with Purdue next week.

    Best Case: The Illini only lose one more game, to either Wisconsin or Penn State, and fall just sort of the conference title game. They get to play in the Capital One Bowl.

    Worst Case: The tough games that have waited until the end of the season catch up with the Illini, and they lose three of their last five. The Fighting Zooks find themselves in the TicketCity Bowl.

22. Penn State Nittany Lions

29 of 50

    Penn State is just hangin' around at 6-1.

    Of course, they have yet to find a reliable quarterback, and their schedule is back-loaded.

    However, for now, JoePa's team is rolling.

    Best Case: The Lions emerge from their brutal last five games with only one loss, to Wisconsin. They just barely miss the Big Ten title game, and finish their season in the Capital One Bowl.

    Worst Case: The lack of offensive production catches up with them, and they lose four of their last five. TicketCity Bowl, here we come!

21. Houston Cougars

30 of 50

    Case Keenum may be the best quarterback playing for an FBS school in Texas.

    The man leads the nation in passing yards, and averages almost ten yards per completion.

    This Houston team is very good, and would likely give Boise State a run for their money.

    Best Case: The Cougars remain unbeaten through the end of the season, with big wins over SMU and Tulsa to finish off their regular season slate. Because they have not played a single ranked team all season, there is no chance they find their way into the BCS, and they are relegated to the Liberty Bowl.

    Worst Case: They finish off the regular season with losses to Tulsa and SMU, but still make the conference title game, which they lose, leaving them in the Beef-O-Brady's bowl.

20. Auburn Tigers

31 of 50

    Auburn has shown that, while young, they are a talented unit.

    If they can continue to limit mistakes and play disciplined football, they will finish the season with a uch better record than anyone outside of the state of Alabama expected.

    However the SEC schedule is brutal, and a return to last season's glory is not going to happen.

    Best Case: The Tigers lose to both LSU and Alabama, finishing third in the SEC West. This leaves them in the Cotton Bowl.

    Worst Case: They lose to the aforementioned two teams, and Georgia as well, which send them to the Gator Bowl.

19. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

32 of 50

    Those of you that have been crying about Georgia Tech being overrated now have justification.

    They lost to Virginia.

    Things could get ugly from here after a great start for Tevin Washington and the Yellow Jackets.

    Best Case: Tech rebounds from this loss to win four out of their last five, including a win over in-state rival Georgia. After winning the conference title game, the Jackets get to play in the Orange Bowl.

    Worst Case: This game was a sign of things to come. The Tech loses four of their last five, finishing with a 7-5 record and playing their post-season football in the Belk Bowl

18. Texas A&M Aggies

33 of 50

    The Aggies should still be unbeaten, but couldn't hang on late against Arkansas and Oklahoma State.

    However, this team is still very, very good.

    Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been progressing, and the run game, led by Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael, is explosive.

    Best Case: The Aggies continue to win, faltering only at Oklahoma. They finish 9-3, and make a trip to Arlington for the Cotton Bowl.

    Worst Case: The Aggies struggle through a close one before pulling away from Mizzou, then fall two weeks in a row to Kansas State and Oklahoma. After righting the ship with a win over Kansas, they proceed to get man-handled by the Longhorns, leaving them to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, and wonder what might have been.

17. Michigan Wolverines

34 of 50

    Yeah, it was a tough loss today to "little brother".

    Still, the Wolverines have the potential to complete a pretty special season if Denard can figure out this whole turnover thing.

    Best Case: Brady Hoke has everything going in the right direction for the Wolverines, and they reboud from this loss by going undefeated the rest of the way, including a 20 point win over Ohio State. The Big Ten championship game goes their way in a close one, and they come up smelling roses.

    Worst Case: This game was just a foreshadowing of things to come, and the Wolverines go into a tailspin. They beat Purdue and Iowa but fritter away games against Nebraska, Illinois and Ohio State. They find themselves playing in the Gator Bowl.

16. Virginia Tech Hokies

35 of 50

    Wake Forest slowed them down, for a quarter.

    Frank Beamer's squad is not one to fall asleep on in the wide open ACC race.

    A rematch with Clemson in the ACC title game is a very real possibility.

    Best Case: The Hokies blow out the rest of the schedule except for Georgia Tech, beating the Jackets in overtime. They then exact revenge on Clemson in the conference title game, and find themselves in the Orange Bowl for the second consecutive season.

    Worst Case: They crumble to Georgia Tech and falter on the road against in-state rival Virginia, finishing their season in the Champs Sports Bowl.

