The Elite 8 - Opinion and outlook on FBS's remaining unbeaten teams
- by Zach Barnett 10 months ago
Texas Tech suffered a setback for the first time of the Kliff Kingsbury era, Missouri saw its heart smashed in front if its eyes for the umpeenth time in school history, and Miami did everything it could to end its perfect season. In two weeks, the number of undefeated teams in FBS has nearly halved, from 14 to eight. At this point of the season, it doesn't matter how you win - just that you do
Florida State (7-0) - Jimbo Fisher has two jobs from this point forward, avoid injuries and bottle whatever that was in that allowed the Seminoles to take a 35-0 first quarter lead on N.C. State and sprinkle it in every quarter for the rest of the season. Accomplish those two things and this team won't be beaten until January, if even then.
The road ahead: vs. Miami, at Wake Forest, vs. Syracuse, vs. Idaho, at Florida
Miami (7-0) - The mercy of the football gods allowed Miami to beat North Carolina and Wake Forest, but a similar effort will guarantee the Hurricanes are excluded from this list a week from now.
The road ahead: at Florida State, vs. Virginia Tech, at Duke, vs. Virginia, at Pittsburgh
Ohio State (8-0) - A 63-14 thumping of Penn State on a day when Alabama, Oregon and Florida State all won means that, while impressive, there is now one less chance for two of those three teams to lose - which is a requirement for Ohio State to play in Pasadena on January 7 and not January 1.
The road ahead: at Purdue, at Illinois, vs. Indiana, at Michigan
Baylor (7-0) - Finally, Baylor's preseason is over. After a ridiculous non-conference schedule and four Big 12 games against teams with a combined 2-15 league record, the Bears' final five opponents are 16-7 in conference games and all but one of those losses have come inside the five-team group. A 7-0 start was practically a given, but a 12-0 finish will have to be earned.
The road ahead: vs. Oklahoma (Nov. 7), vs. Texas Tech (at Arlington, Texas), at Oklahoma State, at TCU, vs. Texas
Northern Illinois (8-0) - Northern Illinois moved to 8-0 for the first time since 1965. The Huskies will now spend the month of November doing two things: 1) winning and 2) rooting against Fresno State.
The road ahead: at Massachusetts, vs. Ball State, at Toledo, vs. Western Michigan
Fresno State (7-0) - For the fourth time in seven games, Fresno State pulled out a win by a touchdown or less. Saturday night's 35-28 defeat of San Diego State was the second overtime win of the season for Tim DeRuyter's bunch.
The road ahead: vs. Nevada, at Wyoming, vs. New Mexico, at San Jose State
Oregon (8-0) - Oregon finally faced some real adversity this season, a 14-14 tie deep into the third quarter, and responed soundly, outscoring the Bruins 28-0 over a 15-minute span for a 42-14 win. Next up, a visit to the only team who's beaten the Ducks since November 2011.
The road ahead: at Stanford (Nov. 7), vs. Utah, at Arizona, vs. Oregon State
Alabama (8-0) - There's one undefeated team left in the SEC, and it's exactly the one you would've guessed. After building a 35-0 halftime lead en route to an easy 45-10 win over Tennessee, Alabama takes next week off while preparing for LSU on November 9.
The road ahead: vs. LSU, at Mississippi State, vs. Chattanooga, at Auburn