There are 14 undefeated teams left in college football: Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, Houston, Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Temple, Toledo and Utah. But which one will remain undefeated by the end of the season? Not everyone, that’s for sure.
LSU Left Alone in the SEC
There’s more to this team than just Leonard Fournette. They’ve gotten through a tricky game against Florida, and now what’s left is Alabama on the road, which can go either way, and at Ole Miss, which is another team you never know what they’re going to bring. Western Kentucky, Arkansas and the exposed Texas A&M aren’t going to be the team that beats LSU. By the time they play the Aggies at home, LSU should be with one loss.
Big Ten Surprisingly Still With Three
Ohio State still undefeated? No one is surprised. Michigan State? Maybe a bit considering how they escaped Michigan. But Iowa? A team that its fanbase is convinced their head coach is still working because his exit clause is too damn high? No one saw that coming. The Buckeyes are the least likely to lose until the end of the season. The only games that matter are Michigan State and Michigan. They host the Spartans and play at Ann Arbor against a surely fired up Wolverines, but OSU are still the better team. Harbaugh has some work to do before dominating the conference again.
But where do Iowa slip? Maybe they don’t. Their remaining games are Maryland, at Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and at Nebraska. The finish at Lincoln will surely be an interesting one, but at this stage, it looks like it’s going to be difficult imagining a different matchup than Iowa vs OSU in the Big Ten conference championship game.
Utah Alone in the Pac-12
Not USC, not Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon or Stanford. Utah are the last team standing, already beating Michigan, Oregon, California and the Sun Devils. Who is left? Oregon State at home, Washington on the road, Arizona on the road, UCLA and Colorado. Very very manageable, although Utah aren’t that good for us to not even contemplate an upset or even two.
The Usual ACC Suspects
It’s not surprising to see that the only two teams left standing in the ACC are Clemson and Florida State, as usual. Both teams are in the top 10, with the Seminoles at #9 and Clemson at #6. They meet relatively late this season (November 7), but Clemson have to play in Miami before hosting the Seminoles, which is a tricky team to beat (FSU beat them 29-24). Florida State have an easier road before going to Clemson: At a broken down Georgia Tech and at home vs Syracuse. Florida State also have to play a difficult game in Gainesville to finish the season, while Clemson play a bad South Carolina team on rivalry week.
Big 12 Looks Similar to Last Year With One “Intruder”
The basic question here is this – Who do you think is better, TCU or Baylor? Oklahoma State are also in the mix, but after playing Texas Tech and Kansas, they host the Horned Frogs, before the finish against both Baylor and Oklahoma. It is at home, but seeing them walk out of that finish without a loss is difficult. TCU still have to play in Stillwater and Norman before the season finale against the Bears. Baylor get to host Oklahoma. Their season finish is against Texas. So who is better? Well, the computers seem to think TCU have a slight edge. From what we’ve seen so far, Baylor are a bit better, but the home advantage should give the Horned Frogs the edge.
American Conference Trio
Three American conference teams remain undefeated. Memphis are the highest ranked of them at #18, followed by Houston at #21 and Temple at #22. But do they finish the season undefeated? Not likely, not for any of them. The Tigers have to play a tricky Navy game at home on November 7, followed by two road games at Houston and Temple back to back. That’s a very difficult three-week stretch for them to go through and unless they’re really a cut above the Owls and Cougars, it’s reasonable to see them slipping in any one of these games.
Obviously, the same can be said for Houston who play Navy at the end of the season but also have a tricky game at Connecticut after they host Memphis. Temple will probably be with a loss much sooner, as they play #11 Notre Dame on November 1. It is at home, but winning that game doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
Yes, Toledo. From time to time the MAC gives up a shocker, and this year it’s the Rockets, giving up only 13.3 points per game so far. They’ve won in Arkansas and beaten Iowa State. Surely they won’t fall at Umass, Central Michigan and Bowling Green? Maybe Western Michigan and Northern Illinois can give them some trouble, but probably not.