At the beginning of the season there were 120 undefeated teams who dreamed of playing the role of spoiler and taking down the mighty Goliath’s of college football. Several promising underclassmen turned down millions of dollars in the NFL choosing instead to play another year to improve their draft stock, contend for a BCS title and earn the diploma that they promised their friends and loved ones that they would get.
Although the season is far from over in only a short time several teams have been given a harsh reality check that a National Championship will not be in their future and many talented underclassmen who passed on the NFL Draft last year may certainly be regretting their decision at this time.
In week four of the college football season we were treated to a number of surprises that will certainly make for a compelling 2012-13 season. The race for the National Title is completely wide open with Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State looking like prohibitive favorites. In addition to adding a win to the win column these teams also avoided the injury bug that has already compromised the chances of other title contenders. The Road to the BCS title is a marathon not a sprint and how these three teams perform will shape the National title picture.
The Alabama Crimson Tide appear to have the toughest road ahead with tough games remaining against the defensively stout LSU Tigers, pass happy Tennessee Volunteers, and hated in-state rival the Auburn Tigers. Led by the arm of AJ Mccarrons and an ever improving defense each week the Tide will be expected to win, even on November 3rd against LSU.
Although the SEC is praised as the deepest conference, this year that title may belong to the Pac 12. Outside of Colorado who upset Washington State, the conference is riddled with land mines that can destroy the Oregon Ducks title chances. The Ducks have seven games left on their schedule and 6 of those seven will be ranked in the top 25 by season’s end. Outside of their obvious match-up against USC on November 3rd there will be many in conference foes who will have the offensive firepower to score and the ability to confuse their first year starting quarterback.
Many will foolishly assume that the Seminoles have the easiest route to the BCS title game but in reality there road may actually be the toughest because they will be expected to win every game. The Seminoles will not face another ranked in conference opponent for the rest of the season besides Virginia Tech. Coach Fisher must get his team to not overlook any opponent and follow the process as his mentor Coach Saban taught him. When the Seminoles play against their instate rival the Florida Gators more than state pride will be on the line.
How each of these teams respond to heightened expectation will say a lot about the talent and leadership on their teams, and the quality of coaching on the sidelines and in the sky box. Will they stay strong or will one of these teams falter? Who will outwit and outlast the other? College football fans it appears that another exciting season awaits us. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)