Nov. 3, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly talks to his players in overtime against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 29-26 in triple overtime.
No. 9 Louisville-Syracuse, Saturday, 12 noon ET
Yep, Louisville is undefeated at 9-0 (4-0 in Big East) and might be looking ahead to the Nov. 29 matchup with Rutgers, also 4-0 in conference play. But the Cardinals have been anything but flawless, squeaking out wins over South Florida and Cincinnati before blowing out Temple last Saturday. Now, facing Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, Louisville could be in for a challenge. The Orange are playing better than their 4-5 record indicates, and winning in a dome stadium can be a challenge. I think the Cardinals hold on, but it won't be easy. CHANCE FOR UPSET: 2 PETE STELLA (@PeteStellaFOX) NOTE: Picks are based on BCS Standings from matchups including Top 25 teams and graded on a 0-5 scale, 5 being the greatest chance of an upset. No spread is used, just experience and gut feelings.
No. 11 Oregon State at No. 14 Stanford, Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET (on FOX)
Neither Oregon State (7-1, 5-1 Pac-12) nor Stanford (7-2, 5-1) are out of the running for the Pac-12 North title. But on Saturday, one of the teams most likely will be eliminated. Both are dealing with quarterback issues — Cody Vaz (pictured) is now the starter for the Beavers, Kevin Hogan for the Cardinal — and neither squad is as solid as it was earlier in the season. That being said, this a great matchup of two hungry teams (on FOX) that want to show doubters the Pac-12 is more than Oregon's flash and USC's history. CHANCE FOR UPSET: 4
Arizona State at No. 19 USC, Saturday, 3 p.m. ET
So the dream season for Matt Barkley (pictured) and the Trojans didn't work out as planned. Big deal. The Trojans (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) are still a good team, minus the defensive lapses and seemingly endless penalties, and host a pretty good Arizona State (5-4, 3-3) team looking to spoil the USC crowd's afternoon and become bowl eligible in Todd Graham's first year as coach. The Trojans will put up points, but can they stop the Sun Devils if they start putting together long drives? Will Lane Kiffin get more involved in coaching the defense? If USC keeps making mental mistakes, this one could get ugly. CHANCE FOR UPSET: 3
No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
You won't see many finishes as good as how Alabama-LSU ended a week ago. Thanks to AJ McCarron(pictured) and his legendary drive, the Crimson Tide (9-0, 6-0 SEC) remain undefeated for another week. Alabama will certainly be challenged when QB senstation Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M (7-2, 4-2) come to Tuscaloosa. It's hard now to picture the Crimson Tide losing, but looking past the Aggies is a dangerous thing to do. Although I expect Manziel to put a hurting on Alabama's stout defense, I don't see the Tide falling at any point this season. That being said, anything can happen. CHANCE FOR UPSET: 3
Penn State at No. 16 Nebraska, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Nebraska (7-2, 4-1 Big Ten) is sitting pretty in conference play and has three winnable games to close out the season. But one slipup, and Michigan is going to the Big Ten championship game (on FOX), not the Cornhuskers. With Penn State (6-3, 4-1) coming to down, expect an emotional game as the Memorial Stadium crowd will give the Nittany Lions a warm showing of respect. Can Kenny Bell (pictured) help get Nebraska that much closer to Indianapolis? Will Penn State come in with a nothing-to-lose mentality? I expect this one to be close until the third quarter. CHANCE FOR UPSET: 3
No. 2 Kansas State at TCU, Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET (on FOX)
With quarterback Collin Klein's status up in the air, is this the week that Kansas State's run at perfection ends? Coach Bill Snyder won't say what's wrong with Klein, so expect him to be a game-time decision. If the Heisman frontrunner can't go, the Wildcats (9-0, 6-0 Big 12) could be in some serious trouble playing at TCU (6-3, 3-3). Never underestimate a Gary Patterson-coach team, especially in big games. That being said, Kansas State is more than just Klein — see its great running game and hard-hitting defense. If a banged-up Klein leads the Wildcats the victory, the Heisman might be as good as his. CHANCE FOR UPSET: 5
No. 4 Notre Dame at Boston College, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
Will the undefeated Irish be tested on the road? Great question. So far in 2012, Notre Dame (9-0) has played only four games away from South Bend (doesn't Ireland and Chicago count as Irish home games, anyway?) and it will be interesting to see how the Irish react to whatever hostilities they run into. Boston College (2-7) isn't very good, but this is a rivalry game, so anything usually can and will happen. The Irish have also been anything but perfect (i.e. Pitt) and have shown they are beatable. But Notre Dame does seem to have some luck on its side as it chases a national championship. Will the Eagles spoil those plans? CHANCE FOR UPSET: 2