15. Michigan State Spartans

36 of 50

    These Spartans appear to be but a shade of the team that suffered only one loss last season.

    However, they seem to have found their running game against Michigan, and if that continues to improve, could find themselves in the middle of a special season.

    Best Case: The Spartans are not the same team away from home, so while they take out Wisconsin, and the rest of the schedule, they falter in Lincoln against the 'Huskers leaving themselves out of the conference title game. They do, however, earn a berth in the Capital One Bowl.

    Worst Case: They get hammered by Wisconsin,and lose to Nebraska, Northwestern and their nemesis, Iowa. Mark Dantonio and is squad end up playing in the Insight Bowl

14. South Carolina Gamecocks

37 of 50

    The Gamecocks are at a crossroads.

    They have managed to make it this far with only one loss, but their starting quarterback was dismissed from the team, and running back Marcus Lattimore was injured today, leaving fans to wonder if the season will end near as well as last season.

    Best Case: The Gamecocks find a way to overcome the losses, and win the next two on the road, take out Florida and the Citadel, and finish off the season with a signature win over Clemson. They fall short in the SEC title game, and find themselves in the Capital One Bowl.

    Worst Case: The next two games on the road end badly, they fall to Florida, and lose to Clemson. Limping along, barely bowl eligible, the Gamecocks wind up in the Music City Bowl.

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers

38 of 50

    So the 'Huskers' defense has not quite lived up to it's billing, and they now have to deal with the loss of an All-American for the season.

    They are still 5-1, but the schedule does not get any easier.

    Best Case: The Blackshirts find themselves, and win out, including the rematch with Wisconsin in the conference title game, giving them a berth in Pasadena.

    Worst Case: Taylor Martinez continues to throw interceptions, resulting in losses to Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan, relegating the 'Huskers to the TicketCity Bowl.

12. Kansas State Wildcats

39 of 50

    Whatever it is that Bill Snyder takes at breakfast every morning, I want some.

    The man turned around the K-State program last century, and is coaching them to successful seasons well into the next century.

    Best Case: The Wildcats continue to play solid defense, but are overwhelmed by both Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. They find themselves playing in the Cotton Bowl.

    Worst Case: Four out of their last six result in losses, including humiliating defeats to the Oklahoma schools and Texas A&M. Coach Snyder leads his team to an appearance in the Insight Bowl.

11. West Virginia Mountaineers

40 of 50

    Dana Holgorsen has started the transformation of this team into one with the most powerful offense in the nation.

    Their lone loss is to the best team in the country, and they seem to have dropped off of the radar.

    Best Case: The Mountaineers sweep the rest of their Big East foes, and Geno Smith puts up huge numbers, they find themselves facing an ACC foe in the Orange Bowl.

    Worst Case: WVU falters at Rutgers, Cincinnati and USF, and plummets in the rankings. They find themselves near the bottom of the Big East contenders, playing in the BBVA Compass Bank Bowl.

10. Arkansas Razorbacks

41 of 50

    The Razorbacks got an off week this week, and they get a virtual bye week next week when they face Ole Miss.

    Tyler Wilson has picked up where Ryan Mallett left off, and has proven effective leading the hogs through the air.

    Their sole loss to date came at the hands of Alabama.

    Best Case: The Razorbacks find a way to knock off LSU, and finish the season as SEC champs after taking out the SEC East champ in the title game. A second consecutive trip to the Sugar Bowl would be a pretty sweet deal.

    Worst Case: The struggles in the running game become more pronounced, and the Razorbacks fall to South Carolina and LSU before the end of the season. The Razorbacks find themselves in the Outback Bowl.

9. Oregon Ducks

42 of 50

    The Ducks still only have one loss.

    And they beat a ranked team over the weekend without LaMicahel James and minus Darron Thomas for part of the game.

    This team is still pretty scary.

    Best Case: Rose Bowl. That trip to the Farm will be no cakewalk, but the Ducks have simply looked like the better team to date.

    Worst Case: Not that bad, the Sun Bowl. The Ducks would have to lose to Stanford, and at least one other team to fall that far. Given the injuries plaguing them, it's not beyond the scope of possibility.

8. Clemson Tigers

43 of 50

    Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd have this Clemson offense absolutely exploding this season.

    And they have yet to lose a game.

    Best Case: Dabo's boys finish strong, including a resounding victory over rival South Carolina. After winning the ACC Championship Game, the Tigers get an invite to the BCS title game due to attrition at the top of the poll.

