BCS Standings 2011: Hang On, These 5 Teams Aren't Done Yet
In Week 9 of the college football season, the BCS Standings have emerged with pleasant surprises, such as Clemson's presence in the Top Five and Kansas State's surprise entrance into the Top 10. The remaining games for all teams who have national championship hopes are riding on these last few weeks to make an impression on the BCS and hoping the chips fall in their favor. However, winning these games will be easier said than done.
A once undefeated Wisconsin team has already fallen to Michigan State the previous week, while a once Top Five Oklahoma Sooners team, who were preseason favorites to head to the National Championship Game, choked against the Texas Tech Raiders in their own stadium and are out of the National Championship running, permitting that other teams don't falter in the next three weeks.
And it's the likes of these kinds of teams that can completely change the outcome of those precious BCS Bowl bids. In fact, five of these teams, despite popular belief, are either still in the running for a BCS bowl bid or have the ability to spoil another team's BCS hopes. It's these kinds of teams that will be the biggest obstacles in the coming weeks.
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The Cornhuskers' running game is known by many around college football, and many also recognize their biggest running threat: quarterback Taylor Martinez.
Everyone learned about him once again as the Cornhuskers proved victorious in their win over the Michigan State Spartans, who are fresh off of an emotional, last play win over the Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers ran for 190 yards on the ground, while Martinez was able to do enough through the air to lift the Cornhuskers to victory. But who especially showed up to play was the Cornhuskers' defense, who limited Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Spartans offense to only three points and no touchdowns of any kind.
The Cornhuskers still have a shot to win their division and are in a dead heat with the Michigan Wolverines for first place, and in fact, face off against them on November 19th in what could likely be the decider for the winner of their Legends division.
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The Michigan Wolverines have stayed in the thick of the Big Ten Legends division along with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Both teams with dynamic quarterbacks, Michigan and Nebraska are likely to settle their differences, as well as their similarities, on November 19th when they are likely to face off for the Big Ten Legends division crown.
While the Cornhuskers have their own dynamic threat in Taylor Martinez, the Wolverines have a weapon of their own in quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson is among the best athletes in all of college football, gifted with a strong arm and even faster running ability. Robinson has completely changed the Wolverine offense and is essentially the bread and butter of Michigan's spread offense. The Wolverines have the ability to make a run towards the Big Ten Championship and a BCS bowl, especially if they claim victory over Nebraska.
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The uniforms are only one aspect of the dynamic ability of the Oregon Ducks.
Oregon has the dynamic ability to not only throw and run the ball to perfection in their fast paced spread offense, but they have the ability as both a spoiler and the ability to make a run, especially if they don't have any hiccups before they face Stanford.
Oregon currently sits at 6-1, but also hold an undefeated 4-0 Pac-12 record and are essentially tied with the Stanford Cardinal at the top of the North Division. The Ducks still have a legitimate shot at a BCS bowl and possibly even a shot at a National Championship berth if teams above them should fall by one game. The Ducks, while being in this position, do not control their own destiny for a BCS National Championship berth, but do have more control over what happens in the Pac-12 North Division.
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The Arkansas Razorbacks, who despite ranking at No. 10 in the BCS standings and holding a 7-1 record, are not being talked about at all and sit third in the SEC West behind the likes of undefeated LSU and Alabama.
The Arkansas offense, led by quarterback Tyler Wilson and administered by head coach Bobby Petrino, have proven to be one of college football's best when it comes to running the pro-style offense.
The Razorbacks have been able to come through in the clutch and have notched several big come-from-behind victories these past few weeks. They are one of three SEC teams in the Top Ten of the BCS standings and need help to not only rise, but to also gain a BCS bowl berth. The Razorbacks have the ability to play spoiler, however, in their last regular season game against the LSU Tigers, who may or may not be undefeated after they have played the Alabama Crimson Tide by this point. Whether they are undefeated or not, this will be a pivotal game for determining whether the razorbacks will gain yet another BCS bowl bid despite not winning their division, as was the case last year.
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Despite laying an egg against Texas Tech, the Oklahoma Sooners are still in the thick of the race for both a BCS bowl bid and have an ability to be a spoiler for several up coming teams, especially if they are able to play like they did earlier in the season.
The Sooners have both an offense and a defense that are capable of making plays that can change a game. It was that offense that almost allowed them to come back against Texas Tech, and a missed field goal denied them that chance of a huge comeback. However, they will get their chances to show the nation that they are BCS worthy as they face off against Kansas State and Oklahoma State, who both have Big 12 and BCS ambitions, and the Sooners could prove big spoilers against both of them.
If Sooners quarterback Landry Jones and wide receiver Ryan Broyles can get the Sooners' offense back on track, and the Sooners' defense can become more disciplined in their assignments, the play making will soon return, and you could see a surprise run straight into a BCS bowl.