October 29, 2009

How many teams will finish the season unbeaten?

At the College Football Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the college football coverage staff for their opinion about a topic in the sport.

TODAY'S QUESTION: How many unbeaten teams will there be at the end of the regular season (including conference championship games)?

Don't be surprised if there are as many as six unbeatens, although I'd anticipate four. I'd expect unbeaten Florida and Alabama to play for the SEC championship. Of course, the general populace of Louisiana would emphatically disagree with that. If Texas gets by Oklahoma State on Saturday, I think the Longhorns will finish unbeaten, too. TCU's only real remaining threat is Utah, and the Frogs get the Utes at home. Boise State doesn't figure to lose, either, although a trip to Louisiana Tech could be dicey. Cincinnati and Iowa have great shots at perfection. But with key injuries and big road games looming, each is likely to stumble once.


I think Alabama, Texas, Iowa, TCU and Boise State will finish the season unbeaten. The team I am least confident in is Alabama, which still must play LSU and likely Florida in the SEC title game. Iowa also has a tough contest remaining at Ohio State. But Texas, TCU and Boise State appear to have smooth sailing to an unbeaten record. The Longhorns' last big test will be this weekend at Oklahoma State. TCU still must tussle with Utah, but the game is in Fort Worth. Boise State? It's patty-cake game after patty-cake game for the Broncos.


I think there will be four. Boise State, to me, is a lock to finish unbeaten. I think TCU will get to 12-0; the Horned Frogs have one tough game left, but they get to play Utah at home. I think Alabama and Florida will be unbeaten headed into the SEC championship game, and as I wrote last week, I think Florida emerges as the winner. Texas' last tough game is Saturday at Oklahoma State; if the Longhorns win that, just pencil them in as national title game participants. Cincinnati and Iowa are the other two unbeatens, but I think the Bearcats and Hawkeyes both finish 11-1.


I believe there will be four undefeated teams. While Texas, Alabama and Florida have looked vulnerable at times this season, I think all three will be 12-0 by the time they enter their respective conference championship games. Texas could stumble at Oklahoma State this week and Florida may struggle at South Carolina on Nov. 14, but I believe the Longhorns and Gators ultimately will survive those matchups. Texas shouldn't have a problem winning the Big 12 championship game and will be undefeated as it heads into the BCS title game against the winner of the Florida-Alabama SEC championship game. I also think TCU and Boise State should sail through the rest of their seasons unbeaten now that both already have passed their biggest tests. I expect Iowa to lose at Ohio State and Cincinnati to slip at least once against West Virginia or Pittsburgh.



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