After Alabama unexpectedly fell to Texas A&M last week, college football was left with just three undefeated teams vying for the two coveted spots in the National Championship game. Since such a seemingly flawless team like Alabama lost a week ago, needless to say, it got people talking about which unbeaten team might fall next. Let’s see if that could happen this week as we take a look at the matchups involving each of the undefeated teams this week.
#1 Kansas State 10-0 at Baylor 4-5
Most would say Kansas State is safe this week against a sub .500 Baylor team, but as we’ve learned in recent weeks and in years past, no one is safe this time of year when the pressure of the title game begins to mount, looming over blemish-free teams.
Of course, Kansas State has the advantage if they play like they have all year, but don’t consider Baylor a non-threat. Not only is Baylor at home, which always gives a team an edge, but they also have a very potent offense (2nd in total yards, 7th in scoring), that once it gets going is hard for any team to stop. We saw this offense at full power in week one’s game against West Virginia, a game that resulted in a loss for Baylor, but still saw them score 63 points.
Let’s also not forget that this is Kansas State’s first time being number one in school history. Now they have the target on their backs and they are certainly not used to it. The inexperience of their current position and the pressure may get to them.
I expect Baylor to play well in this type of environment, but I think K State will have enough to squeak out a win and improve to 11-0 with Baylor covering +13 points.
#13 Stanford 8-2 at #2 Oregon 10-0
The game many have on upset watch today is Stanford at Oregon. Although Oregon has dominated each and every opponent that has come into its path, Stanford may present the biggest challenge its faced all year.
As the top scoring team in the nation (54.8 PPG), Oregon has proven to have a balanced attack, but it’s no secret that Oregon prefers to establish and do most of its damage with the run game (325.1 YPG, 3rd in the nation). That will not be as easy to do against Stanford, who boasts the nation’s best run defense, allowing fewer than 60 yards per game.
Determined to stop the run last week, Cal limited Oregon to fewer than 200 rushing yards, but the Ducks responded by throwing for nearly 400. With so many offensive weapons and options, it’s hard to imagine Stanford completely shutting down the Ducks. That said, I think this will be the smallest margin of victory for Oregon this season, as Stanford covers +20 points.
Wake Forest 5-5 at #3 Notre Dame 10-0
Notre Dame has the easiest matchup of the three today, a home game against a struggling Wake Forest squad. The Demon Deacons will likely have a hard time scoring against the best defense in the country in terms of points against, as the Irish are allowing just 11.1 points per game and when you factor in that the Deacons only score 20.1 per game anyway, it looks like some serious tough sledding for them on the road.
This one is the easiest to call, as the Irish should dominate, covering the -23.5 spread en route to win number 11 on the year.