Is it just me, or does there seem to be an inordinate number of undefeated teams right now? We're a little over a third of the way through the season, and usually we are down to about ten undefeated. Currently, there are seventeen undefeated teams and as we all know, LSU is not one of them.
LSU needs two things to happen over the next two months: they need to win every single game and they need a lot of other teams to lose. Now, being undefeated right now can be an illusion of schedule. If a team plays three or four Directional Schools and then gets an easy draw in the first conference games, then boom! Undefeated. The poseurs will begin to shake themselves out as the conference schedule gets going in force. Just ask Maryland.
Let's look at the seventeen teams we will be cheering against, by conference.
The Wins: The Cardinals beat Ohio, EKU, and FIU by a combined score of 165-14, so we know they can beat the hell out of a hapless opponent. Against teams with a pulse? Who knows? Louisville looked mortal against Kentucky and only won by 14, and last weekend's 30-7 win over Temple is nothing special.
The Schedule: It's conference games from here on out. Maybe Rutgers or UCF will pose a threat, and Houston is also currently unbeaten. The season ends with a trip to Cincinnati.
The Verdict: This team is not a lock to go undefeated, but it's about as close to a lock as you can get. That said, their schedule is so anemic that they have literally no chance of going to the BCSCG. They will likely win out and enjoy a trip to the Orange Bowl.
The Wins: Well, they beat Temple by 9, so they have a Louisville Transitive Factor of -14. The Cougars struggled to beat Rice, but a win's a win, right?
The Schedule: Pretty much the same as Louisville's, only they have to, you know, play Louisville. There's also a home game against BYU in two weeks.
The Verdict: Houston has virtually no chance of going undefeated. They are yet to play a good team, so bowl eligibility isn't even assured right now, though it's looking good.
The Wins: Clemson has the single best win in college football right now, their season opener against Georgia. They convincingly beat always frisky NCSU, and blew out Wake and Syracuse.
The Schedule: Still brutal. Clemson has a date with Florida St in two weeks, the rest of the ACC slate, and then a season closing game against cross-state rival South Carolina.
The Verdict: If Clemson loses a game, it won't be Clemsoning, it will be the result of one of the tougher schedules in the country. Right now, they look like one of the very best teams in the country.
The Wins: They blew out Maryland and Pitt, and the second half of Boston College.
The Schedule: Clemson. Miami. Florida. NC State. And if you get through that, the ACC title game against Virginia Tech or Miami (again). Yeah, it's tough.
The Verdict: It's hard to imagine a team lead by a freshman QB to navigate that schedule unscathed. LSU desperately needs the FSU/Clemson winner to lose a game, but the schedules will co-operate.
The Wins: They were on the field when Florida imploded. They also beat Georgia Tech, which isn't nothing.
The Schedule: Florida St looms, as does Virginia Tech. Those games are back to back. Good luck.
The Verdict: It's hard to imagine the Canes winning out and then winning an ACC title game. It's possible, but I'm pretty skeptical.
The Wins: Good wins over Notre Dame and West Virginia. The Sooners also outlasted a tough TCU squad.
The Schedule: It's all Big 12 from here on out. There's the two other undefeated squads, as well as Oklahoma St. And there's always the possibility Texas could pull the upset... just kidding.
The Verdict: Only one team can come out of the Big 12 undefeated, and there's also a pretty deep roster of decent teams who can beat you on the right night. OU looks a bit down, but they are always a threat.
The Wins: A whole bunch of nobodies, capped off with a thrashing of West Virginia.
The Schedule: The other eight Big 12 teams.
The Verdict: We know next to nothing about Baylor, as they have padded their record by playing a schedule so soft that even Bill Snyder would be ashamed to play it. However, given how badly they just beat WVU, there is the real possibility Baylor is awesome. There's also the possibility they are an illusion of scheduling.
The Wins: Tech won the worst officiated game of the season over TCU which would have been played under protest if you can do that sort of thing in football. Oh, and they beat SMU and Kansas.
The Schedule: Actual good teams.
