BCS Predictions 2011: The 5 Most Important Remaining Games
As the BCS rankings make their first appearance on Sunday, it is starting to become critical for teams with BCS Bowls on their minds.
They need to keep their feet on the pedal for this last half of the season, where the majority of teams have the most difficult matchups. Because of the BCS rankings, these games will have a lot of stake not only in the conference championships, but also how the BCS spreads its bowl bids.
After all, it's not uncommon to have two schools from the same conference obtain BCS Bowl bids. Arkansas and Auburn did just that last year.
However, for that to even happen again, there are some key matchups that could shake up the BCS.
Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
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One of these matchups is in a few weeks when the Oklahoma Sooners face off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a battle of Big 12 powers.
Head coaches Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy lead some of the most explosive offenses in the nation, and both teams have plenty in common on offense. Both possess gun-slinging quarterbacks and playmaking receivers. Both teams currently sit atop the Big 12 undefeated, and are likely to still be there when they finally face off.
The difference may end up being the defenses, where Oklahoma holds the advantage. Expect a high scoring affair between the two in a battle for Oklahoma dominance.
LSU vs. Alabama
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Head coaches Nick Saban and Les Miles will meet in November in an SEC West division battle that could not only decide who wins the division, but also who gains a potential BCS Bowl bid.
Both Alabama and LSU currently stand undefeated in the SEC West. Both teams also hold two of the SEC's top defenses. They have heavy-hitting, physical playmakers all over the field. The offenses don't have big time stars or names, but they know how to score and get the job done week in and week out.
Expect this to be a slug fest of defenses with a low scoring game. It could go in either side’s favor, and may come down to one final kick as time expires.
Stanford vs. Oregon
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This is a matchup of two different offenses and two Pac 12 powers: Oregon's fast paced spread attack will once again face off against Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinals.
Head coach Chip Kelly is the perfect coach for a team like Oregon. His players are the best at running his system to its fully capacity. They are perfectly balanced on offense and able to run and pass the ball at will against almost any defense.
Meanwhile, Stanford has quarterback Andrew Luck to run its pro-style offense and just make everyone around him better. Luck is the main quarterback desirable in college and in the NFL—has a bright future ahead of him.
Last year, Oregon got past Luck and the Cards, but he will be looking to change that this time around.
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
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In November, the option-powered Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will face a new look, spread-offense powered Clemson Tiger team in a game that, in most cases, always comes down to the wire.
Both Paul Johnson and Dabo Swinney have exceeded their 2009 forms when both of these teams won their respective divisions and played against one another in the ACC Championship Game.
While Georgia Tech proved victorious in 2009, and Clemson proved victorious in 2010, things have changed for both teams. Georgia Tech has revitalized its running game and their quarterback has improved in running the option without Josh Nesbitt. Clemson has found weapons in the passing game and a stable, hard working quarterback in Tajh Boyd.
In this kind of matchup, expect the offenses to steal the show and eat up plenty of clock. However, whoever makes that one play or stop on defense will prevail in this game.
Boise State vs. TCU
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While many may not see this matchup as important considering TCU's two losses, it's important that TCU not become the team that Nevada was for Boise State last year, which cost then a BCS Bowl bid.
TCU, while they have had plenty of struggles this year, is still a big threat offensively to score points. They will be looking to spoil Boise State's run like Nevada did last year. However, there are two things Boise State has that TCU does not—quarterback Kellen Moore and an underrated defense, especially in their front seven.
Kellen Moore is among the top quarterback prospects behind Andrew Luck, and wins games for Boise State on a week by week basis. Despite criticisms of Boise State's conference and schedule, they win the big BCS games and prove the whole nation wrong, and barring any setbacks against TCU's offense, they should continue to do so.