The BCS standings could face a serious shakeup over the next couple of weeks, with the top three teams facing big tests: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 13 LSU, No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 5 Stanford, and No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 7 Miami (Fla.).
Of the three, which is most likely to stumble in its next game?
I'm going with Oregon. Styles make fights, and Stanford's defensive style will make for a good matchup against Oregon, which has demoralized and blown teams away this season with their explosive offense. The Ducks will face a Cardinal defense that makes it difficult for teams to execute big plays. That does not mean that Stanford will win, but of the top three teams, I believe the Cardinal have the best opportunity to pull the upset: In addition to their defensive style, they have homefield advantage, and don't forget they beat Oregon last year in Eugene. This one will be fun.
- Chase Goodbread NFL Draft 365
All three will be tested, but especially Oregon
In terms of straight probabilities, the upset risk for these three is probably spread equally. Stanford's style, which it stubbornly applies to take something Oregon normally owns -- control of tempo -- has been known to give the Ducks fits. Miami's rich history of spoiling some of the most promising FSU seasons beckons for the upset call in the ACC. In LSU, Alabama will meet the only team on its entire regular-season schedule capable of controlling the line of scrimmage against the Tide. If we're shooting darts at the board, however, the gut says Stanford flips the upset switch.
- Mike Huguenin NFL Draft 365
Homefield, strong defense give Stanford upset shot
The first highly ranked team to lose definitely won't be Florida State, which should overwhelm Miami (Fla.) with its offense. I think Oregon has a slightly bigger opportunity to lose than Alabama, simply because the Ducks will be on the road against the second-best team in their conference. This Stanford team isn't as good as the past two or three Cardinal squads, but I think Stanford's defense -- even without DE Ben Gardner -- will cause issues for Oregon with its physical nature. Stanford's offense isn't going to score all that much, but I think its defense can keep Oregon in the low 20s, and that gives the Cardinal a chance for the upset. For Alabama to lose to LSU, Tigers QB Zach Mettenberger is going to have to throw for 300 yards and at least three TDs. He can do that. But he also has to avoid mistakes, and I don't think he can do that.
- Dan Greenspan NFL Draft 365
Vulnerable Tide secondary will have trouble vs. LSU duo
If styles make fights, the most vulnerable team has to be Alabama. Stanford is too inconsistent in the passing game, which will allow Oregon to stack the box against the Cardinal rushing attack. Florida State has the offensive firepower to overwhelm opportunistic Miami (Fla.), which has relied on its defense to get to 7-0. But LSU has the wide receivers in Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry to challenge a Crimson Tide secondary that looked plenty vulnerable in that shootout with Texas A&M and is now without stalwart safety Vinnie Sunseri for the season. Mix in the latest crop of ridiculously athletic Tiger defensive linemen to get after AJ McCarron, and this will be another dramatic LSU-Alabama affair.