There are 20 remaining undefeated teams at the FBS level. We are going to rank their shot at the national title game from 1-20. This is not a ranking based on who are the best teams, but of their chances of getting to the title game.
1) Alabama (4-0) : AP – 1 Coaches – 1
Nobody is going to slide Alabama down unless they lose a game. Their SEC schedule is a breeze outside of LSU on November 9. That game is at Alabama though. The Tide’s SEC Title game against probably UGA will not be easy.
2) Stanford (4-0) : AP – 5 Coaches – 5
I have Stanford here ahead of Clemson or Oregon, because the Cardinal don’t have a really tough road game remaining. They get both Washington and Oregon at home. They only leave Palo Alto three times the rest of the year.
3) Ohio State (4-0) : AP – 4 Coaches – 3
I haven’t been all that impressed by Ohio State. If I were ranking teams they’d be about 9 or 10, but their path to the Title game in a soft Big 10 is not difficult. At Northwestern on October 5th might their toughest game. I thought the season ender at Michigan would be trouble, but the Wolverines have issues of their own.
4) Clemson (4-0) : AP – 3 Coaches – 4
The Tigers win over Georgia will resonate all year, as the Bulldogs barring something unforeseen will be the SEC East Champions. They get FSU at home which is plus, but there’s still a tricky game at Maryland and of course the rivalry game with South Carolina in Columbia who have owned Clemson in recent years.
5) Oregon (4-0) : AP – 2 Coaches – 2
I think the Ducks might be best team in the country, but the problem is they have two very difficult road games left. They still have to play at Washington and at Stanford. If they win both they’ve earned their spot in the title game.
6) Florida State (4-0): AP – 8 Coaches – 8
There’s a big dropoff from the top 5 teams to here. The Noles will need some losses from the top 5 teams. The schedule has enough meat to catch people’s attention. There’s still games with Clemson, Miami, Florida plus a possible ACC Title game where they won’t face a 6 win team again.
7) Louisville (4-0): AP – 7 Coaches – 7
Louisville’s schedule kills them. Central Florida and Rutgers are decent, but those are the best teams the Cardinals will face. All Louisville can do is win and hope a lot of teams lose including 1 loss teams like Georgia and LSU.
8) Oklahoma (4-0): AP – 11 Coaches – 10
Oklahoma needs even more help than FSU. The Big 12 doesn’t have another top 10 team, so their opportunities will be limited. In fact they don’t face a current top 15 team the rest of the year. Who knew that in 2013 that the ACC would provide more marquee games than the Big 12.
9) Miami (4-0): AP – 14 Coaches – 14
The Canes are starting pretty far back, but they do have a win over Florida already. Unless Miami wins at FSU they probably can’t get in the discussion, but if they do they could move up fast. They get Virginia Tech at home, plus the ACC Title game over a ranked Clemson or FSU team.
10) Northwestern (4-0) : AP – 16 Coaches – 15
The Wildcats can make a major move if they beat Ohio State this week at home. Should they win that game and win at Wisconsin the week after, they could run the table. Seriously…
11) Baylor (3-0) : AP – 17 Coaches 16
Baylor is scoring points at an alarming rate, and they get Oklahoma and Texas Tech at home. Oklahoma St. on the road could be a test. Baylor could win out which is good, but there are only a couple of games that would impress voters that’s bad.
12) Fresno St. (4-0) : AP – 23 Coaches – 21
Who is going to beat Fresno St.? That’s why they are higher up this list, than teams that are probably better than they are. They have a great shot to win out, but there are too many teams to jump over. BCS Buster though? Could happen…
13) Washington (4-0) : AP – 15 Coaches – 18
The Pac 12, the country’s best conference, is just brutal this year. The Huskies are an excellent team, but still have to play Oregon, at Stanford, and at UCLA. The Pac 12 just has too many landmines even at the middle of the conference.
14) UCLA (3-0): AP – 12 Coaches – 13
I really like the Bruins. QB Brett Hundley is great, but they aren’t winning games at Oregon and at Stanford. If they happen to steal one they aren’ t winning both.
15) Michigan (4-0) : AP – 17 Coaches – 19
The Wolverines problem is they just aren’t that good. They’ve been winning with smoke mirrors, and should have lost to Akron or UCONN if not both.
16) Northern Illinois (4-0) : AP – (-) Coaches – 23
The Huskies are 2-0 against the Big 10 this year, and it’s very possible with their MAC schedule they like Fresno St. win out. They won’t make the title game, but they could be fighting it out with Fresno St. for that BCS Sport.
17) Texas Tech (4-0) : AP – 20 Coaches – 22
I’m not sure what to think of the Red Raiders, but they aren’t winning at West Virginia, Oklahoma and Baylor.
18) Maryland (4-0) : AP – 25 Coaches – (-)
Right now Maryland doesn’t enter the picture because I don’t think they win at Florida State this Saturday. If they did win that game though, with Clemson in College Park then you start really looking at the Terps. They already have an impressive blowout win over West Virginia.
19) Houston (4-0) : AP – (-) Coaches – (-)
What if the Cougars beat Louisville? Would that make enough noise? Probably not… There is still a game with BYU and at Rutgers, at Central Florida and at Louisville. If I’m Houston a 10 win season is the goal.
20) Missouri (4-0) : AP – (-) Coaches – (-)
Nice start for the Tigers, but they haven’t even played an SEC team yet. This dream will be over soon enough…