The Verdict: Unless they can get the same officiating crew for the rest of the year, Tech is not going unbeaten.
The Wins: The Buckeyes have two pretty impressive scalps, beating Wisconsin and Northwestern.
The Schedule: And those were two of the toughest games OSU will play all year. There's a season closer against Michigan and a potential Big Ten title game, but before then? The Leaders division houses such powerhouses as Indiana, Illinois, Penn St, and Purdue. OSU's biggest challenge until the last game might be next week's game against Iowa.
The Verdict: Wow, things set up beautifully for the Buckeyes. They are almost assuredly will go into the Michigan game undefeated. Their biggest issue will be strength of schedule, as they will go all season without playing a top ten team. Then again, there's no way the BCS keeps out a Buckeye team coming off back to back unbeaten seasons.
The Wins: The Wolverines are perhaps the least impressive 5-0 team in history, eking out wins over Akron and UConn.
The Schedule: A lot stiffer than Ohio State's. They have divisional games against Northwestern, Sparty, and Nebraska, plus a cross-divisional match-up against the Buckeyes.
The Verdict: Not as impossible as it seems on the surface. Hey, they did beat Notre Dame. Michigan will be favored in every game save the Ohio St game. It's pretty unlikely they get through divisional play, but they keep finding ways to win.
The Wins: They are 2-0 against the Big Ten with wins over Iowa and Purdue.
The Schedule: Ball St is the biggest obstacle, but the Huskies caught a break by avoiding the two best teams in the East, Bowling Green and Ohio. They would have to play one in the title game, but their schedule is Bama-esque.
The Verdict: They won't crash the BCS party again, but an undefeated season is not unreasonable due to their soft conference schedule. It's a lot easier to win the conference when you don't play half of the best teams.
The Wins: They won a thriller over Boise and an OT game against Rutgers.
The Schedule: UNLV is probably the toughest game remaining, until the MWC title game and a potential rematch with Boise.
The Verdict: Fresno is the kind of team that always finds a way to drop a game. They will be fun to follow, but I'm predicting they drop a game they shouldn't.
The Wins: Clemson has the best single win, but Stanford might have the best resume. The Cardinal already has big wins over Arizona St and Washington.
The Schedule: UCLA, both Oregon schools, and Notre Dame. No biggee.
The Verdict: Oregon is the more glamorous team, but Stanford might be playing even better. They have a monster schedule, though. IT's very likely they could beat Oregon and lose somewhere else along the way. The schedule is brutal.
The Wins: The Ducks have outscored teams from ACQ conferences 230-56 over four games. Now, none of those teams are all that good, but still. That's unbelievable.
The Schedule: UCLA, Stanford, Arizona and then the Civil War. Has anyone else noticed how good the Pac-12 is this year?
The Verdict: Oregon has a track record of success, but I do think they are a bit of a paper tiger. Yes, they are killing teams, but they are not killing good teams yet. They are not going to waltz past the rest of their schedule, as the teams get a lot tougher. That said, they are probably the best team in the country. Just don't expect them to beat good teams by 40.
The Wins: That Nebraska game was fun, huh? Needed a late stop to beat Utah.
The Schedule: How did they end up playing both Oregon and Stanford? UCLA also has divisional games against the two Arizona schools, who are a threat to win the division.
The Verdict: UCLA has been a pleasant surprise, but reality is going to set in soon. The schedule is unbelievably tough.
The Wins: We make fun of the Tide's schedule, but they have two huge wins over Virginia Tech and Texas A&M. That takes a backseat to no one right now, especially when you throw in a win over Ole Miss.
The Schedule: A lot easier from this point on. LSU is the only ranked team left on the schedule, and then there's the Iron Bowl followed by the SECCG.
The Verdict: It's up to us. Really, if LSU loses to Alabama, this is all academic anyway.
The Wins: Indiana isn't a total chump, but Mizzou is hanging their hat on a 23 point thrashing of Vandy.
The Schedule: The next three weeks: @Georgia, Florida, south Carolina. Good luck.
The Verdict: About the same as a snowball's chance in hell. But we're rooting for y'all.