Four undefeated teams remain in college football so the question is whether any of them will lose before the end of the regular season. The answer may be yes, but do not expect any of them to lose this weekend. For starters, Oregon, Auburn and TCU are each off this week. At least we get to watch Boise State in action on Friday night. The Broncos host Fresno State.
With little to look forward to in terms of the top four spots in the BCS rankings, barring a major upset of the Broncos, we look elsewhere for teams that should be on upset alert this week. Here are five teams with something to play for that should be sure not to sleep through their game this week.
No. 7 Wisconsin
The Big Ten championship is still up for grabs between the Wisconsin Badgers, Ohio State Buckeyes (more on them in a minute) and Michigan State Spartans, and with just two weeks left in the Big Ten schedule each game will be carefully watched. We start with the Badgers who take to the road and head to Michigan Stadium to take on the Michigan Wolverines (7-3, 3-3 Big Ten). If Michigan’s Denard Robinson is healthy then Michigan has a chance to win on any given Saturday.
The last time Wisconsin played at Michigan, in 2008, the ninth-ranked Badgers were upset by the unranked Wolverines 27-25. The last time Wisconsin won in the Big House was in 1994 when unranked Wisconsin upended tenth-ranked Michigan.
No. 9 Ohio State
at #20 Iowa
Staying in the Big Ten we have the Ohio State Buckeyes, fresh off a 38-14 blowout of Penn State in Columbus, traveling to Iowa City to take on the reeling Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa and Ohio State played an epic de facto Big Ten championship last year in the Horseshoe, which went to the Buckeyes. Iowa, coming off a loss at Northwestern, should be more than ticked off. With their chances of winning the Big Ten once again dashed, Kirk Ferentz will have his team ready to make sure the team that took them out last year receives their payback.
If Iowa can jump on Ohio State early, much as Penn State did, look for Iowa to have an easier time holding back Ohio State. Penn State allowed 35 second-half points after leading 14-3 in Columbus last weekend. Iowa would not do the same.
No. 8 Nebraska
at No. 19 Texas A&M
A win would give the Huskers the Big 12 North division championship and clinch a spot in the Big 12 championship game for a second straight season. Bo Pelini’s team has only lost one game this season (Texas) and the dream scenario of winning the Big 12 championship in their final season in the conference remains very much intact.
This week the Huskers travel to College Station to take on Texas A&M, who happens to still be keeping an eye on the Big 12 South championship. A win is required by Jerrod Johnson and company. The Aggies’ passing game will be a good challenge for Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara and the rest of the Nebraska secondary. The Aggies are eighth in the nation in passing. Nebraska cannot afford to get into another shootout this season.
No. 14 Oklahoma
Just because Baylor lost the last two games against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State does not mean you should count them out from the possibility of scoring an upset. Baylor’s offense, led by quarterback Robert Griffin III, is still dangerous against any team in the country. The Bears have had some magic this season and even though the Cinderella story was rudely disturbed the past two weeks, there is still some fight in this team. Ending the season at home with a win would only be fitting before going to a bowl game.
Oklahoma has been known to play some close games against underdogs this season such as Utah State, Air Force and Cincinnati. The Sooners are not invincible in Big 12 play either, having lost to Missouri and Texas A&M this season. Both losses have come on the road.
No. 25 Florida State
If there is anything I have learned about the ACC this season it is that you just cannot assume that a team has taken control of its division. This week the ACC’s Atlantic Division is up for grabs as the Florida State Seminoles wrap up their ACC schedule at Maryland. A win by the Seminoles will send them to the ACC championship game in a couple weeks (they end the season against Florida). The Terrapins have surprised many by making their own run for the division.
Maryland is 4-0 at home this year (5-0 if you include the opening game of the season against Navy played in Baltimore’s M&T Stadium). The Terps still have one more division game to play next week (against North Carolina State) but it will not matter if they can’t come up with a win against the Seminoles. Florida State has lost to Maryland just twice since1992 when Florida State joined the ACC. The two have played each year since then.