A look at the six teams with a realistic shot at playing for the BCS title:
No. 1 Notre Dame (11-0)
Case for:Brian Kelly said last week he would go on TV with Oprah Winfrey, if necessary, to politic for a spot in the BCS Championship game. No need. The Irish are unbeaten against a schedule filled with name opponents. College football's most historic program has not won a national championship since 1988, but led by Manti Te'o and a dominant defense, the Fighting Irish are one victory from a perfect regular season.
Case against:While the defense has been great, the offense has been erratic. Redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson has improved through the season, but five victories have come by a touchdown or less.
What's left:At Southern Cal, Saturday.
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No. 2 Alabama (10-1)
Case for:SEC! SEC! SEC! After a week on the outside looking in, the defending national champion benefited from two upsets. Considered by many to be the nation's best and most complete team - at least until Texas A&M punctured the aura - the Crimson Tide's typically tough defense has been bolstered for most of the season by an offense led by quarterback A.J. McCarron.
Case against:The Tide will be heavily favored to beat woeful Auburn, but the Iron Bowl rivalry shouldn't be written off. Up next would be Georgia in the SEC Championship, where a defense that faltered against LSU and Texas A&M would be tested .
What's left:At Auburn, Saturday; if win, SEC Championship game, Dec. 1.
No. 3 Georgia (10-1)
Case for:The Bulldogs control their destiny. Beat Georgia Tech, then the SEC West winner (probably Alabama). Also, SEC! SEC! SEC! As a one-loss SEC champion, they would play for the BCS title.
Case against:Georgia benefited from a quirk of the SEC schedule, avoiding West division powers Alabama and LSU. The Bulldogs' only significant victory is against Florida, a 35-7 loss to South Carolina left a mark and the combined record of their other SEC opponents is 26-40.
What's left:Vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday; SEC Championship game.
No. 4 Florida (10-1)
Case for:Florida owns victories over LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M, the latter on the road. Add a victory over Florida State, currently 10th in the BCS standings, and the overall resume would be pretty stout.
Case against:The Gators didn't win their division. But BCS history has proven that's not a disqualifying blemish, especially in the SEC! SEC! SEC! A 17-9 loss to Georgia reflected an offense that has struggled. Beating the Seminoles in Tallahassee should not be counted on.
What's left:At Florida State, Saturday.
No. 5 Oregon (10-1)
Case for:With myriad offensive weapons and Chip Kelly's relentless, frenetic pace, the Ducks are capable of putting together massive piles of points and yards. If he were touting Oregon, Les Miles would note that the Ducks have not lost in regulation.
Case against:They lost in overtime. At home. After being favored by nearly three touchdowns. That's sometimes unforgivable this late in the season. The unstoppable offense was stuffed by Stanford, quenching part of the Ducks' argument for elite status. To get back into the race, Oregon needs help: Losses by at least two of the four higher-ranked teams - and probably by Florida.
What's left:At Oregon State, Saturday; if win, possibly Pac-12 Championship game, Nov. 30 (Stanford must lose to UCLA).
No. 6 Kansas State (10-1)
Case for:Until the loss at Baylor, the Wildcats had dismantled opponents methodically, as befitting Bill Snyder's m.o. The resume includes victories over BCS No. 13 Oklahoma and No. 21 Oklahoma State, as well as West Virginia and Miami. The season finale would include a victory over No. 16 Texas.
Case against:It's one thing to allow Baylor to score. But given the Bears' aversion to defense, how did Kansas State manage only 24 points? If it came down to Kansas State or Oregon for a berth in the BCS title game, voters might recall that in 2010, Bill Snyder canceled a matchup this season with the Ducks.
What's left:vs. Texas, Dec. 1.