Week 11 of the 2012 College Football season has already begun, but the real fun begins on Saturday: All four undefeated national title contenders – Alabama, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame in action, with three of them playing on the road. Louisville are undefeated as well, but aren’t in contention for anything but a BCS bowl game, while Ohio State are simply playing, and winning, for nothing.
#15 Texas A&M at #1 Alabama – A&M have made a nice adjustment to SEC life. A very good defense and a sensational freshman quarterback, Jonny Manziel, who has thrown for 16 touchdown passes and ran for 15 more. Still, A&M haven’t faced anything like ‘Bama all season, and the closest to it has been LSU and Florida. The Aggies made those games close, losing by a total of 8 points, but Alabama have proven all season long they’re a different beast, and their focus won’t drop after their huge win over the Tigers in Baton Rouge. Chances of an upset – 15%.
#2 Kansas State at TCU – There’s only one question here: Is Collin Klein healthy enough to play? Without him, half, or maybe more of the Wildcats’ running game disappears, and it all falls down to John Hubert, the Junior running back who has scored 12 touchdowns this season. Chances of an upset – If Klein is playing, 15%. If he isn’t, it goes up to about 40%.
#3 Oregon at California – Not the game that the Ducks are supposed to fall at. Everything, offensively, was clicking to perfection against USC, and Zach Maynard together with C.J. Anderson shouldn’t be that much of a bother on a defense that has been great all season except for their visit to South LA, which eventually did produce enough stops to go over their toughest (projected) game of the season. Chances of an upset – 10%.
#4 Notre Dame at Boston College – They call this the Holy War, and it’s usually a very streaky rivalry. Notre Dame, leading the all-time series 12-9 have won the last three games in the series. The Eagles are entering this game 2-7, with one of the worst defenses in the nation, allowing over 30 points per game. Notre Dame struggled against Pitt and might fall into a tough one here if turnovers continue to plague them. They need to do more than just win, but crush BC to impress the voters. Chances of an upset – 20%.
Louisville play at Syracuse, but even if they win, unless at least three of the top 4 lose (and maybe even then still not), there’s no chance they get thrown into the national title consideration. It’s tough living in the Big East. Ohio State? They’re just enjoying spoiling things for other teams, but the’re taking a rest this week.