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Thursday, June 20
The Indiana Daily Student

sports football

As leaves change, so do BCS bowl perceptions

The leaves are changing, and so is the temperature. In other words, we are starting to find out who is for real and who is not in the college football world, and who could or will not contend for the National Championship.

Surprises, disappointments and new expectations for the plethora of teams still competing for a shot at the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game are what make this time of year special for football fans across the country.
Here are some thoughts about the first five weeks of the season, as the midway point of the season inches near.

Most Surprising Team

Miami Hurricanes – “The U swagger,” as they say, is back. Current coach and former Miami linebacker Randy Shannon has brought much-needed discipline and attitude to a program which, for years, has had enough athleticism to compete. Sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris’ outstanding play and quarterback rating of 151.85 have led to wins at then-No. 18 Florida State and against then-No. 8 Oklahoma.

Most Complete Team

Alabama Crimson Tide
– The Tide is rolling behind sophomore running back Mark Ingram and junior quarterback Greg McElroy. Ingram has totaled six touchdowns in five games, and McElroy is completing 65.5 percent of his passes to a young receiving core, which has accounted for nine touchdowns. The Tide defense has allowed fewer than fifteen points in three of their first five games.

Darkhorse Contender

Auburn Tigers
– Critics bad-mouthing the hiring of former Iowa State coach Gene Chizik have been silenced. The Tigers won on the road at Tennessee and have an explosive offense that has put up at least 35 points in three games and 54 points once. The early win on the road against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium gives Auburn momentum as rigorous Southeastern Conference play continues.

The Jury is Out on

Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Notre Dame took a hit in Week 3 after losing star wide receiver Michael Floyd for the remainder of the season. However, Notre Dame’s schedule after USC is favorable with opponents including Connecticut, Navy and Stanford.

One thing is for sure: The Irish secondary has to play better and cannot rely on another late-game drive from quarterback Jimmy Clausen to bail him out. Should Notre Dame somehow beat USC, the Irish have no excuse to end up worse than 11-1.

Misfortune Continues for

Florida State Seminoles – Home losses to Miami and South Florida have already plagued Florida State coach Bobby Bowden’s conference title hopes. The ’Noles haven’t been to the BCS since 2005, and the inconsistency synonymous with Florida State for the past couple years hints they won’t be back anytime soon.

Heisman Hopeful

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy
– McCoy has completed more than 70 percent of his passes while leading “Hook ’Em” to an undefeated season thus far. The senior has a quarterback rating of 150 and has thrown nine touchdowns to an offense that averages more than 500 yards of offense per game.

Team With Everything to Lose

Florida Gators – While much was lost when Florida quarterback Tim Tebow went down with a concussion against Kentucky, the two-time national champion and Heisman-winning field general is expected to play next week against LSU.

Should the Gators go undefeated through the gauntlet that is the SEC and win the conference championship game, Florida would be a near-lock for the national championship due to their exceptional BCS track record during the last three years.

If Florida loses in the SEC Championship Game to a one-loss team, the Gators might have reason to worry. With Alabama, LSU and Auburn still undefeated, it’s not an unlikely scenario.

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