5 Things To Watch In The Second Half Of The College Football Season
October 13th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

How Does Alabama Respond?

The Crimson Tide had their 19-game winning streak snapped this past Saturday on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks in a 35-21 loss.  It was the first loss for head coach Nick Saban since the 2009 Sugar Bowl against Utah. The Crimson Tide fell to eighth in the college football rankings, but if they win out can still fight their way back into the national title picture.  While it was a conference loss, it was not a division loss. Alabama still gets to play Auburn and LSU in the SEC West, both of which are currently undefeated and ranked in the top-10 in the country.  In fact, the SEC West has four of the top-12 nationally ranked teams.  Alabama has already beaten Arkansas, and will get enough opportunities against quality opponents to potentially reach the BCS championship game with one loss and a Southeastern Conference title.  The Crimson Tide are Set at 15/2 to win the national championship even after the loss on Bodog.

Can Boise State Do Enough?

Apparently, winning 59-0 is not enough to keep you ranked where you are if your the Boise State Broncos.  The Broncos are looking to make a push in the second half, but it is still unclear if the strength of schedule will be enough to get the Broncos into the National Championship game.  The win over Virginia Tech gets better as the Hokies do more, same for Oregon State.  Still, Boise State faces just one more ranked team in the second half of the season in No.19 Nevada.  That match up doesn’t come until November 26 however.  Early indications are the Broncos will be atop the initial BCS Standing next week, but whether or not they do enough to remain there will be one of the top story-lines until December.

Is FSU Back?

It appeared as if the talk of Florida State being back under a new era in Jimbo Fisher was a complete fallacy, following a 30-point loss on the road to Oklahoma.  However, the Seminoles have looked like a completely new team following week two, blowing out each of their opponents. Most notably is a 45-17 victory over Miami on the road in which Florida State was an underdog.  The Seminoles have gone from ranking in the bottom quarter in defense last season, to tops in the country in sacks in 2010.  They have a lot of young talent, but quarterback Christian Ponder is the veteran leader on offenseand has executed over the course of the last several weeks.  Florida State gets a tough match up next Thursday at North Carolina State, and Florida still looms at the end of the season.  If FSU is indeed back, the answer will be known by season’s end.

How Many Undefeated Teams Left At Season’s End?

All indications point to both TCU and Boise State finishing the regular season without a loss.  That would be two teams.  Alabama was a betting favorite to go undefeated, but that is out.  Currently, 12 teams remain undefeated in the top-25, with several guaranteed a loss by playing each other.  Betting Lines indicate Ohio State, Oregon and either Nebraska or Oklahoma will finish the season undefeated.  That would leave the voters with a difficult decision after the completion of conference championship weekend.

Heisman Trophy Candidates-

Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor leads the way in the line of favorites on College football Betting Odds to win the 2010 Heisman Trophy, with several notables following behind.  Michigan’s Denard Robinson, Boise State’s Kellen Moore, and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez have also entered the conversation.  As of now however, the competition still appears to be open, with several players able to make a push in the second half of the year.  Whoever decides to step up in the big games will get the notoriety, and potentially the hardware.

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