Off and Running: BCS Championship Chase Week by Week

Justis MosquedaFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2011

Off and Running: BCS Championship Chase Week by Week

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    On Sunday the new BCS rankings were released as Week 9 was completed. The following is how the top 14 fell into place: LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Boise State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Oregon, South Carolina, Nebraska, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Houston and Kansas State.

    I'm going to preview the rest of the year week by week for those teams starting from Week 10 until Championship week. It is general consensus that those would be with the only shots at the BCS Championship this coming January, so that's why I set the cut off at 14.

Week 10

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    The biggest game in Week 10 is obviously the No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama matchup in Tuscaloosa on Saturday. Unfortunately, one of the top teams in the nation have to lose this one and I predict that it's going to be LSU, the visiting team.

    The only time Alabama has lost to a team at home since 2007 was last year versus the future National Champs in Auburn, I doubt Saban lets a rival come in again without being prepared to fight for 60 minutes.

    No. 3 Oklahoma State (who is still undefeated) will visit Manhattan, Kansas to do battle with the one loss No. 14 Kansas State who lost to No. 6 Oklahoma last week. The Oklahoma game started a stretch of tough games that Kansas State just isn't ready for, before that game they were arguably the most overrated team in the country and should lose this game pretty easily to the high flying pass attack of the Cowboys.

    No. 4 Stanford plays in Corvallis against Oregon and No. 5 Boise State battles UNLV in Vegas, both should be easy victories.

    No. 6 Oklahoma goes against one of the most inconsistent team in the nation during Week 10. The Aggies managed to lose to two high ranked teams in close games (Oklahoma State and Arkansas) and blew out Baylor at home, but last week they let go of a lead late and allowed Missouri to beat them in overtime at home.

    Texas A&M has the talent to pull the upset here, but they have only pulled it together once against a quality opponent this year and it will take near perfection to beat this Sooners team.

    No. 9 South Carolina visits SEC rival No. 7 Arkansas this week. South Carolina is that team kind of like Kansas State where you think they are going to fall each week but never seem to lose, this is the week they do. Arkansas is a quality team and with a QB that hardly has any experience and the recent loss of an All-American running back I don't think USC can pull this one out.

    No. 8 Oregon goes up to Seattle to play rival Washington in Huskie Stadium. Oregon should be able to win this one pretty easy like they did last year. There might be a quarter back controversy in Eugene as well with Bennett coming in the second half of the Washington State game for the Ducks.

    No. 10 Nebraska plays at home versus Northwestern and No. 13 Houston plays Conference USA foe UAB in Birmingham, both should be easy wins.

    No. 11 Clemson and ACC rival No. 12 Virginia Tech both have bye weeks.

Week 11

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    New rankings (projected with results from last week):

    No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Boise State, No. 8 Oregon, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 10 Clemson, No. 11 Virginia Tech, No. 12 Houston

    Eliminated from BCS race: No. 9 South Carolina, No. 14 Kansas State

    No. 1 Alabama plays Mississippi State in Starksville, the Bulldogs should manage to lose this game pretty easily based on the Crimson Tide's season so far.

    No. 2 Oklahoma State plays Texas Tech on the road, the same team that beat OSU's rival OU in Norman two weeks ago. The Cowboys should still win this game against that lucky Texas Tech team, if you need any reasons why I suggest you watch the Iowa State game that Tech "played" in last week.

    No. 3 Stanford goes against No. 8 Oregon on the Farm for what should be the game what decides who goes to the Pac 12 Championship Game from the North division.

    After Andrew Luck lead' Furd through three overtimes against USC, I don't think there is a possible way that the Ducks pass defense will be able to keep him in check. Stanford is higher in the rankings for a reason, Cardinal win.

    No. 5 Oklahoma has a bye week.

    No. 6 Arkansas battles a lowly Tennessee team which has been everything but impressive in SEC play. The Hogs will walk away with a win in this game.

    No. 7 Boise State plays it's only semi-difficult conference game against TCU this week. Unless they decide to not go all "blue out" on the Horned Frogs (which I doubt they will) then the Broncos will once again walk away with a home win.

    No. 9 Nebraska plays Penn State which has been good this year but not as great as the Black Shirts have played. The Huskers should beat yet another Big Ten team at home this game.

    No. 10 Clemson comes off the bye to play a lackluster Wake Forest team in Death Valley. Taj Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Co. should take care of the ACC foe.

    No. 11 Virginia Tech comes off a bye to play Georgia Tech in Atlanta, the same team that took Clemson out last week. The difference is the bye week gives more time to scheme against the triple option offense that the Yellow Jackets run. Beamer ball will define the victory for this game.

    No. 12 Houston plays another lowly Conference USA team in Tulane in New Orleans, they should be no problem for Case Keenum and his offense.

