10 undefeated teams … which two will go?


Can Kansas State really run the Big 12 table? (AP Photo/Stephen Spillman)

Entering Week 8, we have 10 remaining undefeated teams in college football. Since we have such a fantastic system of only allowing two teams to play for a national championship when other college sports allow as many as 68 teams into the postseason battle, we have the possibility of leaving a few undefeateds out of the title game.

So today, let’s take a closer look at each of the 10 teams with no losses and their chance of running the table and getting into the championship game.

More: The top 10 teams in the country, based on how well they’ve played so far

SEC

Alabama (7-0): The Crimson Tide control their own destiny and there’s no doubt that they’ll get a spot in the national title game if they finish the season with no losses. Alabama is looking so good that their Nov. 5 game against LSU in Tuscaloosa is looking like the only test remaining on their schedule. If they beat the Tigers, they’re in.

LSU (7-0): Ditto. Replace everything in the above paragraph that says “Alabama” with “LSU,” and vice versa. It holds just as true for the Tigers as it does for the Tide.

Big Ten

Wisconsin (6-0): The Badgers are looking really, really good. But they haven’t really played anyone outside of their home game against Nebraska, a 48-17 shellacking. Their other wins: UNLV, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana, all at home. Until they go on the road and beat a decent opponent, the Badgers won’t be getting much respect from the nation with so many other undefeated teams to choose from. But I believe in Wisconsin and think they have a really good chance to make the title game.

Big 12

Oklahoma (6-0): The Sooners are looking like the best pick to play the winner of LSU/Alabama in the national title game, but they still have two of the other remaining nine unbeatens left on their schedule (Oklahoma State and Kansas State). They’ll be tested for sure, but they look good enough to pass the tests and are my pick to play the SEC Champion for the championship. But that doesn’t mean they’ll end up there.

Oklahoma State (6-0): The Cowboys are probably the biggest threat to the Sooners’ chances of going undefeated, and they’re looking really good despite flying slightly under the radar. They’re road-tested with wins over Texas and Texas A&M, so there’s no mirage here that OSU is a good team. If they can survive Dec. 3 against Oklahoma, they may be able to make a case for themselves in the national title picture.

Kansas State (6-0): After Kansas State throttles Kansas in this weekend’s rivalry game, the Wildcats will take on No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Oklahoma State in the next two weeks. How much does that stink? Well, for a team like K-State, they really need a daunting stretch like this to prove they’re for real. They’ll probably go 0-2 in those two games, and I don’t expect we’ll still be talking about an undefeated Kansas State in three weeks.

Pac-12

Stanford (6-0): Stanford is looking really good with a Heisman candidate quarterback in Andrew Luck. Their defense has yet to allow 20 points in any game this season. They’re for real, folks. Their one test remaining in the regular season is against Oregon, at home. They should be taken very seriously and will definitely be in the running for a national title spot if they win out, which is likely.

ACC

Clemson (7-0): Clemson has a couple of tough games left, both on the road. They’ll head to Georgia Tech for an 8 p.m. game in two weeks, and they’ll still have to make the trip to Columbia at the end of the year to play South Carolina. Unfortunately, I think Clemson will be a casualty of too many undefeated teams left at the end of the road, and won’t be given a chance to play for the championship even if they win out.

Mountain West

Boise State (6-0): Boise State has no shot at earning the respect of the voters, and their schedule doesn’t have a single game left on it against a team that is currently ranked. That’s a recipe for yet another undefeated season that ends with a Fiesta Bowl appearance against someone like Oklahoma State.

Conference-USA

Houston (6-0): The Cougars play a very weak schedule and rarely branch out to play top-notch opponents in their nonconference schedule, so even if they win out this season, having no ranked opponents on their schedule is going to keep them from being taken seriously. There are too many teams at the top that play several do-or-die games every year, and that leaves no room for a team like Houston.