I’m always amazed this time of year in the college football season. This is that point in the season where pundits and experts and fans around the country start to freak out over the potential of having three or more teams unbeaten at the end of the season. Yes, it has happened before but the odds are slim yet we can’t help but consider the possibilities.
What will happen if Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon all finish unbeaten? Uh-oh… What if we throw an unbeaten Florida State in there? No problem! We just start the four-team playoff a year early right?
I couldn’t even type that without laughing.
OK, so let’s examine the remaining unbeaten teams and their current odds of winning it all. I’ll tell you where the danger lies for each.
Alabama 8/5 – The Crimson Tide proved somewhat human when they actually gave up 10 points to Tennessee last weekend. Their average had been below 10 points per game prior.
The Tide is far from home free in terms of going unbeaten. Following an off day this week, they go to Death Valley for a traditional night affair on the bayou. LSU will pose problems Bama on both sides of the ball. They end the season at up and coming Auburn who would love to throttle the dream season of their arch-rivals.
The good news is that should Bama get their way through Auburn, they’ll face a fairly weak test in the SEC Title game.
Oregon 19/10 – Like Alabama, the Ducks also get a Saturday off before traveling to play a rival. In this case, the Ducks head to Palo Alto to play Stanford. The winner here captures the Pac-12 North for the most part. Oregon still has a trip to Arizona and a home finale against rival Oregon State.
Should the Ducks get through unscathed to the Pac-12 Title game, it looks like a date with Arizona, ASU or UCLA. Right now, I actually like the Ducks chances of getting through unbeaten better than Bama’s.
Florida State 2/1 – The Seminoles have one of the easier tracks to remaining unbeaten simply because of the ACC. They host their long-time rivals Miami this weekend who also happens to come in unbeaten. Now take into account the Canes could be as big as a three-touchdown underdog and that tells you where Vegas thinks these two teams are.
The Noles will still have to play in the Swamp in the season finale against a weakened Gators’ team but they’ll present some challenges either way. The ACC Title game will likely see a rematch against Miami or possibly against a bizarre Virginia Tech team. I fully expect the Seminoles to be unbeaten heading to Gainesville and that way when they leave.
Ohio State 8/1 – It’s obvious that Urban Meyer has figured out that he needs to score beauty points as much has does victories. Facing the very question I am posing, how do the Buckeyes earn a shot at the final BCS Title game if Bama and others are also unbeaten?
OSU has four games remaining; at Purdue, at Illinois home against Indiana and the finale at Michigan. I see only the Hoosiers posing any scares because of how they can score offensively. Michigan is Michigan. You always throw out the records when the two teams play but I just don’t see the Buckeyes losing any of their final four.
Baylor 10/1 – The Bears are a great story, no doubt about it. Perspective is needed however. Their final five opponents are a combined 28-10. Their previous seven opponents are so far under .500 you’ll need a miner’s light to see them.
Can the Bears do the impossible and run the table? Of course they can if they get teams into track meets with them. Oklahoma is the first challenge this weekend followed by Texas Tech and then Oklahoma State. I just don’t have the faith in the Baylor defense to see them going unbeaten.