Posted 11/11/2013 at 06:08 PM
Florida State and Alabama are now on track to meet in the BCS title game. Both teams have relatively light remaining schedules although both will face championship games. Assumption is dangerous however as at this point last season it seemed clear Oregon and Kansas State would meet in the title game. Those two teams did meet in January but it was at the Fiesta Bowl.
The Heisman Trophy odds also swung with Oregon’s loss as the candidacy for Marcus Mariota is up in smoke. Jameis Winston takes over the top spot while A.J. McCarron or even Bryce Petty could sneak into the picture as the Heisman is not really about being the best player or having the best numbers, it is about being the quarterback on a top 5 team.
The best part of the end of the BCS system is that the polls will no longer play such a big role. The Coaches’ Poll has curious wrinkles to it that could have serious ramifications down the road. A UCF team that won at Louisville and has far better wins and ratings is six spots below Louisville. That leaves UCF currently 17th in the BCS standings even though five of the six computer ratings have the Knights in the top 16. Currently non-AQ teams Fresno State and Northern Illinois are ahead of UCF, something which could matter in a few weeks.
Oklahoma State is another team greatly overvalued by the coaches as they don’t even crack the top 25 in some of the computer rankings but sit 10th in the poll. Things should sort themselves out for the Cowboys with three tough games left on the schedule. Arizona State jumps out as one of the most undervalued teams in the polls but some may be punishing the Sun Devils for the questionable win over Wisconsin early in the season.
Only four times since 1980 has an undefeated NFL team of at least 6-0 been an underdog and never has such team been as big of an underdog as the 9-0 Chiefs will be this week in Denver. The winner of that game will take hold of the top spot in the AFC; the loser would be in the #5 spot, currently slated for a wild card playoff game in Cincinnati, a huge difference. The respect for Denver is so great that the 9-0 Chiefs are the second biggest underdog on the board this week, only ahead of the Vikings playing in Seattle.
In the NFC there will be formidable wild card teams as well as currently San Francisco would be the #6 seed playing at Detroit in the wild card round and Carolina would be the top wild card heading to Dallas in what could be a pretty interesting set of games. Right now the NFC playoff picture only features two teams that made the playoffs last season with two new faces currently in the AFC picture as half of the playoff field would turn over. Currently all six NFC teams with a losing record won at least seven games last season.
While Denver is the highest scoring team in the NFL by a wide margin, nine of the top 11 scoring teams are NFC teams, averaging at least 25 points per game. While offense is not everything, only one of the top 11 scoring teams currently has a losing record, the 3-6 Washington Redskins. Only the New York Jets have managed to have a winning record while being among the bottom 10 scoring teams in the league. Best of Luck, on to this week’s slate…