Contender or Pretender?

Nearing the midway point of the college football season there are several undefeated teams that are making their case to play for the National Championship.  Usually I post a recap of the college football week that was on Sunday mornings, but I am bringing this post to you instead.  Every team in the top 10 is undefeated.  There are a few more on the outskirts of the top 10.  In order to get a ticket to the title game you pretty much have to go undefeated.  Some of the teams that are undefeated are for real, others? Not so much.  Here is an early look at what will be another BCS mess come December:

Alabama: They are my favorite to win the whole thing. They play in the toughest conference in the country and have played the strongest schedule so far of any team worthy of being in the conversation.  They came from behind to take down Arkansas a week ago and dismantled Florida this past weekend.  There are some questions about their defense but it appears no one can stop their powerhouse offense.  Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson combine to make a 2 headed monster that is better than some NFL backfields.  I don’t think anyone will touch Bama as they will “roll tide” to a second straight national title. Contender

Ohio State: The Buckeyes have one of, if not the best defenses in the country.  On top of that, they have a dual threat quarterback in Terrelle Pryor.  They have three games left against ranked opponents including a regular season finale against Heisman favorite Denard Robinson’s Michigan Wolverines. The Buckeyes are 11th in the country in points against as teams are scoring 14 a game.  I think Ohio State can survive their schedule and will meet Alabama in the national championship. Contender

Boise State: Through no fault of their own, Boise State will once again be screwed by the BCS.  They too will finish undefeated but their strength of schedule will not allow them to get anywhere near a national title.  They have one game left against a quality opponent in Nevada.  Boise can only hope that Nevada goes on a run of their own putting them high in the rankings when they meet.  Then and only then will Boise State be able to leap frog Ohio State into the title game. Contender

Oregon: Up until Saturday night the Oregon Ducks were picking on the little guys and embarrassing them.  Then Saturday night they thrust themselves into this conversation by destroying #9 Stanford 52-31.  There is no doubt this team can put up points.   They average 56 a game.  They also have a stud running back in LaMichael James who is averaging 8 yards a carry so far this season.  Believe it or not but all of this isn’t good enough for me.  I never believed in Stanford as a top tier team to begin with and that win didn’t impress me.  Oregon will fall at some point this season. They face unranked but talented teams in UCLA and Washington, Lane Kiffin’s USC Trojans, top ten Arizona, and bitter rival Oregon State the rest of the way. Pretender

Oklahoma: After surviving a mini scare from Texas at the Red River Shootout, Oklahoma is poised to make a run at the title.  DeMarco Murray is finally healthy and is showing why many have called him a premier threat in college football the last 3 years.  Landry Jones is an experienced quarterback after filling in for injured Sam Bradford last season.  They have an easy schedule the rest of the way, as the highest ranked opponent they play is #22 Oklahoma State.  They will be undefeated at season’s end but will be on the outside looking in when it comes to the national title. Contender

TCU: The Horned Frogs have done what they needed to do so far this season and that is win.  However they may have the weakest schedule of any team listed in this post.  Beating teams like Wyoming, Colorado State, and San Diego State won’t cut it.  No it is not their fault they are a mid-major team, but dear Lord please schedule someone that will bring credibility to your schedule. I watched their first game of the season against Oregon State and although they won 30-21 I wasn’t impressed.  They have 2 games left against top 25 opponents (@25 Air Force and #10 Utah) and will surely drop one if not both of those games. Pretender

NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers are on the verge of once again being a premier program in college football.  They are led by a true freshman quarterback in Taylor Martinez who can run just as good as he can throw.  The defense hasn’t missed a beat even with losing Ndomukung Suh to the NFL draft last season.  However, I am not a believer in freshman quarterbacks when there is any kind of pressure on them.  Soon the lights will shine a little too brightly for Mr. Martinez and his poor decision making (3 interceptions in 4 games against weak opponents)will cost the Cornhuskers a ball game.  Pretender

ARIZONA: Their stunning win over Iowa was no fluke.  Statistically they have the third best defense in the country.  There is no reason to really hate on the Wildcats other than the fact that they basically came out of nowhere.  The Pac10 schedule is just getting underway and they survived Cal this weekend 10-9.  There are too many tough games left for them for me to have any faith that they will be around a major bowl game come December.  Pretender

LSU: Les Miles has done everything he can so far this season to keep his job.  He has also had a little help.  It was a blessing for him that North Carolina wasn’t able to play their full squad against the Tigers due to suspensions. He caught another break this weekend as he had already lost to Tennessee after his quarterback fumbled what should of been the last play of the game, only to see that Tennessee had too many men on the field.  The Tigers have caught to many breaks already and don’t deserve to be undefeated.  They still have to face Alabama, Auburn, and Arkansas.  They will lose at least 2 out of those 3.  Pretender

AUBURN: There is no real reason for me to dislike Auburn here.  They already took down Spurrier’s Gamecocks and were able to beat Clemson in overtime.  They are eighth in the country in rushing. 3 out of their 5 games have come down to the wire.  They are battle tested and resilient.  They have LSU and Alabama left to play among top teams.  I think they could give Alabama a run for their money with their rushing offense.  The more I type here the more I am swaying myself to believe in Auburn as a Cinderella contender.  So I am going to do it.  Contender