Alabama, Michigan, and 10 Other Teams That Could Take First Loss This Week

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2010

Alabama, Michigan, and 10 Other Teams That Could Take First Loss This Week

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Going undefeated heading into Week 6 of the college football season is a big accomplishment.

    That early success will likely carry teams up the rankings among the top 25 in the nation.  But now that they're among the best, they'll also have bigger targets on their backs. 

    Other teams will be playing harder against teams with a perfect record.  This week, some of those perfect records may be blemished.  Who could take their first losses of the season?

    Here are 10 teams that might go down this week.

10. Utah Utes

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    FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 14:  Shaky Smithson #1 of the Utah Utes scores a touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 14, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Although the Utes have won their last five games after bye weeks, they'll also be facing a Cyclones team that is undefeated at home this season.

    Iowa State is the underdog but this will also be the toughest road game that Utah will face so far. 

    Cyclones quarterback Austin Aurnaud has been the big buzz around Ames.  His two-way ability could give the Utes problems.

    Will Aurnaud and home-field advantage be enough to score an upset?

9. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 02: Dane Sanzenbacher #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs after catching a pass against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 24-13. (Photo by Jonat
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Yes, the Buckeyes are a very good football team. But you can't just count out a Big Ten rival in Indiana. 

    Heisman candidate, Denard Robinson, had a field day against Indiana—passing for 277 yards and rushing for 217 yards.  But the Hoosiers only lost to Michigan by a touchdown.

    Now they're facing another mobile-quarterback in Terrelle Pryor.  But Pryor may not be at 100 percent after injuring his left quad last week.

    If they find a way to hold the ball and slow the game down for the Buckeyes, they could have chance.

8. Oregon Ducks

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 2: A sign in the stands supports wide receiver D.J. Davis of the Oregon Ducks warms before the start of the game at Autzen Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. Oregon won the game 52-31. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Last time these two teams faced each other Oregon demolished Washington State 52-6.  The Cougars have been bullied by the Ducks in their last three meetings—winning each game in a dominating fashion. 

    Although they're overmatched by the Ducks in nearly every single aspect of the game, they should play with a chip on their shoulder.

    During Week 4 it was a Pac-10 team, UCLA, that surprised by beating top-ranked Texas.  This weekend it may be Washington State's turn.

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys

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    STILLWATER, OK - OCTOBER 31:  A fan of the Oklahoma State Cowboys watches the game against the Texas Longhorns at Boone Pickens Stadium on October 31, 2009 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Could the Cowboys' first loss of the season come at the hands of a mid-level Sunbelt Conference Louisiana-Lafayette team?

    Well Oklahoma State will be playing a road game and the ULL Ragin' Cajuns have had success with Big 12 teams in the past.  A year ago they defeated Kansas State, 17-15.

    And another big win in ULL's history came in 1996 when they took down Texas A&M, ranked No. 25.

    The Cowboys boast one of the country's top offenses and should have no problems scoring but that's not to say an upset is impossible.

6. Auburn Tigers

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Auburn will be playing their second road game this year against Kentucky.

    Kentucky has pulled off a big win against their SEC rivals before.  Last year, Kentucky took the win 21-14, when they visited Auburn.

    This year, the Tigers have a difference maker in emerging quarterback Cam Newton.

    During Week 2, Auburn nearly lost to a Mississippi State team on the road.  They needed overtime to beat Clemson and South Carolina played them well until the end.

    Needless to say, Auburn has yet to make it look easy.  Kentucky definitely has a chance to make it two wins in a row against the Tigers, especially since they're playing at home.

5. Missouri Tigers

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 4: Blaine Gabbert #11 of the University of Missouri Tigers looks to pass against the University of Illinois Fighting Illini during the State Farm Arch Rivalry game on September 4, 2010 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The Tigers will open Big 12 conference play by hosting the Colorado Buffaloes. 

    Mizzou may be perfect this year, 4-0, but they've shown that they can be vulnerable against SDSU and Illinois.

    Colorado may be a poor team on the road but they're coming off a very big win.  They defeated the SEC's Georgia Bulldogs, 29-27, and they also dispatched the Hawaii Warriors, 31-13.

    The Tigers have had time to rest after the off-week but the Buffaloes are building momentum.  They could just enough energy and drive to upset the Tigers.

4. LSU Tigers

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    BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Jordan Jefferson #9 of the Louisiana State Univeristy Tigers runs on the field before playing the West Virginia Mountaineers at Tiger Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty
    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    The Tigers have been playing with fire all year, with a close win against the Tar Heels to open the season 30-24 and just last week a two-point victory against a very weak SEC opponent in the Tennessee Volunteers, 16-14.

    The Gators will be looking to make a quick recovery after getting embarrassed by Alabama 31-6.

    If John Brantley is still ailing or ineffective the Gators may be forced to go to freshman Trey Burton.  And Burton has been electrifying in his appearances.

    This will be a very good game to watch but a Gator win at the Swamp appears likely.

3. Michigan State Spartans

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    CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 10: Mark Dell #2 of the Michigan State Spartans misses catching the ball against the Illinois Fighting Illini on October 10, 2009 at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois. Michigan State defeated Ill
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    In a match against two upstart, 5-0, Big Ten teams, someone has to lose.

    The Spartans, last week, showed the country that they were serious contenders after taking down top-ranked Wisconsin, 34-24.

    The biggest advantages for Michigan are the presence of Robinson and their home-field.  With those two playing a factor, Michigan State may take their first loss of the season.

2. Michigan Wolverines

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    ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 25: Kelvin Grady #19 of the Michigan Wolverines runs for a 19 yard gain during the second quarter of the game against Bowling Green on September 25, 2010 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan defeated Bowling Green
    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    With Denard Robinson getting all the news, there's been little time for fans to realize that Michigan ranks dead last in the country in pass defense.

    If Robinson does take over the game, not all will be lost for the Spartans.  Kirk Cousins is a solid quarterback with 1,132 passing yards and nine touchdowns; he's capable of leading Michigan State's passing game.

    It's likely to be a high-scoring battle; and if Michigan State has the ball at the end, they could very well pull off the big road win.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Greg McElroy #12 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass against the Florida Gators at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Will the Tide continue to roll?  Probably.  But let's take a look at this matchup anyway.

    Alabama's toughest game this year was on the road against the Arkansas Razorbacks, winning 24-20.  While Arkansas proved to be very good at home, the Gamecocks could be just as formidable.

    For South Carolina, it's had a bye week to recover from their close loss against Auburn, 35-27. 

    If they used the off week to improve their game as well as feed off the home crowd, they could pull a big upset by defeating No. 1 Alabama.