It’s kind of weird to be an alum of a “football school” in a year when said school is …not that good at football, or at least not as good as we usually are. For the first time in a while, no amount of computer poll weirdness, upsets, or bizarre tiebreakers are going to get my Sooners in a BCS bowl. And we’re not the only ones in this boat (Hi, USC!).
As of this week (and for most of the season, really), the top contenders for the BCS Championship game are Texas (hate, for obvious reasons), Florida (hate, for last year), and Alabama (hate, for Nick Saban). So I thought I’d look at the “underdogs” still in BCS contention — underdogs here not necessarily meaning a non BCS conference school, but a team that isn’t (or hasn’t been in the BCS era) a football power. And of course, there are pictures.
Texas Christian (10-0)
Current BCS rank: 4
Big Wins: at Clemson, at BYU, Utah
Chance at Championship: Better than you might think. Easily the best of the non-BCS schools (sorry, Boise State fans), if TCU wins out and either Texas, Florida, or Alabama slip up (the Florida or Alabama loss would have to come before the SEC Championship game, though), TCU might just sneak into a top 2 spot. But more likely, they’ll wind up as this year’s undefeated spoiler, taking on the SEC Championship game loser.
Horned Frog quarterback Andy Dalton, a junior who is not afraid of contact …
…and has the most lovely red hair. (I’m a sucker for redheads.)
And also, as featured at the top of the post, defensive back Jerry Hughes.
Current BCS rank: 5
Big Wins: at Oregon State, at Rutgers, West Virginia
Chance at Championship: Kind of the same as TCU, with the added complication of also needing to jump TCU somehow. A win at current no. 9 Pittsburgh on Dec. 5 and the human polls’ preference for BCS conference schools could help them out there.
The Bearcats have an odd QB situation, in that last year’s starter, senior Tony Pike, is returning from an injury but his backup, sophomore Zach Collaros, is not too shabby himself. In last week’s win, Collaros handled the bulk of the drives…
If you aren’t into the 2 QB system, look for sophomore running back Isiah Pead. He’s fast and pretty.
Georgia Tech (10-1)
Current BCS rank: 7
Big Wins: Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Chance at Championship: Virtually none, at least not as long as there are still undefeated teams (or, let’s face it, one loss SEC teams) ahead of them. But winning out could result in an entertaining match up with an at large team (or even one of the above underdogs). I mostly included them because the only thing I think about when I hear “Georgia Tech football” is “George O’Leary“ and I felt like I should rectify that.
Junior QB Josh Nesbitt
and Junior RB Jonathan Dwyer, who just last game went over 3,000 yards for his college career.
If your team is having a down year, like mine, or if you just need someone to root for in the BCS, now at least you have some options besides the Tebow/McCoy/Saban media darlings. I’m leaning towards TCU for my dark horse championship favorite, but I’d be okay pulling for any of these teams to win a little extra hardware during their semester breaks. We’ll see how it all shakes out over the next few weeks.