BCS Poll 2011: Which Remaining Games Have the Biggest Impact on BCS Rankings?
Week 7 of the college football season is in the books and we are coming fast upon the release of the first BCS rankings.
These rankings decide who goes to the major bowl games on New Year's Day, and the top two teams will get invited to the national championship game to play for the right to be crowned champion.
LSU is currently the top team in the country, as the Tigers thrashed the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium yesterday by a score of 38-7.
Nipping at the Tigers' heels is the No. 2 team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide. If the rankings hold, these two teams will meet on January 3rd in the Sugar Bowl for college football's biggest prize.
Here are ten games that still remain on the schedule that have could have the biggest impact on the rankings.
1. (1) LSU vs. (24) Auburn: 10/22/2011
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The SEC has always been the class of college football, as they have boasted the past six BCS national champions.
Auburn is the current defending national champion and though they haven't looked the part at times, they are still a tough play for anyone.
Next weekend's inter-conference matchup between the current No. 1 and No. 24 ranked teams could have a huge impact on not only the SEC standings, but the BCS rankings as well.
An LSU loss it could shake the rankings up and open the door for Alabama or Oklahoma to reclaim the No. 1 spot.
2. (12) Georgia Tech vs. Miami (FL): 10/22/2011
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The upcoming ACC matchup between the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and the Miami Hurricanes is huge in both the ACC race and the race for the BCS bid to the Orange Bowl.
The Hurricanes got a win at North Carolina for the first time in five tries and will look to continue that success against the Yellow Jackets, who lead the Coastal Division with a record of 5-1.
Miami had previously been beaten four straight times by Georgia Tech, until Miami blew by the Jackets in 2009 at home to break a rare losing streak to an ACC rival.
If Miami beats Georgia Tech, it will gain an all-important tiebreaker advantage in the division standings, and will cost Georgia Tech an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl.
Most importantly, it will vault the 'Canes up to within striking distance of Virginia Tech and the other division leaders.
3. (5) Boise State vs. Air Force: 10/22/2011
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Boise State has long been the class of the non-BCS teams as they have gone undefeated year-in and year-out with no shot at the national championship.
They have been invited to almost every other BCS bowl game and have dominated the opponents that have been placed against them.
Led by QB Kellen Moore, the Broncos are a national championship squad but because they are not in the six major conferences, they may never get their shot at a title for that reason.
Boise State and the resurgent Air Force are both rumored to join the Big East for football, and if Air Force can find a way to beat the Broncos, it would turn the rankings on its ear.
4. (2) Alabama vs. Tennessee: 10/22/2011
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Yet another SEC game to watch out for, the second-ranked Crimson Tide will take on the Tennessee Volunteers in another game that could go a long way in deciding the SEC standings.
If Alabama were to lose, it would shake up the national title picture more than what it already is.
The Crimson Tide have passed every test thrown at them so far this season, and they given little reason to make voters believe there would be a letdown here.
5. (4) Wisconsin vs. (23) Michigan State: 10/22/2011
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Two Big Ten opponents will square off to determine which team will take an early lead in the conference.
Wisconsin has been a big surprise so far this season, as they have thrashed every opponent in their schedule en route to the No. 4 ranking.
Michigan State has continued its stellar play under coach Mark Dantonio, as they claimed their fourth straight Paul Bunyan trophy by outlasting the previously-undefeated Michigan Wolverines yesterday.
Led by ageless QB Kirk Cousins, the Spartans dominate up front on the offensive line and will look to impose their will on the Badgers.
A win by either team cements their grip on the Big Ten and vaults them into early contention for the automatic bid into the BCS.
6. (3) Oklahoma vs. (17) Kansas State: 10/29/2011
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The Oklahoma Sooners are looking like the bullies in the Big 12, as they dominated Texas in the Red River Shootout and have put teams through the buzzsaw each and every week.
The Sooners are led by QB Landry Jones and All-America WR Ryan Broyles. They will be going against a hot Kansas State team that shows no signs of backing down, or backing off from the big bad boys from Norman.
Kansas State has been a pleasant surprise in the Big 12, led by Bill Snyder as the team looks to knock off a Sooners' team that is trying to keep the pressure on LSU and Alabama for the No. 1 spot in the rankings.
A win by Oklahoma will only pad their lead in the Big 12, and quite possibly will give the Sooners an advantage for the automatic bid into the BCS, should they not be able to reclaim the top spot to play in the national championship game.
7. (4) Wisconsin vs. Ohio State: 10/29/2011
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Wisconsin has been a pleasant surprise so far this season, as they have been downright terrifying in both non-conference and Big Ten play.
Ohio State has been wracked by injuries and controversy in Columbus. The Buckeyes should give the Badgers little challenge as Wisconsin rolls in this game and keeps pace in the standings.
If the Buckeyes were to win, it would send shockwaves throughout the Big Ten and the BCS standings.
8. (1) LSU vs. (2) Alabama: 11/05/2011
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In a possible SEC and national championship preview, the No. 1 and 2 teams in the country will face off in a major SEC game that will knock the loser from the national championship picture.
LSU and Alabama both figure to be major players in the SEC until the very end. The Tigers seem to have the advantage as the schedule is favorable until the rest of the season.
The Crimson Tide don't plan to go out quietly, as they aren't going to let the Tigers cruise to the national championship game in New Orleans.
9. (9) Oregon vs. (7) Stanford: 11/12/2011
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The national runner-up is looking to make a statement to get inside the Top 5 to 8 in the BCS rankings, as the Ducks are hoping to beat a very good Stanford team led by QB Andrew Luck.
Oregon is led by RB LaMichael James and the Ducks pride themselves on having an explosive offensive attack. The defense is going to look to limit the Cardinal's star quarterback.
A win by Oregon will most likely vault them inside the Top 8, and will possibly also mean they will have a shot at an at-large bid if they fail to win the Pac-12 conference championship.
10. Arkansas vs. (1) LSU: 11/25/2011
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LSU is the consensus pick to be in the national championship game. Arkansas will provide little challenge in the Tigers' run to New Orleans.
If LSU was to lose, it would most likely provide the opening for Alabama or Oklahoma to slip into the No. 1 ranking and turn the BCS National championship game upside down.
The loser of the LSU/Alabama clash maybe would also be back in the conversation as to who would deserve to play for the crystal football.