Top spots open up for BCS Championship football
Before the weekend, all the talk was about who deserved to be Alabama’s opponent in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship game.
There were the Oregon Ducks, whose high-powered offence has been smashing scoring records this season, led by De’Anthony Thomas and freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota.
There was quarterback Colin Klein, the favourite for this season’s Heisman Trophy, who is leading his Kansas State side in the race for second.
Then there was Notre Dame, a team that continues to defy everyone and win, and whose linebacker Manti Te’o will likely be the No. 1 NFL draft pick for 2013.
But that was before the weekend. An unfancied Texas A&M side rolled into Tuscaloosa, before a hostile crowd of 105,000.
In 15 minutes of brilliance in the first quarter by freshman quarterback Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel, they piled on a 20-point lead which Alabama just failed to pull back.
Now rather than scrapping for a single spot with Alabama in the National Championship game, the three sides are looking at the prospect of filling both spots.
But just as it was unforeseeable to see Alabama drop a game, the unpredictability of College Football could see one or more of these sides fall, and Alabama sitting in fourth ready to get back into the mix.
All three have tricky draws to overcome.
Kansas State has the lowly ranked Baylor away and Texas at home. They scraped home by one point over Baylor last season and have lost their last two on the road against them.
Texas can run hot or cold, and if they turn it on they could cause headaches as well. Being the new top-ranked side, Kansas will have a big bullseye on them, and there would be nothing a team like Baylor would like to do more than spoil the party.
Oregon has a tough run home. They play Stanford, and the winner of that could well win their conference. They have the benefit of home turf there, but the local derby where they play Oregon State away could have the capacity for an upset.
Notre Dame comes up against a Wake Forest side which it should handle, and then the big test when it travels to southern California to play a team who was ranked second pre-season. This will be a real litmus test for them.
The season is far from over, and there look like being some brilliant clashes which should keep me happy over the next few Sundays.
Its great to see the NFL stars of the future and the quality of freshman they have going around this year, particularly in the quarterback spot. You will see some amazing talent hit the NFL come 2015.
For the sake of College Football in the US, I hope at least two of these sides remain undefeated, and negate the stranglehold the Southeastern Conference has over the National Championship.