Posted 10/15/2013 at 05:00 PM
While highly ranked Georgia lost last week, it was a good week for the SEC with Stanford and Oklahoma falling from the undefeated ranks. Baylor and Texas Tech are the last remaining hopes for a Big XII championship contender but both teams have very difficult late season schedules. Out West UCLA and Oregon are the last remaining undefeated teams but both teams will have to face Stanford in the coming weeks and they play each other in two weeks. If Oregon gets by both of those games they will still have to play a Pac-12 championship game so there will be opportunities for an upset as good as the Ducks have looked.
The ACC contenders will be pared down to one this week and the winner of the Florida State/Clemson game will still have to beat a quality SEC team on the road in order to complete a potential undefeated season. That leaves the potential for a one-loss SEC team to move into the title game picture. The team with the best opportunity to climb into that conversation is Texas A&M as the Aggies should be 9-1 before two tough road games to close the season at LSU and at Missouri. Playing LSU at home appears to be the lone hurdle left for Alabama. If LSU beats Alabama but loses to Texas A&M that will still leave Alabama with the division title. The East scenarios start with 6-0 Missouri but that will likely be short lived with James Franklin injured, leaving the winner of the Florida/Georgia game likely in the best position though South Carolina could move back into the picture if they can beat Missouri and Florida and have Georgia lose once more in conference play.
Teams that don’t need to be mentioned include Louisville, Fresno State, and Ohio State despite the undefeated records. As the initial BCS rankings will show the schedules will not provide enough support for their candidacy and several one-loss teams will have the ability to pass them all in most scenarios by season’s end as long as there is at least one undefeated team in the SEC, Pac-12, or ACC. If Ohio State is the lone undefeated team in the top five conferences by season’s end they’ll have a shot but it will be quite a debate.
With Kansas City and Denver moving to 6-0 in the same division the potential for a wild card team with one of the best records in the NFL is a real possibility. The Chiefs in Broncos play twice in three weeks later this season and those games will decide the title in most scenarios but Denver will also face a tough game with New England while both teams will face Houston and Indianapolis. It could be a slim difference in record that creates a huge difference between the top seed in the AFC and the #5 slot. Unless something drastic happens 12-4 seems like the worst case scenario for either team given the schedules ahead or the way the teams have played. It would be possible that we could see a 13-3 wild card team having to play on the road in the playoffs against a 10-6 or worse AFC North champion, potentially in chilly weather.
It happens every year but it is still hard to see coming. 2012 playoff teams Atlanta, Houston, Washington, and Minnesota, teams that went 45-19 last season are a combined 5-16. Add in the 0-6 Giants who were 9-7 last season there are a lot fan bases just baffled. Best of Luck, on to this week’s slate…