As we enter week nine of the college football season, the national title picture seems to be beginning to come clear, but so many big games left on the schedule, it’s far from over. The top five undefeated schools (Alabama, Florida, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame) certainly control their own destinies, but don’t be surprised if some sleepers propel themselves into the conversation in November. Here are five schools to look out for down the line.
1. #6 LSU
Some might not consider LSU a sleeper, but let’s face it. Since the Tigers lost to the Gators a few weeks ago, people seemed to have forgotten about them. The Tigers, with the exception of Tyrann Mathieu, are basically the same squad that went to the National Championship a year ago and at number six, they definitely have a chance to get in if some teams lose. The Tigers would surely throw their hat back in the ring next week if they knock off number one Alabama and since they beat Bama once last year and are at home for this year’s contest, it’s far from unlikely. Consider yourself warned. The Tigers are still in the hunt.
2. #7 Oregon State
I know, crazy right? Nobody gave the Beavers a chance this year to do much of anything, but here they are ranked number seven and with two games against top ten schools left on their schedule. It’s a longhsot for sure, but if the Beavers can beat USC and Oregon, there’s no way you can keep them out of the national title game. Of course, the hardest part for Oregon State will be actually winning those games, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Oregon State has already knocked off two ranked teams this season.
3. #10 Georgia
For the Bulldogs, their season basically rides on today’s matchup with Florida. However, if the Bulldogs can pull it off, which I actually think they will, they could crack the top five and then sneak in if some other teams lose down the line. The toughest game for Georgia after this week is Ole Miss, so they are likely to win out. Then if they can win the SEC Championship game, I think they would be a shoo-in, even with one loss. And for those who say they can’t beat Florida, keep in mind that the Gators have not faced an offense with as many weapons as the Bulldogs, who score 40 points a game and put up 300 yards on average through the air.
4. #11 Mississippi State
The other SEC Bulldogs are also still in the mix with a 7-0 record and a chance to take down number one this week. Miss State has a date with Bama today and a chance to leap frog several teams in the BSC standings with a win. Obviously, the opportunity is there for the Bulldogs, but the schedule will present even more challenges, as they still have yet to play LSU and Texas A & M. Can the Dogs do it? It’s possible, but we will see what they are really made of this week.
5. #15 Rutgers/#16 Louisville
I know I said five teams, but let’s throw one more in there. One of these two could become a sleeper because one of them will almost assuredly go undefeated. For these squads it will likely come to the last game of the season when they play each other and looking at each teams’ schedules, it’s safe to say they could both be undefeated entering that game, which means they will both probably be ranked in the top ten at that time. So, we can reasonably conclude that whoever prevails will get a lot of BCS cred and depending on what happens elsewhere, one of these schools could sneak in. I know, it’s a lot of ifs. These teams are the definition of sleeper, but remember. You heard it here first, so don’t be shocked if it happens.