BCS Rankings: 5 Teams That Can Already Punch Tickets to a BCS Bowl
As the second week of the BCS standings continue, the next few weeks will have serious implications, especially for those in the Top 10. With previously undefeated teams like Wisconsin and Oklahoma making a quick exit thanks to the likes of Michigan State and Texas Tech, respectively, the remaining undefeated teams, and even the one loss teams, will all be head hunting these last few weeks to claim a top spot on college football's biggest stages: the BCS bowls.
However, while undefeated teams like Clemson and Oklahoma State certainly control their own destiny, they have been known to falter under the spotlight, and these two teams still have things left to prove these last few weeks. However, there are obvious teams who have proven themselves time and time again, and are certain to be playing in a BCS Bowl, and are just waiting to see who the BCS will pit them against.
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The Crimson Tide are one of the most obvious locks for a BCS bowl bid, especially considering their only remaining challenge is the LSU Tigers. Nick Saban and his team know how to not only win, but stay grounded from week to week, and are focused every week on their opponent. They will be hard pressed to NOT make a BCS Bowl.
Alabama has a nationally recognized defense that is arguably the best in the country, an underrated offense with quarterback AJ McCarron, who knows how to take care of the ball, and a hard nosed, physical running back in Trent Richardson, who is the perfect running back for a school like Alabama.
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Everyone knows defense wins championships.
But today, people want more offense to help those defenses win those championships. And the Oklahoma State Cowboys have plenty of offense to help their lesser defense out.
While Oklahoma State has been handed the Bronze trophy in the Big 12 for some time now, people can say without a doubt that the Cowboys are locks to get a BCS Bowl bid, even if they lose against Oklahoma. They are too good a team to keep out of the BCS contention. The Cowboys can go one step further to the National Championship game if they remain undefeated, with their primary threat being their rival, the Oklahoma Sooners.
With an offense led by quarterback Branden Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon, and a defense that knows how to take the ball away, it'll be interesting to see where they will land in the BCS.
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Coming next to Alabama straight from the SEC West division, the LSU Tigers are the next lock to obtain a BCS Bowl bid. The Tigers have been a big preseason favorite, and have more has lived up to expectations, especially with a quarterback who was supposed to have on the headsets on the sidelines all season long.
The emergence and confidence of quarterback Jarrett Lee has been perhaps the biggest story of the LSU Tigers 2011 season, as they have been just as productive, if not more, than former starter Jordan Jefferson, who was suspended for part of the season and now serves as a fill in for certain offensive sets due to his athletic ability.
The LSU defense is on par with that of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and it is certain that when these two teams meet, there will be plenty of heavy hitting occurring on both sides.
LSU has capability on both sides of the ball, and their strength of schedule, coupled along with their record, will have them sitting comfortably in the BCS. Whether they play for the national championship or not has yet to be determined, and will not come to fruition unless they defeat Alabama.
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Andrew Luck is unarguably the most popular quarterback in college football right now, is coveted in the NFL before he even takes a snap, and has the Cardinals undefeated and very likely to return to a BCS bowl, whether they defeat Oregon or not.
Despite losing head coach Jim Harbaugh and their defensive coordinator to the NFL, the Cardinals have remained solid on defense, and with Luck leading the offense, Stanford is a tough team to stop. After last year's Orange Bowl pounding of Virginia Tech, Stanford is looking for a challenge this time around, and with their BCS hopes secure, they are trying to finish the season on a high note and look towards who they will face in their inevitable bowl matchup.
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The Oregon Ducks have a knack for scoring points and winning. As a result, they have a knack for locking up BCS Bowl bids. This year is no exception.
A team like a Boise State, who aren't automatic qualifiers, are going to have trouble finding spots due to their conference and their weaker schedule compared to the automatic qualifying conferences.
Oregon and Stanford, both from the Pac 12, are undeniably the best teams in the entire conference, and with USC still on probation despite being on top of the South Division, are out of the BCS race as a result. Although it's uncertain if one of them are heading to the BCS National Championship, both teams, due to their schedule and records, will both make BCS Bowl Berths, and rightfully so.