As we enter the final stretch of the college football regular season, it is about time to separate the teams that have a chance at playing for the national championship from those that will be on the outside looking in. Welcome to the final stretch of the college football regular season.
Here are two teams that, with the release of this week's BCS Rankings, will likely find themselves out of the loop in the BCS bowl discussion.
Many are shocked that the Stanford Cardinals would not be in the BCS Top 10 when it's all said and done. But it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Cardinals could be on the outside looking in when the final BCS rankings are revealed.
The Cardinals have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball; no college football analyst or fan can deny that fact.
However, what many saw in Stanford's 53-30 loss against the Oregon Ducks was the fact that the Cardinals are not invincible, and that Andrew Luck is not a perfect quarterback.
Luck proved he is just as prone to mistakes as any quarterback, and that even he struggles against a good defense, as Oregon had him under containment all night long.
The Stanford Cardinals also showed that their defense is very vulnerable against top offenses, not only against the Ducks, but one week earlier against the USC Trojans.
The level of competition they have faced has also been questionable with a weak Pac-12 Conference and an even weaker schedule, with their only notable games being against USC and Oregon.
Unless Luck and the Cardinals can put it together to finish the season and perform well in their bowl game, BCS or not, they will be known as that talented team that faltered when faced with bigger and better competition.
Like Stanford, the Virginia Tech Hokies have also been shown to be quite vulnerable, but because of the talent they have at their skill positions, they are able to hide glaring weaknesses at quarterback and on special teams.
Under Frank Beamer, the Hokies had made a name for themselves through their ability to score on special teams and win the field position battle. That is no longer the case.
Quarterback Logan Thomas, despite his great size, is not a great passer, and does not work well from the pocket. And besides running back David Wilson, the team has suffered from a lack of productivity from their running backs.
While the Hokies have consistently ruled the ACC, they have failed to win in big time BCS Bowl games, with the most recent throttling they received from Stanford last season in the Fedex Orange Bowl.