BCS Rankings 2011: Georgia Tech and 4 Dark Horses Who May Crash the Party
College football has always kept college football fans on the edge of their seats, and this week will be no exception.
After all, this week will have national and championship implications as the BCS rankings come out Sunday. There is still a large number of undefeated teams looking for their cut into the BCS bowl bids.
Making it to 6-0 at this point has been quite an achievement for many of these teams, as there are only two teams in the Top 25 with two losses.
But while everyone focuses on the top five undefeated teams that supposedly have the best shot, there are a slew of dark horse candidates people and pundits should be aware of.
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Michigan first year head coach Brady Hoke came into a good situation for the Wolverines on offense.
He has the Big Ten's most explosive quarterback in Denard Robinson, who has only gotten better with the hiring of Hoke and the implementation of the spread offense.
Robinson has run, thrown and guided the Wolverines to a 6-0 record and a No.11 ranking in the polls. The question for the Wolverines will be how the defense holds up, and whether it will make enough stops to keep Robinson on the field.
They are the primary challengers in the Big Ten.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
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Who'd have thought Paul Johnson's option offense would be on par with the high powered offenses of Oregon, Oklahoma State, and Michigan?
The Yellow Jackets, in a devastated ACC Coastal division plagued by offseason NCAA violations, have re-established their dominance as the big dogs of the division.
They currently stand at 6-0.
Thanks to their option offense, the Jackets possess one of the top running games in the nation and are a threat to score from anywhere on the ground. And in our pass-first modern football society, that can be a dangerous thing.
The Jackets still have some challenges to overcome, though, having to face a stretch of Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Miami.
They are the all-out favorites to win the Coastal and go against another dark horse candidate for the ACC Championship.
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Perhaps the biggest surprise on this list would be Dabo Swinney's Clemson Tigers as potential BCS candidates.
With a revamped offensive staff, including an up-and-coming offensive coordinator in Chad Morris, the Tigers now implement a fast-paced spread offense.
The breakout surprises for this team have been the upgrade and subsequent production of the freshman talent, especially receiver Sammy Watkins.
Tight end Dwayne Allen has revitalized his career and has become one with the offense.
But it all starts with first-year starter and redshirt sophomore QB Tajh Boyd, who has been superb running this offense.
The defense also boasts several play-makers in defensive linemen Brandon Thompson and Andre Branch, with Xavier Brewer and Rashard Hall patrolling the secondary.
Sitting at 6-0 after a three-game stretch of wins against Auburn, Florida State, and Virginia Tech, the Tigers sit at No. 8 and are the favorites to win the Atlantic Division.
Doing so means they would square off against Georgia Tech in Charlotte for the ACC Championship.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
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Oklahoma State, led by head coach Mike Gundy, has one of the most explosive offenses in the nation with quarterback Branden Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon.
This offense shows no mercy against its opponents, dropping over 60 points several times this season. They are one of the two biggest threats currently in the Big12, the other being the Oklahoma Sooners.
And for the Cowboys to become true contenders, they must get past the Sooners.
The winner of that game will undoubtedly hold the crown as champions of the Big 12.
While the defense is suspect at times, the Cowboys' offense has propelled them to a 6-0 record and a No. 6 ranking.
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If there's one thing head coach Bobby Petrino can do, it's coach an offense.
The Arkansas Razorbacks, despite their record, sit third in the SEC West Division due to the presence of LSU and Alabama.
Quarterback Tyler Wilson has pretty much made the rest of the Razorback nation forget about Ryan Mallet. He not only brings a good arm but also mobility to Petrino's pro-style offense, something Mallet never provided.
The Razorbacks have one of the better pro-style offenses in the country. It starts with a great passing game, but they also employ an underrated running game that deserves respect.
They aren't afraid to go five wide and often find ways to score.
While the Razorbacks' defense may not be among the best, it does well enough to get the offense back on the field.
But if neither LSU nor Alabama lose anytime soon, the Razorbacks won't find a spot in the BCS.