Posted 11/27/2009 at 12:20 PM
Everything seems to be lining up nicely in the BCS standings for some very favorable match-ups and a great national title game between two traditional powers that will be undefeated. Most teams have just one game remaining and most of the hurdles for the top contenders appear minor making for some very appealing BCS bowl game scenarios. You know what that means, right? There has to be some sort of major upset that will throw a wrench into what looks like a very clean and agreeable BCS schedule this season.
The big three consisting of Florida, Alabama, and Texas will all face upset risks this week as the Gators host Florida State, Alabama heads to Auburn, and Texas plays at Texas A&M. All three will be double-digit favorites, but certainly not of the variety that TCU will be this week going against 1-10 New Mexico. TCU is the team with the most to gain if there is an upset, or ideally for the Frogs, two upsets, that would provide a major shake-up and reward the Frogs with a national title shot. Don’t forget Cincinnati as well as the Bearcats have a good chance of passing TCU if they win out as beating Illinois and Pittsburgh would greatly enhance the profile for the Bearcats with the voters and the computers. Boise State will need some type of miracle scenario where all the top teams lose, and of course the Broncos will face their own major challenge this week with high-scoring Nevada in town. Other than TCU, the top five all appear to be in somewhat treacherous situations this week and at least one of the undefeated teams falling seems very possible.
This is also a week to be weary of backing teams that are locked into conference title games and really have no real incentive in season finale games. Sometimes teams in those situations play great, sometimes they are major upset victims so make sure the match-up and the motivation for the team is present, particularly against rivals looking for a season-making win.
Last week’s ugly slate of NFL games actually produced several incredibly compelling and entertaining games. Nine teams were favored by more than a touchdown last week but we were treated to two overtime games and only four games that were decided by double-digits. Dogs did well last week, but not as well as you might expect though there were three S/U dog winners. This week’s schedule is filled with interesting division games on the Sunday card but that could mean clunkers for the holiday weekend as recent years have produced few classic Thanksgiving games. While the past two Monday night games have lacked intrigue, ESPN hits a home run with this week’s Patriots/Saints game. NBC also has a gem with the AFC championship rematch between Pittsburgh and Baltimore, two teams currently in serious danger of missing the playoffs altogether at this point. The Colts and Saints are still perfect at 10-0 but both will face very tough match-ups this week, potentially the biggest remaining hurdles in any potential 16-0 run although the pressure will start to build immensely.