Week 12

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    New rankings (projected with results from last week):

    No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Boise State, No. 8 Nebraska, No. 9 Clemson, No. 10 Virginia Tech, No. 11 Houston

    Eliminated from BCS race: No. 8 Oregon

    No. 1 Alabama plays Georgia Southern a FCS team which should get smothered in this OOC game.

    No. 2 Oklahoma State plays at Iowa State, one of the worst teams in the Big 12. This game should be over by the half if Weeden is still in the contest.

    No. 3 Stanford plays rival California in The Game. Stanford wins back to back on the Farm versus Pac-12 foes after this game, if the Golden Bears had a quarter back then they might have a chance.

    No. 4 LSU continues to prove that they should be in the running for a BCS bid when they go to Oxford to play Ole Miss. The Rebs don't have a chance against the Tigers.

    No. 5 Oklahoma plays a Baylor in Waco in a game that should be the true definition of "shoot-out". Robert Griffin III and Lance Jones could both be first round picks next year in the NFL Draft and they should also both light up the score board. Oklahoma is all around great though and will beat the Bears.

    No. 6 Arkansas plays Mississippi State who just got whipped by Alabama the week before on their home turf. Bulldogs once again lose to a top 10 team in conference play.

    No. 7 Boise State goes down to southern California to play San Diego State who has been hot and cold all season. They have the talent and combo to pull the upset (conference foe, quarter back, over looked) but the Broncos should still beat the Aztecs.

    No. 8 Nebraska plays in Ann Arbor against Michigan. In a game with possibly the worst passing quarter backs in the Big Ten only one can win and I think the upset goes down. Shoelace plays for crowd in Ann Arbor and in a huge game against the Huskers there should be plenty to play for.

    No. 9 Clemson plays North Carolina State who has little to no chance to win this game. Tigers should drive out of NCSU with a win.

    No. 10 Virginia Tech plays North Carolina who doesn't have the talent to go into Blacksburgh and steal a win from the Hokies.

    No. 11 Houston and SMU face off in a good, old, Texas shoot-out. If you look at Houston's box scores you can see that Houston can out shoot almost any team in the nation, the Cougars win this one.

Week 13

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    New rankings (projected with results from last week):

    No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Arkansas, No. 7 Boise State, No. 8 Clemson, No. 9 Virginia Tech, No. 10 Houston

    Eliminated from BCS race: No. 8 Nebraska

    No. 1 Alabama plays it's last regular season game in Auburn against it's arch rival. No Cam Newton, no problem for the Tide.

    No. 2 Oklahoma State has a bye before they play No. 5 Oklahoma the next week.

    No. 3 Stanford has one last game against Notre Dame before the Pac-12 Championship game, they should have Coach Kelly shaking his head with another loss.

    No. 4 LSU plays in No. 6 Arkansas this week, LSU still trying to prove that it should get in then NC without being in the SEC Championship trashes the Hogs this game.

    No. 5 Oklahoma plays Iowa State, Sooners drop bombs this game.

    No. 7 Boise State continues to beat up on Mountain West teams as they take their talents back to The Blue and beat Wyoming.

    No. 8 Clemson battles in South Carolina but it's not enough to win. The Cocks are tough at home and beat the in-state rival, ending their NC hopes.

    No. 9 Virginia Tech plays Virginia in an away game that locks them into the ACC Championship. Hokies prevail.

    No. 10 Houston plays one of it's hardest opponents this year in Tulsa. They still manage to out shoot G.J. Kinne and the Golden Hurricanes on the way to a perfect record going into the Conference USA Championship Game.

Week 14/Championship Week

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    New rankings (projected with results from last week):

    No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 6 Boise State, No. 7 Virginia Tech, No. 8 Houston

    Eliminated from BCS race: No. 6 Arkansas, No. 8 Clemson

    No. 1 Alabama wins the SEC Championship game over Georgia to finish undefeated, gets into the National Championship Game.

    No. 2 Oklahoma State plays #5 Oklahoma in Stillwater, the Sooners pull the "upset" over the in-state Cowboys due to the overall talent of the team. Oklahoma wins the Big 12 due to the tie breaker.

    No. 3 Stanford beats Arizona State in the Pac-12 Championship to finish undefeated.

    No. 4 LSU has a bye because Alabama is the West Champion.

    No. 6 Boise State beats up New Mexico to end the year undefeated.

    No. 7 Virginia Tech beats Clemson in the ACC Championship.

    No. 8 Houston wins the Conference USA title game to also finish undefeated.

Bowl Games

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    National Championship Game (one and two)

    Alabama Stanford: With Oklahoma State losing the last game of the year the Cardinal make it in the No. 2 spot in the BCS rankings above mid-major giants Boise State and Houston and above one lose teams in Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and LSU.

    Rose Bowl (Big Ten, At-large)

    Nebraska Boise State

    Sugar Bowl (At-large, At-large)

    LSU Houston

    Orange Bowl (ACC, At-large)

    Virginia Tech Oklahoma State

    Fiesta Bowl (Big 12, At-large)

    Oklahoma Oregon