    Worst Case: The Tajh Boyd-Sammy Watkins connection becomes less lethal as defensive coordinators figure out how to slow down the Tigers. They lose their next game to UNC, and finish the season losing three out of their last five. It's all good, though, because they end up playing in the Sun least it sounds like a nice place.

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys

44 of 50

    The Cowboys may be ready to shed the "Okie Lite" title.

    They have won every game they played this season, and even though quarterback Brandon Weeden is about ready to claim social security due to age, the Cowboys wear opponents down with their frenetic pace.

    Best Case: The Cowboys find a way to navigate through the rest of a difficult Big 12 schedule, capping it off with a win over Oklahoma in Bedlam. The 'Pokes find their way to New Orleans to play for the title.

    Worst Case: I honestly don't see the Cowboys losing to anyone in the conference with the exception of Oklahoma. The rest of the way, the only team that could match their offensive production other than the Sooners is Baylor, and they can't slow down OSU. Worst case, they lose to Oklahoma, but still find their way to the Fiesta Bowl with a BCS at large berth.

6. Stanford Cardinal

45 of 50

    The Cardinal are matriculating slowly through their schedule toward a showdown with Oregon.

    Andrew Luck has thus far lived up to the Heisman hype, and barring injury, will be the first pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

    Best Case: The Cardinal win out, beating the Ducks and Notre Dame soundly, and beat Arizona State in the inaugural PAC-12 championship game. Wisconsin, Oklahoma and LSU all lose, leaving the Cardinal to play for the BCS title.

    Worst Case: The Cardinal lose to USC, Oregon and Notre Dame, and find themselves showcasing Andrew Luck's talents in the Holiday Bowl.

5. Boise State Broncos

46 of 50

    Kellen Moore and the Broncos have yet to lose, and they are not likely to falter this season at all.

    They don't have a single ranked team on the remainder of their schedule.

    This could be interesting.

    Best Case: The Broncos finish undefeated, and even though the computers in the BCS formula hate their SOS, find their way to the title game by virtue of losses by every remaining title contender, except Alabama.

    Worst Case: The Broncos finish undefeated, and get left out of the BCS again, due to horrible computer rankings. Kellen Moore finishes his collegiate career in the Las Vegas Bowl...

4. Wisconsin Badgers

47 of 50

    The Badgers are ballin' their way along, sitting at 6-0 on the season.

    After their 59-7 pasting of Indiana today, the Badgers have now won six straight regular season games by 30 plus points.

    Best Case: The Badgers continue their dominance through the rest of the season, rolling through the first Big Ten championship game with relative ease, completing a perfect season. Oklahoma stumbles and the Badgers find themselves in the BCS title game.

    Worst Case: Sconnie struggles on the road against Michigan State and Ohio State in consecutive weeks, and staggers through the remainder of the conference schedule, ending up in the Gator Bowl.

3. Oklahoma Sooners

48 of 50


    I think so...

    Bob Stoops' squad of Sooners are rolling along at a frenetic clip scoring points on opponents with impunity.

    Best Case: The Sooners run the table through the rest of the Big 12, and Okie Lite implodes, losing three games in a row heading into Bedlam, where they get hammered by the Sooners. OU ends up in the BCS title game.

    Worst Case: Landry Jones' penchant for screwing up away from home begins to get worse, and comes to the surface in an overtime defeat at Kansas State. The Sooners end up with three losses, all on the road, and find themselves relegated to the Cotton Bowl.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide

49 of 50

    The Tide have made their way to the top of the rankings with stout defense and a steady diet of Trent Richardson.

    The SEC schedule is brutal however, and they will have to stay at the top of their game to finish undefeated.

    Best Case: The Tide continue to cut through the SEC like a hot knife through butter, finishing things off with a resounding SEC championship game victory. They find themselves in the BCS title game.

    Worst Case: A.J. McCarron has two interceptions returned for touchdowns against LSU, and the Tide fall to Auburn in the Iron Bowl as the Auburn defense holds Trent Richardson to only 27 yards. They have to settle for a berth in the Capital One Bowl.

1. LSU Tigers

50 of 50

    The Tigers have been dominant this season, particularly on defense.

    They boast an incredibly athletic defense that creates problems for offensive coordinators and hits opponents hard.

    Best Case: The Tigers finish undefeated, taking out two more top ten teams(Arkansas, Alabama) en route to the SEC title game. After Tyrann Mathieu seals that game with an interception return for a TD, the Tigers finish atop the BCS poll and head to the BCS title game.

    Worst Case: The Tigers struggle to score on the road at Alabama, dropping that one by a touchdown, then fall to Arkansas in the last game of the regular season. They find themselves in the Cotton Bowl...