Nine unbeatens left as season nears halfway point

October 14, 2009

With the BCS standings due out Sunday, here's a look at the long-term forecasts for the perfect teams to see which ones might be able to keep the zero in the loss column through the regular season (including conference championship games).

No. 1 Florida (5-0) - Assessment: Gators have done nothing to damage their status as favorites to win the national title, even though their offense is not quite as balanced as Urban Meyer would like. Florida is perfect but not flawless.

Remaining schedule: Tim Tebow and Co. will be double-digit favorites until they get to the Southeastern Conference title game, where they could very well face ...

No. 2 Alabama (6-0) - Assessment: The Tide has been even more impressive than Florida, mostly based on the opening victory against Virginia Tech.


Remaining schedule: Tougher than Florida's but probably not tough enough to keep Tide from rolling into Atlanta for a matchup of unbeaten teams.

No. 3 Texas (5-0) - Assessment: Longhorns still struggle to run the ball and have yet to beat another Top-25 team.

Remaining schedule: Any questions about Colt McCoy's crew will be answered over the next three weeks: Oklahoma, at Missouri, at Oklahoma State. They haven't looked like a team that can sweep through that.

No. 5 Boise State (5-0) - Assessment: The victory against Oregon looks better with every victory the Ducks rack up.

Remaining schedule: Weak. Broncos should run the table. To have any chance at playing in the BCS national title game, they need to not only win but win big. Even then it will be tough.

No. 8 Cincinnati (5-0) - Assessment: Tony Pike and the Bearcats' offense have been humming, and the rebuilt defense has been better than expected.

Remaining schedule: Plenty of tough games left, starting Thursday night at South Florida. But coach Brian Kelly's offense makes the Bearcats a legitimate dark horse to reach the BCS national title game.

No. 11 Iowa (6-0) - Assessment: Good defense, solid kickers, OK offense and some luck. Hawkeyes are second in nation in takeaways and tied for fifth in turnover margin, which explains why they've won all those close games.

Remaining schedule: Consecutive road games starting Saturday at Wisconsin (followed by at Michigan State) should take care of the Hawkeyes' 10-game winning streak.

No. 12 TCU (5-0) - Another typically strong TCU team, with top-10 defense and strong running game. Road victories against Virginia and Clemson might not look quite so impressive at season's end.

Remaining schedule - Going unbeaten in the Mountain West won't be easy, but if the Frogs do, they could at least pass Boise State and be a BCS buster for the first time.

No. 17 Kansas (5-0) - Todd Reesing leads potent offense. The defense? Not so good. Jayhawks haven't beaten an opponent of consequence yet.

Remaining schedule - After a trip to Colorado on Saturday, KU finally starts playing some serious competition, including Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska. The losses will come.

No. 21 South Florida (5-0) - Season-ending injury to Matt Grothe seemed to be a season-killer, but B.J. Daniels looks like a more than adequate replacement. However, that victory at Florida State is really the only notable accomplishment so far. And even that's not saying much.

Remaining schedule (5-0) - Like the Jayhawks, investors should be bearish on the Bulls. Their next three games: Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh, West Virginia. And they play Miami in November.