Three-legged races always go as planned, right?
With Nick Saban's Crimson Tide getting rolled at home by two-loss Texas A&M, the door has been flung open for a school outside of the SEC to win the BCS National Championship for the first time since Vince Young and Texas upset USC in 2005.
The irony, of course, is that the Aggies were invited into the conference only recently. Now, in its first season as members of the SEC, they have just about ruined the chances of anyone in their adopted conference winning the whole thing.
One member of the Pac-12, another from the Big 12 and even an independent are laughing their faces off at such an ironic twist so late in the season, but even still, only two of the three remaining unbeatens can reach the promised land.
It is a three-legged race to the finish. Which program is going to fall flat on its face and which two are going to be laughing all the way to the BCS National Championship?Get the rundown here.
The nation is being taught how to Ducky
Record: 10-0, 7-0 Pac-12
Remaining games: vs. No. 13 Stanford, Saturday; at No. 16 Oregon State, Nov. 24
Number of top-10 wins: 0
Number of top-25 wins: 3
Most impressive victory: 49-0 versus then-No. 22 Arizona, Sept. 22
Least impressive victory: 62-51 at then-No. 17 USC, Nov. 3
The rundown: Chip Kelly's squad has been putting on a clinic in how to Ducky since Day 1. Not only do the Ducks lead the country in scoring offense, averaging 54.8 points per contest, but the program also ranks third in rushing (325.1 yards) and total offense (562.6 yards).
What is even more scary for opposing defenses (of which Notre Dame boasts an elite unit and K-State's has more than held its own against a series of Big 12 gunslingers) is the emergence of redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Generally powered by the quick feet of Heisman candidate's Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas, Mariota stepped out of their shadows and into the Trophy spotlight himself after tossing six touchdown passes against Cal on Saturday.
Oregon has probably the toughest schedule going forward, but if they can keep sprinting towards touchdowns on every drive, Kelly and Co. will have sprinted to the finish line first as well.
Big games in the Little Apple
Record: 10-0, 7-0 Big 12
Remaining games: at Baylor, Saturday; vs. No. 15 Texas, Dec. 1
Number of top-10 wins: 1
Number of top-25 wins: 4
Most impressive victory: 24-19 at then-No. 6 Oklahoma, Sept. 22
Least impressive victory: 27-21 at Iowa State, Oct. 13
The rundown: Led by Collin Klein, the 6-foot-5, 226 pound bruising runner, passer and soul of the undefeated Wildcats, K-State has been causing quite a stir in Manhattan, Kansas. How good has Klein been exactly? Over the past two seasons, Klein has either passed and rushed for a combined 71 touchdowns in 23 games. The dude is definitely ready for the big BCS Bowl stage (not to mention the championship game).
Now that Alabama has suffered a loss, the spotlight is burning as bright in the Midwest as it is in the big Apple. If 73-year old coach Bill Snyder can keep the wins coming, his squad will soon be in a show far bigger than anything put out on Broadway.
Those crazy-dominant Catholics
Remaining games: vs. Wake Forest, Saturday; at No. 18 USC, Nov. 24
Number of top-10 wins: 2
Number of top-25 wins: 4
Most impressive victory: 30-13 at then-No. 8 Oklahoma, Oct. 27
Least impressive victory: 29-26 in triple overtime versus Pitt, Nov. 3
The rundown: These Catholics may be crazy-dominant, but that compliment really only extends to its defense. Everyone and their mother knows Collin Klein is the heart and soul of K-State, and those same folks had better be aware of Manti Te'o for the Irish. How many linebackers are second in the nation with six interceptions? Only the most crazy-dominant, and that is Te'o, a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Young Everett Golson is a dual-threat star in the making, but he is easily the worst starting quarterback of the three remaining unbeaten squads.
Notre Dame's last two games are looking more and more like gimmies as the season progresses. Notre Dame is going to have to blowout both Wake Forest and USC to have any prayer of jumping either Kansas State or Oregon, especially because the Irish do not play in a conference championship game, which would theoretically provide the program with one more opportunity to show off its dominance.
Information and statistics from ESPN.com were used in this article.
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