College Football Predictions: Houston Cougars Could Play for BCS Championship

Bob BajekAnalyst IIINovember 22, 2011

College Football Predictions: Houston Cougars Could Play for BCS Championship

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    The Houston Cougars (11-0, 7-0 Conference USA) have an outside chance for playing in the BCS National Championship Game.

    The Cougars are ranked No. 8 in the BCS standings and are the lone undefeated team remaining besides the No. 1 LSU Tigers.

    With some top teams facing each other the following weeks, is it possible for the Cougars to play for the BCS National Championship?

    There is an outside chance, but it could possibly happen.

Houston Cougars Will Run the Table

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    The Houston Cougars will definitely run the table with their remaining two games.

    The explosive Cougars will play the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (8-3, 7-0 Conference USA) this Friday and most likely play Southern Miss Golden Eagles (9-2, 5-2 Conference USA) for the conference championship.

    Running the table would make the Cougars 13-0, being at least one of two teams that are undefeated.

    It's even possible that the LSU Tigers would lose, making the Cougars the lone undefeated team remaining.

Houston Cougars Have an Explosive Offense

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    The Houston Cougars would be really fun to watch in the BCS National Championship Game.

    The Cougars lead college football with 53.1 points a game, 447.5 passing yards a game and 618.3 total yards a game.

    Senior quarterback Case Keenum is a prolific passer who likes throwing to wide receivers Patrick Edwards, Tyron Carrier and Justin Johnson. The trio of receivers have 27 touchdowns and over 2,900 yards between them.

    The Cougars can also run the ball. Running backs Charles Sims and Michael Hayes have 1,333 yards and 17 touchdowns combined.

    If the Cougars are neck and neck with some teams, maybe their offense could put them over the top.

Houston Cougars QB Case Keenum Is a Heisman Candidate

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    Houston Cougars senior quarterback Case Keenum is one of the greatest college players of all time.

    Keenum is the career leader in touchdowns (145), passing yards (17,855) and completions (1,427).

    Keenum has led the Cougars with 4,269 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He is a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy.

    Whether the Heisman Trophy voting committee chooses a player based off this year's achievements or a career, Keenum has the edge in both.

Top BCS Contenders Could Lose the Next Two Weeks

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    The Houston Cougars could leapfrog some more teams the next couple of weeks by running the table.

    If these teams all lose, the Cougars could possibly pounce on that coveted No. 2 BCS ranking.

    No. 7 Boise State Broncos (9-1, 4-1 Mountain West) will most likely not win their conference after losing to the No. 19 Texas Christian University Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-0 Mountain West). The Horned Frogs will win the conference by beating the UNLV Rebels (2-8, 1-4 Mountain West).

    Not winning a conference title will hurt the Broncos' BCS ranking.

    No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (10-1, 8-1 Pac-12) will face No. 22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3). If they win that, the Cardinal could possibly play the UCLA Bruins or lesser teams  in the Pac-12 Championship Game. If their opponent wins, the Cardinal will drop in the rankings and might even miss making a BCS bowl game.

    No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies (10-1, 6-1 ACC) will have to beat No. 18 Clemson Tigers (9-2, 6-2 ACC) in order to win the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers were in competition for the BCS National Championship Game before losing 31-17 to the No. 23 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

    The Tigers will want a consolation prize, and an ACC title would do it.

    No. 4 Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) will face an underachieving No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners team (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) who blew their BCS title chances with bad losses to the Texas Tech Red Raiders and No. 18 Baylor Bears.

    The Sooners have the defense (22.3 points a game) to possibly slow down the Cowboys' dynamic offense (49.8 points a game).

    No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks (10-1, 6-1 SEC) will have the daunting task of beating No. 1 LSU Tigers for a spot in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers have a stifling defense (10 points allowed a game) led by sophomore cornerback Tryann Mathieu and senior safety Brandon Taylor.

    The Razorbacks have to also win on the road, which could be an extremely difficult task. Losing to the Tigers will kill the Razorbacks' chances of playing in the BCS National Championship Game, as they won't even have a chance to win their own conference.

    No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1, 6-1 SEC) will face the No. 24 Auburn Tigers (7-4, 4-3 SEC). However, the Crimson Tide are going to be blocked out of the SEC Championship Game. They lost a crucial game to LSU. Even if LSU loses, the Razorbacks will get the bid for the championship game because they beat the Tigers.

    If the Razorbacks defeat the LSU Tigers, LSU should not have the No. 2 seed for a rematch. The nation will probably want another team to have the title shot against the Razorbacks.

    While this is unlikely for each of these teams to lose, the Cougars should get the No. 2 seed if all these teams have two losses and can't even win their conference.

Houston Cougars Could Face LSU/Arkansas for BCS National Championship

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    If the following scenarios presented play out, the Houston Cougars could play either the LSU Tigers or Arkansas Razorbacks for the BCS National Championship Game.

    The BCS rankings would favor the Cougars if they run the table and the teams ahead of them have two losses.

    A high-powered offensive attack, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Case Keenum, could possibly push the Cougars to the No. 2 BCS ranking. 

    The winner of the LSU/Arkansas showdown would be the Cougars' opponent. The winner would most likely defeat an upstart No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs (9-2, 7-1 SEC) in the SEC Championship Game.

    What do you think? Feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section.

    Bob Bajek is a writing intern at Bleacher Report. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed at and Twitter.